IDENTIFICATION OF IMPAIRED SURFACE WATERS
This chapter establishes a methodology to identify surface waters of the state
that will be included on the state’s planning list of waters that will be
assessed pursuant to subsections 403.067(2) and (3), Florida Statutes (F.S.).
It also establishes a methodology to identify impaired waters that will
be included on the state’s verified list of impaired waters, for which the
Department will calculate Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), pursuant to
subsection 403.067(4), F.S., and which will be submitted to the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to
Subsection 303(d) of the CWA and section 403.067, F.S., describe impaired waters
as those not meeting applicable water quality standards, which is a broad term
that includes designated uses, water quality criteria, the Florida
antidegradation policy, and moderating provisions.
However, as recognized when the water quality standards were adopted,
many water bodies naturally do not meet one or more established water quality
criteria at all times, even though they meet their designated use.
Data on exceedances of water quality criteria will provide critical
information about the status of assessed waters, but it is the intent of this
chapter to only list waters on the verified list that are impaired due to point
source or nonpoint source pollutant discharges.
It is not the intent of this chapter to include waters that do not meet
water quality criteria solely due to natural conditions or physical alterations
of the water body not related to pollutants.
Similarly, it is not the intent of this chapter to include waters where
designated uses are being met and where water quality criteria exceedances are
limited to those parameters for which permitted mixing zones or other moderating
provisions (such as site-specific alternative criteria) are in effect.
Waters that do not meet applicable water quality standards due to natural
conditions or to pollution not related to pollutants shall be noted in the
state’s water quality assessment prepared under subsection 305(b) of the CWA
This chapter is intended to interpret existing water quality criteria and
evaluate attainment of established designated uses as set forth in Chapter
62-302, F.A.C., for the purposes of identifying water bodies or segments for
which TMDLs will be established. It
is not the intent of this chapter to establish new water quality criteria or
standards, or to determine the applicability of existing criteria under other
provisions of Florida law. In cases
where this chapter relies on numeric indicators of ambient water quality as part
of the methodology for determining whether existing narrative criteria are being
met, these numeric values are intended to be used only in the context of
developing a planning list and identifying an impaired water pursuant to this
chapter. As such, exceedances of
these numeric values shall not, by themselves, constitute violations of
Department rules that would warrant enforcement action.
Nothing in this rule is intended to limit any actions by federal, state, or
local agencies, affected persons, or citizens pursuant to other rules or
Pursuant to section 403.067, F.S., impaired waters shall not be listed on the
verified list if reasonable assurance is provided that, as a result of existing
or proposed technology-based effluent limitations and other pollution control
programs under local, state, or federal authority, they will attain water
quality standards in the future and reasonable progress towards attainment of
water quality standards will be made by the time the next 303(d) list is
scheduled to be submitted to EPA.
Authority 403.061, 403.067, FS.
Implemented 403.021(11), 403.062,
Relationship Between Planning and Verified Lists.
The Department shall follow the methodology in Section 62-303.300 to develop a
planning list pursuant to subsection 403.067(2), F.S.
As required by subsection 403.067(2), F.S., the planning list shall not
be used in the administration or implementation of any regulatory program, and
shall be submitted to EPA for informational purposes only. Waters on this planning list will be assessed pursuant to
subsection 403.067(3), F.S., as part of the Department’s watershed management
approach. During this assessment,
the Department shall determine whether the water body is impaired and whether
the impairment is due to pollutant discharges using the methodology in Part III.
The resultant verified list of impaired waters, which is the list of
waters for which TMDLs will be developed by the Department pursuant to
subsection 403.067(4), will be adopted by Secretarial Order and will be subject
to challenge under subsection 120.569 and 120.57, F.S.
Once adopted, the list will be submitted to the EPA pursuant to
Consistent with state and federal requirements, opportunities for public
participation, including workshops, meetings, and periods to submit comments on
draft lists, will be provided as part of the development of planning and
Authority 403.061, 403.067, FS.
Implemented 403.062, 403.067, FS.
used in this chapter:
“BioRecon” shall mean a bioassessment conducted following the procedures
outlined in “Protocols for Conducting a Biological Reconnaissance in Florida
Streams,” Florida Department of Environmental Protection, March 13, 1995,
which is incorporated by reference.
(2) “Clean techniques” shall mean those applicable field sampling
procedures and analytical methods referenced in “Method 1669:
Sampling Ambient Water for Trace Metals at EPA Water Quality Criteria
Levels, July 1996, USEPA, Office of Water, Engineering and Analysis Division,
Washington, D.C.,” which is
incorporated by reference.
“Department" or “DEP” shall mean the Florida Department of
"Designated use" shall mean the present and future most beneficial use
of a body of water as designated by the Environmental Regulation Commission by
means of the classification system contained in Chapter 62-302, F.A.C.
“Estuary” shall mean predominantly marine regions of interaction between
rivers and nearshore ocean waters, where tidal action and river flow mix fresh
and salt water. Such areas include
bays, mouths of rivers, and lagoons.
“Impaired water” shall mean a water body or water body segment that does not
meet its applicable water quality standards as set forth in Chapters 62-302 and
62-4, F.A.C, as determined by the methodology in Part III of this chapter, due
in whole or in part to discharges of pollutants from point or nonpoint sources.
“Lake Condition Index” shall mean the benthic macroinvertebrate component of
a bioassessment conducted following the procedures outlined in “Development of
Lake Condition Indexes (LCI) for Florida,” Florida Department of Environmental
Protection, July, 2000, which is incorporated by reference.
"Natural background" shall mean the condition of waters in the absence
of man-induced alterations based on the best scientific information available to
the Department. The establishment of natural background for an altered
waterbody may be based upon a similar unaltered waterbody or on historical
"Nuisance species" shall mean species of flora or fauna whose noxious
characteristics or presence in sufficient number, biomass, or areal extent may
reasonably be expected to prevent, or unreasonably interfere with, a designated
use of those waters.
“Physical alterations” shall mean human-induced changes to the physical
structure of the water body.
“Planning list” shall mean the list of surface waters or segments for which
assessments will be conducted to evaluate whether the water is impaired and a
TMDL is needed, as provided in subsection 403.067(2), F.S.
“Pollutant” shall be as defined in subsection 502(6) of the CWA.
Characteristics of a discharge, including dissolved oxygen, pH, or
temperature, shall also be defined as pollutants if they result or may result in
the potentially harmful alteration of downstream waters.
"Pollution" shall be as defined in subsection 502(19) of the CWA and
subsection 403.031(2), F.S.
“Predominantly marine waters” shall mean surface waters in which the
chloride concentration at the surface is greater than or equal to 1,500
milligrams per liter.
"Secretary" shall mean the Secretary of the Florida Department of
“Spill” shall mean a short-term, unpermitted discharge to surface waters,
not to include sanitary sewer overflows or chronic discharges from leaking
wastewater collection systems.
“Stream” shall mean a free-flowing, predominantly fresh surface water in a
defined channel, and includes rivers, creeks, branches, canals, freshwater
sloughs, and other similar water bodies.
“Stream Condition Index” shall mean a bioassessment conducted following the
procedures outlined in “Development of the Stream Condition Index (SCI) for
Florida,” Florida Department of Environmental Protection, May, 1996, which is
incorporated by reference.
"Surface water" means those waters of the State upon the surface of
the earth to their landward extent, whether contained in bounds created
naturally or artificially or diffused. Water
from natural springs shall be classified as surface water when it exits from the
spring onto the earth's surface.
Authority 403.061, 403.067, FS.
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