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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Water Resource Management Program, Department of Environmental Protection, Report No. 03-12, February 2003
 
Full report in PDF format


The Water Resource Management Program of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection manages, conserves, and protects the state’s ground and surface waters. While the program met its legislative performance standards related to surface water quality and ground water quality and supply, it should be noted that various pollutants threaten Florida’s surface and ground waters. To increase the program’s effectiveness in protecting the state’s waters, several improvements are needed.
  • To address threats to surface water quality, the department is in the process of establishing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired surface water bodies.  Although its approach to developing TMDLs appears reasonable, we identified several areas in which its processes for identifying impaired water bodies and for evaluating the effectiveness of various practices in reducing pollutant loads needs to be improved.
  • The recent bankruptcy of a company that mined phosphate in Florida revealed that the state’s financial responsibility requirements do not provide adequate assurance that companies have sufficient resources to correct environmental damage caused by their operations and to close and manage facilities created to store hazardous byproducts.  To ensure that the state does not shoulder this financial burden, financial responsibility requirements for phosphate mining companies should be strengthened.
  • The department’s recent decision to consider allowing clay settling areas to be used as wetland mitigation sites is very controversial.  To ensure the success of such wetland mitigation projects, the department should continue to evaluate wetland mitigation on clay settling areas and ensure that prototype mitigation sites are successful before giving widespread approval to the practice.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Water Management Districts
Water Resource Management

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 05-42 Progress Report: Initial Steps Taken to Implement TMDL Program, Too Early to Determine Water Quality Improvements, published in August 2005.
  • Report No. 05-27 Progress Report: Department Strengthens Financial Responsibility Requirements for Phosphate Mining Companies, published in April 2005.
  • Report No. 01-65 Justification Review: Environmental Laboratory Privatization Feasible; Cost Savings Are Uncertain, published in December 2001.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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