The mandate in the regulatory arena comes even as a legal donnybrook continues to unfold in Florida, where environmentalists sued the federal government to force a standard to be put in place for that state.
As a result of the standard, Florida state, local governments, industry and wastewater treatment plants filed multiple legal challenges, saying the standard is unrealistic and too costly to meet.
Ostermiller says Utah is already working with numerous groups such as the agricultural industry and others to address nutrient overload. And while wastewater treatment plants have systems in place to remove nutrients, upgrades or new systems would remove more of them.
"The writing's kind of on the wall," Ostermiller said. "All states are in various stages of developing nutrient criteria. In our region, the surrounding states, Colorado is proposing criteria. They are at the tail end of where we hope to be a year from now."
Ostermiller says Utah's goal is to craft a nutrient criteria plan that is workable and avoids the pitfalls of Florida.
"We have tried to draft an approach that avoids as many of those problems that we can."
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