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 classifications, criteria, including site specific criteria, an anti-degradation policy, and special protection of certain waters (Outstanding Florida Waters).
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is conducting a Triennial Review of Florida's Water Quality Standards. Pursuant to the Federal Clean Water Act, States are required to conduct a comprehensive review of their water quality standards at least once every three years. The potential scope of the rules under review as part of the Triennial Review is addressed in the Notices of Rule Development (NRD) for Chapter 62-302, Chapter 62-303, and Chapter 62-4, (F.A.C.), in the Florida Administrative Register (FAR).
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.