Quality Assurance Programs
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a scientific determination of the maximum amount of a given pollutant that a surface water can absorb and still meet the water quality standards that protect human health and aquatic life. Water bodies that do not meet water quality standards are identified as "impaired" for the particular pollutants of concern--nutrients, bacteria, mercury, etc.--and TMDLs must be developed, adopted and implemented for those pollutants to reduce pollutants and clean up the water body.
An overview of Florida’s surface water and ground water quality and trends as of 2008. The report, which must be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) every two years, meets the reporting requirements of Sections 305(b) and 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Under Section 305(b), each state must report to the EPA on the condition of its surface waters, and Section 303(d) requires each state to report on its polluted waterbodies (those not meeting water quality standards). Using the information from all the states, the EPA provides Congress with a broad-scale national inventory of water quality conditions and also develops priorities for future federal actions to protect and restore aquatic resources.
EPA has proposed water quality standards in the State of Florida that would set a series of numeric limits on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen pollution, also known as “nutrient” that would be allowed in Florida’s lakes, rivers, streams, springs and canals. This proposed action seeks to improve water quality, protect public health, aquatic life and the long term recreational uses of Florida’s waters, which are a critical part of the State’s economy. The proposed standards comply with the terms of a January 2009 EPA determination under the Clean Water Act that numeric nutrient standards are needed in Florida and an August 2009 consent decree between EPA and the Florida Wildlife Federation.
The Office of Agricultural Water Policy (OAWP) within the Florida Department of Agriculture (FDACS) develops, adopts, and assists in the implementation of BMPs for “traditional” agricultural commodities (those other than silviculture or aquaculture). Producers participate in OAWP BMP programs by submitting Notices of Intent (NOIs) to implement the BMPs, along with a checklist of practices applicable to the acres being enrolled.