IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 16, 2012
Mr. Rubio introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To limit the authority of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to certain numeric nutrient criteria, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
State Waters Partnership Act of
Congress finds that—
the Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly described the State of Florida as having some of the most progressive nutrient management strategies in the United States;
the Environmental Protection Agency agrees with the State of Florida that the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) envisions that States have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for State water;
the Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly referenced a desire to work cooperatively with States in the development and implementation of numeric nutrient criteria;
the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that, upon approval of numeric nutrient criteria by the State of Florida, the Administrator will promptly initiate a rulemaking to repeal federally promulgated numeric nutrient criteria;
on December 8, 2011, the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission adopted numeric nutrient criteria for fresh water bodies and estuary systems of the State of Florida, which included a firm regulatory schedule for adoption of additional marine criteria; and
the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that, if the State of Florida adopts, and the Administrator approves, numeric nutrient criteria for any water for which the Environmental Protection Agency has not yet proposed or promulgated Federal numeric nutrient criteria, the Environmental Protection Agency will not propose or promulgate corresponding Federal numeric nutrient criteria.
In this Act:
The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Florida amended rule
The term Florida amended rule means chapters 62–302 and 62–303 of the Florida Administrative Code, as approved for adoption by the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission on December 8, 2011, and submitted on December 9, 2011, to the Florida Legislature for ratification.
January 14, 2009, determination
The term January 14, 2009, determination means the determination issued by the Administrator on January 14, 2009, under section 303(c)(4)(B) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1313(c)(4)(B)), regarding numeric nutrient criteria for the State of Florida.
Numeric nutrient criteria
The term numeric nutrient criteria means specific numerical criteria for any species of nitrogen or phosphorus developed to meet the water quality requirements of section 303 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1313).
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator should—
take into account the effect of numeric nutrient criteria on the economy, job creation, consumers, municipalities, agriculture, small business, and other affected sectors, using State data, information, and independent studies to ensure accountability; and
not promulgate or enforce any numeric nutrient criteria that would result in a negative economic impact of 15 percent or higher on any such sector.
Numeric nutrient criteria
The Administrator shall not propose, promulgate, or enforce any numeric nutrient criteria for any stream, lake, spring, canal, estuary, or marine water of the State of Florida, until the Administrator makes a final determination in accordance with section 303(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1313(c)) regarding the Florida amended rule.
Withdrawal of regulations
If the Administrator determines under section 303(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1313(c)) that the Florida amended rule meets the requirements of that Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.)—
the Administrator shall not enforce, and shall withdraw, section 131.43 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation), in its entirety; and
shall not propose or promulgate any numeric nutrient criteria for any stream, lake, spring, canal, estuary, or marine water of the State of Florida based on the January 14, 2009, determination.