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FDEP Schedules Hearings on Water Quality "Human Health Criteria"

As part of its "triennial review" of Florida water quality, required by the Federal Clean Water Act, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is conducting a series of three public hearings later this month in West Palm Beach (May 15), Orlando (May 16) and Tallahassee (May 17). Two topics will be considered, dissolved oxygen criteria and "human health criteria" -- i.e., people's exposure to chemicals through drinking water and fish consumption.

The FDEP says that the original dissolved oxygen criteria were based on outdated, nationwide studies, and that the Department has more recent Florida-specific research that will improve its "ability to make accurate environmental decisions and reduce the number of cases where state waters are incorrectly assessed."

Factors in the analysis used to calculate the chemical exposure criteria are the estimated fish consumption rate, consumer body weights, and drinking water consumption rates.

Public comments will be accepted at the meetings, as well as via mail and email. A second set of public workshops will be conducted in July, and the new standards are expected to be adopted in September.

Related article in The Florida Current

Public meeting details including agendas and triennial review fact sheet

Contact Information
Eric Shaw, Standards & Assessments Section, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, eric.shaw@dep.state.fl.us
phone: (850) 245-8429.
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