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Alternative Surface Water Quality Standards

Site Specific Alternative Criteria 

Site specific alternative criteria (SSAC) replace the criteria applicable statewide in cases where site specific information supports different numeric criteria. Any SSAC must fully support and protect the designated use of the waterbody. SSACs fall into three types: Type I, Type II, and Type III. Type I SSACs (Rule 62-302.800(1), F.A.C.) are established to reflect natural background conditions, such as lower dissolved oxygen levels than the statewide default criteria. Type II SSACs (Rule 62-302.800(2), F.A.C) are established for situations other than natural background conditions. Type III SSACs (Rule 62-302.800(3), F.A.C.) are limited to nutrient criteria. All types of SSACs must still fully protect the designated use of the water body.  Examples of site specific criteria include the Everglades phosphorus criterion (Rule 62-302.540, F.A.C.) and the Site Specific Alternative Criteria described in Rule 62-302.800, F.A.C.

FPL SSAC for Total Ammonia Nitrogen

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announces a virtual public workshop to present Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) petition to establish a Site Specific Alternative Criterion (SSAC) for Total Ammonia Nitrogen (TAN) for the Northwest Mitigation Area wetlands and Barley Barber Swamp in Martin County, Florida. The virtual public workshop will take place on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 9:00 a.m. To register for the webinar, please use the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2234527994596723468

Comments on the draft SSAC may be submitted through October 21, 2020 to Kaitlyn Sutton, Standards Development Section, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 6511, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400; telephone 850/245-8819; email Kaitlyn.sutton@floridadep.gov. Please contact Daryll Joyner (email: daryll.joyner@FloridaDEP.gov ; phone:850-245-8431) if you have any questions about the public workshop or proposed SSAC.

Links to the technical documentation supporting the proposed SSAC, a map of the proposed SSAC area, draft rule language, and an agenda for the public workshop are located below.

Virtual Workshop Agenda

Map illustrating the proposed SSAC Area

A Mussel (Unionidae) Survey in Selected Martin County Wetlands, Culminating in Site-Specific Total Ammonia Nitrogen Criteria

Draft Rule language

FAR Notice of Rule Development



Site Specific Interpretations of the Narrative Nutrient Criterion


Numeric nutrient criteria that are approved Hierarchy 1interpretations of the narrative nutrient criteria under Rule 62-302.531(2)(a), F.A.C., can include Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), Level II Water Quality-Based Effluent Limits (WQBELs), Reasonable Assurance Plans (RAPs), and Site Specific Alternative Criteria (addressed above).


Water Quality Standards Variances

Charlotte Harbor Water Association (variance for acute toxicity)

Premier Chemicals (variance for acute toxicity)

City of Vero Beach Reverse Osmosis (variance for acute toxicity)


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Last Modified:
September 3, 2020 - 3:39pm

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