This Comment contends that the task of finding the equilibrium between the nutrients for each water body to sustain aquatic life, without adding excessive nutrients that will impair the aquatic ecosystem can only be achieved by maintaining a balanced federal/state partnership in the cooperative federalist system upon which the Clean Water Act was built. This partnership, however, has slowly eroded during the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempts to regulate nutrient pollution through numeric nutrient criteria in the State of Florida. In a perfect world with unlimited resources, the EPA would work with the states to develop and implement controls necessary to prevent nutrient pollution entirely. However, due to limited resources, the EPA must set out a priority to balance both preventative and detective methods to diagnose and mitigate pollution. An overreliance on preventative measures will be too resource intensive and may actually inflict the damage it is trying to prevent by requiring regulation of all waters rather than a strategic focus on impaired water bodies. The EPA’s desire to implement independently applicable numeric nutrient criteria, a numeric threshold triggering regulation which applies regardless of water impairment, is a prime example that will be explored in this Comment.
Recommended CitationAdam Weiss, Federal Numeric Nutrient Criteria in Florida: When Cooperative Federalism Goes Rogue, 30 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 299 (2012)
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