Toxic green algae outbreaks are increasing in duration and frequency threatening our waterways and our health. The St. Johns River experienced more than 90 days of outbreaks this summer impacting more than 50% of our river. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidelines for recreational exposure to microcystin and cylindrospermopsin, two of the many potential toxins that could be used for both swimming advisories and new water quality standards.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has not made a decision whether or not to add these new water quality standards in their upcoming rulemaking process. FDEP has asked the Governor’s Blue Green Algae Task Force to deliberate the pros and cons of adding the new criteria at its meeting on Tuesday, September 24.
Waterkeepers Florida has urgently requested FDEP and the Blue Green Algae Task Force to adopt the most protective EPA toxin thresholds due to the increased frequency, duration, and severity of blue green algae toxins in Florida waterways.
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