Tampa Bay Nitrogen Management Consortium Meeting
January 22nd, 2010
9:00 a.m. – noon
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
1. Welcome and Introductions -- (Jeff Stewart & Rob Brown, NMC Co-Chairs)
2. Announcements & General Discussion -- (Holly Greening, TBEP)
- Comments on finalized RA document, addressing FDEP comments (Link to Document)
- Update on progress of finalized signature pages from Consortium participants
3. Numeric Nutrient Criteria: Ramifications for Tampa Bay’s RA/TMDL -- (Tony Janicki, Janicki Env. & Holly Greening, TBEP)
- A review of the proposed EPA rule will be discussed with regards to the development of interim estuarine targets & estuarine criteria for Tampa Bay in 2010
4. Update on the Development of the Assimilative Capacity for TB -- (Tony Janicki, Janicki Env.)
- Preliminary analyses on determining an assimilative capacity for Tampa Bay will be discussed
5. Legislative/Monitoring Subcommittee Updates (if any)6. Discussion of next steps
- Implementation plan elements - timing for further discussion
Tampa Bay Nitrogen Management Consortium
DRAFT Meeting Summary
January 22, 2010
Prepared by E. Sherwood, TBEP
Meeting Called to Order at 9:05am
Agenda Item 1:
Mr. Rob Brown, Tampa Bay Nitrogen Management Consortium (NMC) Co-Chair, welcomed Consortium members and moved directly to Agenda Item 2.
Agenda Item 2:
Ms. Holly Greening and Mr. Ed Sherwood, Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP), quickly reviewed the Consortium’s final response to FDEP comments on the 2009 Reasonable Assurance (RA) Addendum: Allocation & Assessment Report. Changes requested by FDACs in response #24 were incorporated in the final version. Also, FDACs requested clarification to response #35 from FDEP with regards to whether the following inserted statement referred to point and nonpoint sources:
Page 61. Please include the following statement at the end of the second to last paragraph: “It is noted that FDEP will independently assess individual entities for compliance with their allocations.”
Mr. Charles Kovach (FDEP) offered the following clarification: In all likelihood, FDEP’s review of individual permit compliance for nonpoint sources would most likely align with updates to the RA and Tampa Bay loading update schedule (5-yr periods), as the Department does not have the resources to track individual compliance for these sources on an annual basis. The caveat would be a deterioration in bay conditions that would prompt an earlier review of compliance from all source allocations before the 5-yr period.
No additional clarifications were made to the document at the meeting.
Mr. Bruce DeGrove (representing Mosaic, Inc.) moved that the NMC accept the final responses and clarifications to the 2009 RA Addendum and forward it to FDEP. Motion was seconded by Mr. Irvin Kety (representing City of Largo).
- Motion was approved by consensus.
Agenda Item 3:
Mr. Tony Janicki (Janicki Env.) and Ms. Greening led a discussion on the ramifications of EPA’s recently proposed inland numeric nutrient criteria for Florida to the Tampa Bay RA/TMDL process. The discussion focused on ensuring that:
- EPA’s final inland waters criteria rule recognizes the RA/TMDL loading targets for Tampa Bay as “interim estuarine targets [Downstream Protective Loads(DPL)].”
- EPA recognizes the RA/TMDL loading targets for Tampa Bay as Estuarine Nutrient Criteria in the 2011 draft and final rules.
Mr. Kovach (FDEP) recommended that NMC input to the proposed EPA rules could be to re-calculate downstream protective values (DPVs) for inland waters based on the RA/TMDL loads. This would ensure that methodologies similar to the EPA approach for calculating inland, downstream protective values would be used. Mr. Sherwood (TBEP) commented that the NMC should be primarily interested in providing input on the downstream protective loads (DPLs) proposed by EPA because the DPLs are used to derive the DPVs for the inland waters. Mr. Kovach also suggested that the NMC’s 5-yr assessment framework should be provided as input/comparison to EPA’s 3-year frequency/duration compliance framework specified in the proposed rule.
Other comments from NMC members suggested that a letter be crafted and sent to EPA during the comment period that reiterates the NMC’s position from the Dec. 19th letter to EPA with further back-up including the following points:
- Focus letter on EPA accepting RA/TMDL loads as the DPLs for Tampa Bay
- Provide bulleted summary in letter, so that it is easily digested by EPA headquarters
- Argue that NMC RA/TMDL targets consider a response-based approach (include documentation of TB progress on the recovery of seagrasses, improving water quality, etc.)
- Provide, as background, Ben Grumbles comments on existing Tampa Bay RA/TMDL process
- Include additional documentation of NMC costs associated with existing RA/TMDL process (including actions by the participating entities)
- Include a listing of participants associated with NMC, and also acknowledge entities signing the 2009 Declarations
- Encourage EPA participation in State Estuarine Criteria workshops
- Comment on the NMC’s RA 5-year assessment framework in comparison to EPA’s proposed 3-yr compliance framework (w/ 1-yr exceedence being a violation – this ultimately results in achieving better than 60% compliance)
- Ensure that RA document becomes part of the proposed EPA rule docket
- Argue that existing actions have largely achieved the proposed DPLs
- Include discussion on maintaining TN:TP loads to address forthcoming TP criteria
- Provide more technical arguments/comparisons of RA/TMDL loads to methodologies utilized by EPA (may not be enough time to accomplish this)?
- Provide information on regional SPARROW application vs. local application of model
- Provide 2003-2007 flow-weighted concentrations in place of proposed DPVs
NMC members recommended that comments on other issues related to the proposed rule be included in subsequent letters. Most NMC participants agreed that the initial comment letter to EPA should be focused on ensuring that the Tampa Bay RA/TMDL loading targets be used as the Downstream Protective Loads in the proposed EPA rule.
NMC members further discussed how this input could most effectively be conveyed to EPA. The following suggestions were made by NMC members as approaches:
- Determine who the right EPA contacts are?
- Register to attend & speak at upcoming EPA Workshops
- Representatives from TBEP (Holly) & TBNMC (Rob & Jeff)
- Other NMC participants in support of TB process
- Encourage NMC attendance at multiple workshops
- Request an informal meeting prior to EPA workshops w/ NMC participants (if denied by EPA then document this)
- Evaluate whether a separate technical meeting can be setup between EPA Gulf Breeze staff responsible for the SPARROW modeling
- Provide local media with information related to NMC RA process (Op-ed piece from NMC co-chairs, recent fertilizer ordinances, etc.)
- Visit legislative representatives in Washington, D.C.
- Invite legislative representatives to a special NMC meeting on discussing the ramifications of the proposed numeric nutrient criteria on the current RA/TMDL process
- Solicit support from other groups (FLERA, FSA, etc.)
TBEP staff will work on drafting the letter and provide it to the NMC for their comment over the next three weeks.
NMC members further discussed the need to have either the 2009 RA Addendum peer-reviewed
Agenda Item 4:
Mr. Janicki advised the NMC that further evaluations on the assimilative capacity for Tampa Bay should be put on hold, and that the Consortium efforts should be focused on providing enough information to EPA to ensure that the RA (federally-recognized TMDL) targets for Tampa Bay are accepted as the downstream protective loads for the estuary in their proposed numeric nutrient criteria for inland waters of Florida.