Thursday, October 21, 2021

Everglades Water Quality Improvements

As a part of the state of Florida’s ongoing efforts to improve water quality in the Everglades, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection submitted on June 6, 2012, to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a revised National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, along with an associated consent order, that authorizes the operation of 57,000 acres of Stormwater Treatment Areas south of Lake Okeechobee.

The revised permit and consent order represent a significant and historic step forward in achieving stringent water quality standards in the heart of the Everglades. The technical plan, first proposed last fall by Governor Rick Scott, is the result of extensive dialogue between EPA and the state of Florida.

The revised permit and consent order establish stringent discharge limits for the vast network of treatment facilities, and require the South Florida Water Management District to implement a comprehensive technical plan to ensure attainment of the ambient water quality standard established for the Everglades Protection Area, which includes some of the world’s most critical habitats, endangered species and delicate ecosystems. This will lead to significant water quality improvements in the water that flows through these natural areas.

The revised permit and consent order are subject to approval by the EPA.

The following documents are available on DEP’s online newsroom:

  • Letter from Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IV Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming.
  • Questions and Answers: Everglades Water Quality Improvements.
  • Presentation to the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, June 4,  2012.
  • Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit with accompanying consent order.
  • Supporting Information.

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