To protect our watersheds, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revised the biosolids rule, Chapter 62-640, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), which became effective on August 29, 2010. Also, during the 2007 Florida Legislative session, portions of Section 373.4595, Florida Statute, were revised to impose new regulatory requirements for domestic wastewater residuals land applied in the Lake Okeechobee, St. Lucie River, and Caloosahatchee River watersheds. This is known as the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Act.
The statute requires applicants for biosolids land application sites located in either the St. Lucie River or Caloosahatchee River watersheds to demonstrate that the nutrients in biosolids do not add nutrient loadings in the watersheds. This demonstration is based on achieving a net balance between imports of the nutrients relative to the exports in products generated on the site. These changes were made by the Department to improve accountability and management of land application sites, address nutrient issues, address public and county concerns and foster public confidence in the beneficial use of biosolids.
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