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Water Quality Standards

Surface Water Quality Standards

With over 50,000 miles of rivers and streams, 7,800 lakes, and 4,000 square miles of estuaries, Florida has an abundance of surface waters used for a variety of purposes by the people who live and work here, by those who are visiting, and by the fish and wildlife that depend on these waters.

The federal Clean Water Act provides the statutory basis for state water quality standards programs. The regulatory requirements governing these programs (Water Quality Standards Regulation) are published in 40 CFR 131. States are responsible for reviewing, establishing and revising water quality standards. Florida’s surface water quality standards system is published in 62-302 (and 62-302.530) of the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). The components of this system include classificationscriteria, including site specific criteria, an anti-degradation policy, and special protection of certain waters (Outstanding Florida Waters).

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Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announces initiation of the Triennial Review of Florida’s surface water quality standards.  All surface water quality standards in Chapter 62-4, Chapter 62-302 Chapter 62-303, and Chapter 62-304, Florida Administrative Code, are under review and may be revised as part of the Triennial Review. States are required under the Federal Clean Water Act (40 CFR 131.20) to conduct a comprehensive review of all water quality standards at least once every three years (Triennial Review). At least one public hearing must be conducted during the Triennial review to receive public input on suggested standards changes, and to provide an opportunity for the public to suggest water quality standards changes. States must also consider adopting any new EPA 304(a) criteria recommendations (National Recommended Water Quality Criteria).

Three public workshops/hearings have been scheduled to solicit public input on the Triennial Review:

DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bob Martinez Center, Room 609, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida

TELECONFERENCE CALL-IN: 1-888-585-9008          CONFERENCE ROOM NUMBER: 125-938-245# 

NOTE: Participation via teleconference will only be available for the May 14 workshop/hearing.  Teleconference participants will be in “listen only” mode (muted) throughout most of the meeting, but will be given an opportunity to provide verbal comments during the public comment period (after attendees). Phone participants may also submit written comments after the meeting to

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education and Research Center Auditorium, Jonathan Dickinson State Park, 16450 SE Federal Hwy., Hobe Sound, Florida

DATE AND TIME: Thursday, May 16, 2019, 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Central District Office, 3319 Maguire Boulevard, Suite 232, Conference Rooms A/B/C, Orlando, Florida.

The workshops/hearings are designed to provide a forum for the public to recommend revisions to Florida’s water quality standards. DEP will also present information about potential revisions to Florida’s water quality standards, including consideration of U.S. EPA 304(a) criteria recommendations.  The same material will be presented at each workshop/hearing, so you do not need to attend multiple workshops. 

Click here to access the Kickoff workshop/hearing presentation

Links to the Florida Administrative Register (FAR) Individual Notices of Rule Development: Chapter 62-4Chapter 62-302Chapter 62-303Chapter 62-304, F.A.C.

Revision of Human Health-Based Water Quality Criteria

The Department of Environmental Protection (department) initiated rulemaking in February 2018 to consider proposed revisions to the human health-based surface water quality criteria in Rule 62-302.530, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C).  The department intends to conduct a statewide fish consumption survey to accurately determine the amount and types of fish commonly eaten by Floridians in advance of criteria development and adoption.  The human health-based criteria listed in Rule 62-302.530, F.A.C., will be revised based on the results of the survey and any additional relevant data and information collected by the department.  

Water Quality Standards Program
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road - MS 6511
Tallahassee, FL 32399
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