Florida Thermal Discharges regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Florida Thermal Discharges: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Thermal definitions: Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 62-302.520(3)

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State enforcement: FAC 62-302.520(1)

Receiving waters: FAC 62-302.520(4)

Freshwater: FAC 62-302.520(4)(a)

Coastal waters: FAC 62-302.520(4)(b)

Open waters: FAC 62-302.520(4)(c)

Cooling ponds: FAC 62-302.520(4)(d)

Mixing zones: FAC 62-302.520(6)

Regulatory Agencies

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Division of Water Resource Management

Florida Regional Water Management Districts

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Florida has established its own specific guidelines for thermal discharges into its waters, according to a general state water classification scheme. However, in certain cases where EPA's thermal discharge requirements are not addressed, the rules under the Clean Water Act (CWA) apply.

Administration and enforcement. DEP's Division of Water Resource Management has primary responsibility for administering and enforcing the thermal discharge requirements in Florida. In addition, DEP also has general supervisory authority over the Regional Water Management Districts and delegates water resources programs to them where possible.

State Requirements


FAC 62-302.520(3)

The state has established a number of definitions that apply specifically to thermal discharges.

Ambient (natural) temperature. Ambient (natural) temperature of a receiving body of water (RBW) means the existing temperature of the receiving water at a location that is unaffected by manmade thermal discharges. In addition, the ...

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