Title

An Analysis of Phosphorus Reduction Regulation for the Lake Okeechobee Drainage Basin

Date of Award

5-16-2005

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy And Management

Degree Name

Master of Environmental Policy And Management

Department

Environmental Policy And Management

Advisor

Barron Douglas Farquhar

Keywords

Eutrophication -- Florida -- Okeechobee, Lake -- Prevention; Lake Okeechobee; non point source regulation; Nonpoint source pollution -- Florida -- Okeechobee, Lake; Okeechobee, Lake (Fla.) -- Environmental conditions; Phosphorous -- Environmental aspects -- Florida -- Okeechobee, Lake; phosphorus; Pollution prevention -- Law and legislatio

Abstract

During the last century the phosphorus concentration in Lake Okeechobee has more than doubled, reaching an all time high in 1988. In an effort to minimize nutrient impacts to the lake, the Lake Okeechobee (LOK) Works of the District (WOD) regulatory program was enacted in 1989. After 15 years the program has failed to reduce phosphorus non-point source runoff by the mandated 40% and subsequent legislation has been passed in an effort to reduce phosphorus loads by 77% in order to comply with the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limit. The purpose of this paper is to review policies affecting phosphorus load to Lake Okeechobee and determine if the LOK WOD program should undergo rule making in order to comply with recent legislation. Review of the structure, administration, and enforcement of the 1989 LOK WOD rule are provided in order to determine if the proposed amendments will reduce phosphorus loading by the necessary 77%. In conclusion, recommendations are provided as to how government officials can work together to achieve reduced nutrient inputs to LOK for the benefit of the lake's fragile ecosystems.

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