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Water Quality Standards Update Nancy Ross Environmental Specialist III WQSSPS May 19, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Quality Standards Update Nancy Ross Environmental Specialist III WQSSPS May 19, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Quality Standards Update Nancy Ross Environmental Specialist III WQSSPS May 19, 2005

2 Water Quality Standard Defines the water quality goals for a water body, or portion thereof, by 1.designating the use or uses to be made of the water, 2.setting criteria necessary to protect the uses, and 3.protecting water quality through antidegradation provisions.

3 Criteria Concentrations of specific chemicals or levels of parameters in water that protect designated uses. Based on sound scientific rationale EPA Clean Water Act 304(a) criteria guidance States may develop their own criteria

4 Florida’s Surface Water Quality Standards are found in Chapter , Florida Administrative Code Standards are adopted by the Environmental Regulation Commission, a citizen group appointed by the Governor. Standards must be approved by EPA.

5 Rulemaking in Progress (or about to begin) Promulgation of Enterococci Bacteria Criteria for Coastal Recreation Waters Revisions to Human Health Based Water Quality Criteria based on a Florida Fish Consumption Rate Triennial Review

6 Enterococci Promulgation

7 BEACH Act Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act Passed by Congress Established monitoring program for coastal beaches. Required coastal states to adopt criteria for their coastal recreation waters for pathogens and pathogen indicators for which EPA has 304(a) ambient water quality criteria by April 10, 2004

8 Beach Monitoring On going. DOH received $544,000 from EPA in 2004 to spend on beach monitoring at 308 beach locations in Florida. DOH received $525,000 for beach monitoring from the state legislature through the Healthy Beaches Act. Monitoring results are available on the DOH web site. Funding is expected to continue yearly.

9 Enterococci Criteria Enterococci are EPA’s recommended indicator of fecal contamination in marine waters. a group of bacteria in the enteric system of warm blooded animals. a totally separate bacterial group from coliforms which are the current water quality indicators of fecal contamination.

10 Criteria Adoption EPA published 304(a) CWA criteria in 1986 for enterococci in marine waters. Criteria are based on epidemiological studies at several beaches. EPA concluded that enterococci were better than the current coliform criteria for use as indicators of pathogens causing gastrointestinal illness to swimmers in marine waters.

11 Promulgation of Criteria EPA promulgated enterococci criteria for coastal recreation waters effective December 16, The criteria apply for all Clean Water Act programs in Florida. (Permits, TMDLs) Coastal recreation waters are defined as marine coastal waters (including coastal estuaries) that are designated under CWA section 303(c) by a State for use for swimming, bathing, surfing, or similar water contact activities. EXCLUSIONS—The term ‘coastal recreation waters' does not include inland waters; or waters upstream of the mouth of a river or stream having an unimpaired natural connection with the open sea. No decision yet on including enterococci criteria in , F.A.C.

12 Revisions to Human Health- Based Water Quality Criteria

13 Revisions to Human Health Based Water Quality Criteria A 9 year effort. Based on a 1994 study by UF IFAS that found that Floridians consume more fish and shellfish than the national average. Baseline Risk Analysis found dermal absorption may be a significant exposure (intake) route from surface water for some pollutants.

14 Revisions to Human Health Based Water Quality Criteria Parameters Affected Carcinogens: AldrinDichloromethane b-BHCDieldrin Benzene2,4- Dinitrotoluene BromoformHeptachlor Carbon tetrachloride Hexachlorobutadiene ChlordaneLindane Chlorodibromomethanetotal PAHs ChloroformPCBs ChloromethanePentachlorophenol DDT1,1,2,2- Tetrachloroethane DichlorobromomethaneTetrachloroethylene 1,1-DichloroethyleneTrichloroethylene 2,4,6- Trichlorophenol Non-Carcinogens: Acenaphthene Anthracene Antimony Beryllium 2-Chlorophenol 2,4-Dichlorophenol 2,4-Dinitrophenol Fluoranthene Fluorene Pyrene Thallium

15 Flow Chart Describing the Process Followed for Developing Proposed Surface Water Quality Criteria for Florida 1. Risk Analysis Assumed all waters of the State at maximum allowable concentration Calculated risks for various populations exposed through the oral (drinking and fish consumption), dermal, and inhalation routes) 2. Selection of Appropriate Level of protection The population selected for evaluating risks was that composed of all adults, irrespective of race or ethnicity, consuming Florida (marine nearshore and freshwater) fish, and assumed to be exposed during their entire lifetime (70 years) The 90th percentile of the risk distribution was selected as the target for affording appropriate protection (an excess lifetime cancer risk of one in one million or a non- carcinogenic hazard quotient of one) 3. Revision of the Surface water Standard: Selection of a new fish consumption rate assumption Fish consumption data for Florida indicate that Floridians ingest significantly more fish than what it was previously assumed (6.5 g/d) and than what the U.S. EPA currently recommends (17.5 g/d) These data show that a consumption value between 40 and 60 g/d may be justified The Risk Analysis showed that, for contaminants for which fish consumption contributes almost exclusively to exposure, the fish consumption assumption will have to be increased by about seven-fold in order to bring the 90th percentile risk to the acceptable level of protection A value of 47 g/d was selected as the new fish consumption assumption, which roughly corresponds to a seven-fold increase from the value previously used (6.5 g)

16 Flow Chart Describing the Process Followed for Developing Proposed Surface Water Quality Criteria for Florida 4. Revision of the Surface Water Standard: Selection of an appropriate adjustment factor to account for non-oral exposures The Risk Analysis showed that non-oral exposures (i.e., through the skin and through inhalation) can be of significance for several chemicals An adjustment on the fish consumption assumption does not bring these chemicals to the desired level of protection, therefore, and additional factor must be included when calculating the new standard Risks were calculated for the same population as mentioned in 2. a, but using the new fish consumption assumption as input. –For chemicals whose exposures are dominated by the oral route, the 90th percentiles now calculated are roughly on target –The 90th percentile value provides a measure of the adjustment that is needed to bring all chemicals to the same levels of protection The 90th percentile calculated using the new fish consumption assumption corresponds to the adjustment factor, or “oral route relative contribution” factor expressed in reciprocal form. 5. Revision of the Surface Water Standard: Calculation of a final proposed surface water standard Calculation of the new standard used as input the new fish consumption rate assumption of 47 g/d For each chemical, a chemical-specific “oral route relative contribution” factor was used for calculation of the standard

17 Revisions to Human Health Based Water Quality Criteria Proposed Criteria See Handout. Compared to current criteria, Beryllium and 1,1-Dichloroethylene are higher for Class I, II and III waters. Chloroform is higher in Class I waters. The rest are lower (more stringent)

18 Revisions to Human Health Based Water Quality Criteria Teleconferences ongoing with interested parties to resolve remaining issues. Criteria may see one more revision. Anticipated completion date: December 2005

19 Triennial Review

20 Triennial Review – Specific Conductance , the Friends of Perdido Bay petitioned the Department to change the specific conductance Rule (23), F.A.C., for Class III freshwaters. 2.The petition stated that the upper limit of 1275 micromhos/cm is much too high for freshwater streams of north Florida which usually have a background conductance of 50 to 70 micromhos/cm. 3.We now have data to support a revision of the Specific Conductance criteria based on loss of sensitive macroinvertebrate taxa. 4.During the Triennial Review process we will take public comment on the appropriate limits for this new Specific Conductance criterion.

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22 Triennial Review - Ammonia 1.Proposing the adoption of the EPA criterion for un-ionized ammonia in saltwater. 2.Criterion protects aquatic life from the chronic toxic effect of un-ionized ammonia. This is not a nutrient standard. 3.Currently, Florida has a criterion for un-ionized ammonia in fresh waters. 4.A marine standard for un-ionized ammonia will focus attention on ammonia toxicity problems sooner in the permitting process. 5.Opposed last Triennial Review by the regulated community who believe the criterion is unnecessary and will be expensive to implement. The Open Ocean Dischargers believe the criterion is not applicable in the open ocean and that the cost to implement the new standard will be significant without providing any significant environmental benefit.

23 Triennial Review - SSACs Site-Specific Alternative Criteria: 1.Deletion of the phrase “man-induced conditions which cannot be controlled or abated” from Type I SSACs 2.Add allowance for “alternative demonstrations” under Type II SSACs. 3.Add a third Site-Specific Alternative Criteria (SSAC) Option to , F.A.C., allowing the Secretary to approve SSACs for wetlands.

24 Triennial Review - UAAs Use Attainability Analysis Add the 40 CFR (g) Use Attainability Factors for reclassification of waters not meeting designated uses to , F.A.C.

25 40 CFR (g) Use Attainability Factors 1.Naturally occurring pollutant concentrations prevent the attainment of the use; or 2.Natural, ephemeral, intermittent or low flow conditions or water levels prevent the attainment of the use, unless these conditions may be compensated for by the discharge or sufficient volume of effluent discharges without violating State water conservation requirements to enable uses to be met; or 3.Human caused conditions or sources of pollution prevent the attainment of the use and cannot be remedied or would cause more environmental damage to correct than to leave in place; or 4.Hydrologic modifications preclude the attainment of the use, and it is not feasible to restore the water body to its original condition or to operate such modification in a way that would result in the attainment of the use; or 5.Physical conditions related to the natural features of the water body, such as the lack of a proper substrate, cover, flow, depth, pools, riffles, and the like, unrelated to water quality, preclude attainment of the aquatic life protection uses; or 6.Controls more stringent than those required by sections 301(b) and 306 of the Federal Clean Water Act would result in substantial and widespread economic and social impact.

26 Triennial Review - Variances Variances are Temporary Changes to Water Quality Criteria. We propose to add a third method to , F.A.C. allowing permit applicants to obtain a temporary change to water quality standards when circumstances satisfy one of the 40 CFR (g) use attainability factors.

27 Triennial Review - Arsenic Revise Class I water quality criteria for Arsenic to agree with current drinking water regulations. from < 50 micrograms/L to < 10 micrograms/L

28 Triennial Review - Fecal and Total Coliform Revise the Fecal Coliform criteria to delete the 800 counts/100 mL single sample maximum. Delete the Total Coliform criteria. The Total Coliform criteria are seldom used except in the drinking water program. The Drinking Water Standards contain appropriate Total Coliform limits.

29 Triennial Review - Cadmium EPA has updated their Clean Water Act 304(a) ambient criteria for Cadmium. We propose to adopt the new EPA total recoverable Cadmium criteria. Cadmium limits will become more stringent.

30 Triennial Review – Secondary Drinking Water Standards 1.Eliminate the secondary drinking water standards for iron, fluoride, chloride, and total dissolved solids from the Class I surface water quality criteria in , F.A.C. 2.EPA regulations do not require secondary drinking water criteria to be included in surface water quality standards. 3.The Class I aquatic life designated use will still be protected with a higher criterion for iron and fluoride.

31 Triennial Review and You The Water Quality Standards and Special Projects Section is responsible for the Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards. Send proposed revisions to Chapter , F.A.C. to


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