Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Calusa Waterkeeper submitted a petition on May 23 to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to initiate rulemaking to adopt water quality criteria for cyanotoxins produced by blue-green algae. SCCF received notice on June 25 that DEP granted the petition which means that it will consider developing cyanotoxin criteria during this triennial review.
“We are very pleased that DEP has granted our petition,” said SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel, “and will consider adopting criteria for cyanotoxins as part of the current, triennial review rule development process, as our meetings with staff earlier in the year did not intend to include cyanotoxins.”
SCCF has been meeting with DEP on water quality priorities in the triennial review process and highlighted the need for cyanotoxin standards to be included. This spring they indicated they did not intend to include cyanotoxin standards in this triennial review. Following the devastating water conditions our region suffered last year we joined the petition to the Department. The good news resulting from this decision is that DEP will now consider rulemaking as part of the current triennial review. This is a timely action on the part of the Department as EPA has released its final recommendations. View the Petition here.
SCCF will stay engaged and share dates of upcoming public workshops on DEPs triennial review expected later this summer.