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Reasonable Assurance Plans (RAPs) Category 4b Assessments and Documentation

Reasonable Assurance Plans (RAPs): Category 4b Assessments and Documentation

EPA regulations allow states to place certain impaired water bodies into Category 4b of the Integrated Report Categories instead of Category 5 – Impaired and needs a TMDL. The Florida Watershed Restoration Act (Section 403.067(4), F.S.) explicitly allows DEP to not list impaired waters under Category 5 if they already have control programs in place that will ensure water quality standards will be restored. These types of waterbodies – impaired, but with control programs already being implemented to reduce pollutant loadings – are placed in assessment Category 4b for Clean Water Act section 303(d) reporting purposes.To assist stakeholders in developing approvable Reasonable Assurance Plans, the department created a Guidance on Developing Restoration Plans as Alternatives to TMDLs – Assessment Category 4b and 4e Plans.

View an online map including RAPs adopted and in progress | Return to Alternative Restoration Plans Main

Note: Click on map inset to view and download Reasonable Assurance Plan documents.       

Lake Seminole
Reasonable Assurance Plan
Florida Keys
Reasonable Assurance Plan

Map of WBID boundaries included in the Lake Seminole alternative restoration plan

Map of WBID boundaries included in the Florida Keys alternative restoration plan

Shell, Prairie, and Joshua Creeks
Reasonable Assurance Plan
Tampa Bay Estuary
Reasonable Assurance Plan

Map of WBID boundaries included in the Shell Prairie and Joshua Creek alternative restoration plans

Map of WBID boundaries included in the Tampa Bay Alternative restoration plan

Reasonable Assurance Plan Progress (Category 4b)

4b Process Step Description 

Plan Initiated

  • Entities have contacted the department expressing interest to pursue a 4b plan
  • Participating partnering entities (public/private) have been identified 
  • Public meeting(s) has been scheduled to kick off development of the plan

Develop RA Plan

  • Identify responsible participating entities
  • Delineate the geographic boundary the plan will include
  • Identify point and non-point source pollutants
  • Determine appropriate water quality targets for the parameters and waterbodies of concern
  • Determine necessary nutrient load reductions
  • Identify projects to provide the reasonable assurance that the proposed management actions can achieve the designated uses of the waterbody
  • Calculate credits/reductions for ongoing and planned projects
  • Identify procedures for monitoring, compliance assessment and reporting
  • Establish key indicators that will be assessed to provide assurance of progress in towards achieving restoration
  • Establish an implementation timeframe for the plan
  • Identify possible funding mechanisms

Finalize RA Plan

  • The plan has been presented to all interested parties and participating entities
  • Public comments have been requested and received
  • Plan has been agreed to by all participating entities 

Adopt RA Plan by Secretarial Order

  • Plan has been approved and signed by DEP Secretary

Implement RA Plan

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

Evaluate Progress

  • Progress reports are prepared and provided to the participating entities and the department

Progress Demonstrated

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

Evaluate Progress

  • Plan is updated as needed to ensure progress continues (e.g., pollutant loads re-evaluated, project progress and monitoring status are evaluated, etc.)

Continued Progress Demonstrated

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

RA Target Attained

  • Load/concentration target has been achieved

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Last Modified:
August 9, 2019 - 3:43pm

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