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Category 4e Assessments and Documentation

Category 4e Assessments and Documentation

A waterbody can be placed in category 4e (Ongoing Restoration Activities) if it’s impaired but recently completed or ongoing restoration activities are underway to restore the designated uses of the waterbody. For 4e plans, the waterbody is still included on the 303(d) list, but placement on the Verified List is postponed for one five-year assessment cycle, to allow for implementation of the 4e plan and evaluation of progress toward restoration. If at any time the department determines that reasonable assurance or reasonable progress are not being met, the Verified List will be amended accordingly. This indicates that where a 4e plan is approved, the decision to develop a TMDL is deferred until additional information is submitted to complete the pollutant reduction plan, or until additional water quality data are collected documenting that a waterbody is no longer impaired and consideration for Category 2 (not impaired) is warranted.
 
The goal of a 4e plan is to implement appropriate restoration activities and, if necessary, additional study so that by the next assessment cycle either a 4b Reasonable Assurance Plan (RAP) can be approved or the waterbody attains water quality standards for the parameter causing the impairment. If the waterbody is still identified as impaired by the next assessment cycle and a 4b plan has not been approved, then the waterbody would likely be placed in Category 5 and included on the Verified List, unless there are additional and substantial restoration efforts scheduled that justify keeping the waterbody in Category 4e for another assessment cycle.
 
There are a number of benefits to implementing such a plan. First, plan development is locally controlled. Second, an approved plan postpones the development of a TMDL for the impairment by moving straight to restoration activities. Finally, a Category 4e plan enables stakeholders to focus on implementing projects and fixing problems, not on the TMDL process itself. A 4e plan is somewhat more flexible than a 4b RAP but it should describe the goal of the plan (e.g., a 4b RAP will be completed prior to the next assessment cycle and reasonable progress toward restoration will be achieved in the interim, stormwater treatment upgrades have recently been completed that should redress the identified impairment by the next assessment cycle, etc.). Below are a comprehensive list of waterbody-parameter combinations currently assessed in category 4e and links to their supporting documentation.
 
 

Download 4e Plan Progress Chart

Progress bar of Reasonable assurance plan progress. Excel spreadsheet can be downloaded from linked image


Water Quality Restoration Plan Progress (Category 4e)

4e Process Step Description

Plan Initiated

  • Entities have contacted the department expressing interest to pursue a 4e plan
  • Entities have identified recently completed or ongoing restoration activities are underway to restore impaired waterbody
  • Participating partnering entities (public/private) have been identified 

Develop Restoration Plan

  • Waterbody/watershed has been identified
  • Current (impaired) conditions have been described
  • Area of effort has been identified 
  • Responsible participating entities have been identified
  • Goal of the plan has been stated
  • Interim water quality–based targets have been determined for the waterbody
  • An estimated target date for water quality criteria to be attained has been determined
  • Point and non-point source pollutants have been identified
  • Projects have been identified to provide the reasonable assurance that the proposed management actions can achieve the designated uses of the waterbody
  • Commitment to take additional actions if the planned activities do not completely redress the impairment have been provided
  • Assurance of confirmed sources of funding has been provided
  • Procedures for monitoring, compliance assessment and reporting have been identified
  • Key indicators that will be assessed to provide assurance of progress in the right direction are included
  • An implementation timeframe for the plan has been established

Finalize Restoration Plan

  • Plan has been presented to the department
  • Supporting documentation has been provided to the department

Finalize Assessment

  • Plan has been approved by the department  

Implement Restoration Plan

  • Projects (structural and non-structural) are moving forward and being implemented
  • Monitoring is continuing

Evaluate Progress

  • Reports are submitted, including updates on planned projects, monitoring results, changes to restoration project schedule, etc.
  • Information has been submitted to complete the pollution reduction plan
  • Water quality monitoring data have been collected to document that the waterbody is no longer impaired

Progress Demonstrated

  • Project implementation is verified
  • Project implementation has resulted in load reductions
  • Improvements in water quality are observed

Waterbodies in Category 4e


Group Name

WBID

Water Segment Name

Waterbody
Type

Parameters Assessed Using the Impaired Surface Waters Rule (IWR)

Choctawhatchee - St. Andrew

722

Rocky Bayou

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Everglades

3252B

WCA 1 (North Sector)

Stream

Dissolved Oxygen,
Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3252D

WCA 1 (West Sector)

Stream

Dissolved Oxygen,
Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3252E

WCA 1 (South Sector)

Stream

Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3265F

WCA 2A (West Sector)

Stream

Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3265G

WCA 2A (Central Sector)

Stream

Dissolved Oxygen,
Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3268H

WCA 3A (East Sector)

Stream

Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3268I

WCA 3A (Central Sector)

Stream

Dissolved Oxygen,
Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3289

Shark Slough (Everglades National Park)

Stream

Dissolved Oxygen

Everglades

3289E

Chevelier Bay

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Everglades

3289G

Cannon Bay

Estuary

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a), Nutrients (Total Nitrogen), Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3289H

Lostmans Bay (Everglades National Park)

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Everglades

3289I

Bays Near Flamingo (Everglades National Park)

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Everglades

3289L

Alligator Bay

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Everglades

3289M

Dads Bay

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Everglades

3289R

Shark Slough A (Everglades National Park)

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen), Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3289X

Everglades Lakes

Estuary

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a), Nutrients (Total Nitrogen), Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Everglades

3303G

Joe Bay (East Segment)

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Florida Keys

6002

Manatee Bay

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Florida Keys

6003

Barnes Sound

Estuary

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a)

Florida Keys

6005

Long Sound

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Florida Keys

6005A

Little Blackwater Sound

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Florida Keys

6005B

Blackwater Sound

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Florida Keys

6016

Duck Key

Coastal

Dissolved Oxygen (Percent Saturation)

Florida Keys

8077

Florida Bay (Middle Keys)

Coastal

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Florida Keys

8078

Florida Bay (Upper Keys)

Coastal

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Indian River Lagoon

3057A

Banana River below 520 Causeway

Estuary

pH

Indian River Lagoon

3057B

Banana River above 520 Causeway

Estuary

pH

Middle St. Johns

2997B

Lake Howell

Lake

Biology,
Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a)

Ocklawaha

2720A

Alachua Sink

Lake

Dissolved Oxygen

Pensacola

846

Bayou Chico

Estuary

Enterococci

Pensacola

846C

Bayou Chico Drain

Estuary

Enterococci

Perdido

462A

Perdido River (South Marine)

Estuary

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a)

Perdido

489

Elevenmile Creek

Stream

Escherichia coli

Perdido

797

Perdido Bay (Upper Segment)

Estuary

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a)

Sarasota Bay - Peace - Myakka

1497A

Crystal Lake

Lake

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a), Nutrients (Total Nitrogen), Nutrients (Total Phosphorus)

Springs Coast

1382I

Weeki Wachee River

Estuary

Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Springs Coast

1440

Anclote River Tidal

Estuary

Enterococci,
Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a), Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Springs Coast

1440A

Anclote River Bayou Complex (Spring Bayou)

Estuary

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a), Nutrients (Total Nitrogen)

Springs Coast

1556

Cedar Creek (Tidal)

Estuary

Enterococci

Springs Coast

1618D

Seminole Bypass Canal

Stream

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a)

Springs Coast

1668A

Joe's Creek

Stream

Nutrients (Macrophytes)

Suwannee

3315Z

Blue Spring (Madison County)

Spring

Nutrients (Algal Mats)

Suwannee

3483

Peacock Slough

Spring

Nutrients (Algal Mats)

Suwannee

3519Z

Ichetucknee Head Spring

Spring

Nutrients (Nitrate-Nitrite)

Suwannee

3528Z

Blue Springs (Lafayette County)

Spring

Nutrients (Algal Mats)

Suwannee

3605S

Devils Ear

Spring

Nutrients (Nitrate-Nitrite)

Suwannee

3653Z

Hornsby Spring

Spring

Nutrients (Nitrate-Nitrite)

Tampa Bay

1731B

Salt Creek

Estuary

Nutrients (Chlorophyll-a)

Withlacoochee

1320

Rainbow River (Blue Run)

Stream

Nutrients (Algal Mats)

Withlacoochee

1320C

Indian Creek Springs Group

Spring

Nutrients (Nitrate-Nitrite)

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Last Modified:
June 12, 2019 - 9:57am

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