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CHAPTER 62-303

IDENTIFICATION OF IMPAIRED SURFACE WATERS

 

PART I
GENERAL

            62-303.100  Scope and Intent. 

            (1) 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 subparagraph 303(d)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). 

            (2) 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 [305(b) Report].

            (3) 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.

            (4) 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 regulations.    

            (5) 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.

Specific Authority  403.061, 403.067, FS.

Law Implemented  403.021(11), 403.062, 403.067, FS.

History -- New                 .

            62-303.150  Relationship Between Planning and Verified Lists.

            (1) 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 subparagraphs 303(d)(1)(A) and (C) of the CWA.

            (2) 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 verified lists.

Specific Authority  403.061, 403.067, FS.

Law Implemented  403.062, 403.067, FS.

History -- New __________.

62-303.200  Definitions.

            As used in this chapter:

            (1) “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.

            (3) “Department" or “DEP” shall mean the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

            (4) "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.

            (5) “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. 

            (6) “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.

            (7) “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.

            (8) "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 pre-alteration data.

            (9) "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.

            (10) “Physical alterations” shall mean human-induced changes to the physical structure of the water body.

            (11) “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.

            (12) “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.

            (13) "Pollution" shall be as defined in subsection 502(19) of the CWA and subsection 403.031(2), F.S.

            (14) “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.

            (15) "Secretary" shall mean the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

(16) “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.

(17) “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.

(18) “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.

            (19) "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.

            (20) “Tier 2 Data Quality Assessment” shall mean an assessment of the quality controls used in generating water quality data, as outlined in the Department’s Guidance Document, “A Tiered Approach to Data Quality Assessment” (DEP EAS 001-00, October 2000), which is incorporated by reference.

            (201) “Total maximum daily load” (TMDL) for an impaired water body or water body segment shall mean the sum of the individual wasteload allocations for point sources and the load allocations for nonpoint sources and natural background.  Prior to determining individual wasteload allocations and load allocations, the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body or water segment can assimilate from all sources without exceeding water quality standards must first be calculated.  A TMDL shall include either an implicit or explicit margin of safety and a consideration of seasonal variations.

            (212) “Verified list” shall mean the list of impaired water bodies or segments for which TMDLs will be calculated, as provided in subsection 403.067(4), F.S., and which will be submitted to EPA pursuant to subparagraph 303(d)(1)(C) of the CWA.

            (223) “Water quality criteria" shall mean elements of State water quality standards, expressed as constituent concentrations, levels, or narrative statements, representing a quality of water that supports the present and future most beneficial uses.

            (234) "Water quality standards" shall mean standards composed of designated present and future most beneficial uses (classification of waters), the numerical and narrative criteria applied to the specific water uses or classification, the Florida antidegradation policy, and the moderating provisions (mixing zones, site-specific alternative criteria, and exemptions) contained in Chapter 62-302, F.A.C., and in Chapter 62-4, F.A.C., adopted pursuant to Chapter 403, F.S.

            (245) “Water segment” shall mean a portion of a water body that the Department will assess and evaluate for purposes of determining whether a TMDL will be required.  Water segments previously evaluated as part of the Department’s 1998 305(b) Report are depicted in the map titled “Water Segments of Florida,” which is incorporated by reference.

            (256) "Waters" shall be those surface waters described in Section 403.031(13), Florida Statutes.

Specific Authority  403.061, 403.067, FS.

Law Implemented  403.062, 403.067, FS.

Part II

 

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