This article will explore a number of legal mechanisms that could play a role in ensuring that discharges from agricultural activities do not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards. Specifically, this article will evaluate the relative effectiveness of: (1) narrative nutrient criteria as compared with numeric nutrient criteria; (2) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation through regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms; and (3) the relative efficacy of design-based standards such as Best Management Practices (BMPs) and performance-based standards in reducing water pollution from agriculture. The article will draw on experiences from the State of Florida, including Everglades' restoration program and efforts, such as water quality trading programs, and efforts to reduce agricultural pollution in other states to demonstrate the efficacy of a variety of approaches. The article will suggest a multifaceted, watershed-based approach comprised of a combination of regulatory and non-regulatory tools designed to reduce nutrient pollution from agricultural run-off.
Mary Jane Angelo & Jon Morris, Maintaining a Healthy Water Supply While Growing a Healthy Food Supply: Legal Tools For Cleaning Up Agricultural Water Pollution, 62 U. Kan. L. Rev. 1003 (2014), available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/466