Voluntary Agreement to Maintain Bay Water Quality Sent to Regulators
A landmark agreement between 32 area government and private industry representatives to limit nitrogen pollution in Tampa Bay has been sent to regulators and local authorities for approval.
The agreement, two years in the making, spells out how much nitrogen can enter Tampa Bay through stormwater, air pollution, treated wastewater, and industrial discharges through 2012. The limits will maintain nitrogen loadings to the bay at existing levels; additional nitrogen associated with growth must be offset through additional pollution controls.
The Tampa Bay Estuary Program guided this proactive effort to help its partners meet stricter federal and state requirements for controlling nitrogen levels in Tampa Bay. Excess nitrogen is a major problem for the bay, leading to algae blooms and reduced water clarity.
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