State and Federal Laws and Regulations

Image of a water body


State and Federal Laws and Regulations 

Due to its prevalence and movement, multiple agencies are responsible for establishing laws and regulations surrounding water. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency acts as the primary federal agency that oversees water regulations, starting with the Clean Water Act. At a state level, Florida's Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) oversees the enforcement of federal laws, state laws and programs and is responsible for the administration of water resources at the state level. Lastly, at the local level, the City and the County implements required state and federal laws as well as any local laws as established by the Board of County Commissioners. Leon County works in coordination with FDEP and the Northwest Florida Water Management District to ensure all applicable laws and regulations for water quality are followed.


Who to call about environmental concerns and to report environmentally harmful activities. For potentially life threatening emergencies dial 911. 

Concern or Activity Contact(s)
Dangerous Boating / Accidents FWCC, Division of Boating Safety
1-850-488-5600 (to report an accident) or
1-888-404-3922 (to report unsafe boating)
Algal Blooms FDEP
Fish Kill FWCC, Fish Kills
General Concerns/Complaints FDEP
Industrial Waste/Spill FDEP State Watch Office
Injured Wildlife or Illegal Activities FWCC, Wildlife Violations
or via cell phone, dial *FWC or #FWC depending on service carrier
Shoreline Alterations, Wetland Impacts FDEP
Aquatic Plant Removal FWCC
Water Pollution, Residuals Landspreading FDEP
Wetlands Issues/Dredge and Fill FDEP

Governer Ron DeSantis and Florida Agencies 

The Office of the Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, through a joint effort with the Florida Department of Envrionmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Health provides information and resources for the public to learn more about water quality. The website,, provides information on blue-green algae blooms and red tide, as well as information on key environmental projects.

The portal currently provides water quality status for three of south Florida’s major bodies, including Lake Okeechobee. 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (FDEP) Office of Water Policy plays a key role in ensuring effective implementation of FDEP's responsibilities under the Florida Water Resources Act. The Florida Water Resources Act establishes that all water in Florida is a public resource managed by the department and the five water management districts. More information on FDEP's water topic areas can be found here

2019 Florida Water Plan

The Florida Water Plan outlines FDEP's and water management districts' (WMDs) responsibilities and efforts to maintain and improve Florida's water resources.

The Northwest Florida Water Management District

Every five years, the Northwest Florida Water Management District updates a District-wide water supply assessment  to evaluate whether existing and anticipated water sources are sufficient to meet future demands while sustaining water resources and associated natural systems. If the District determines that a region's water needs are likely to exceed available water sources in the next 20 years, the District will prepare a Regional Water Supply Plan, which identifies alternatives for meeting the anticipated future water needs.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Federal Clean Water Act establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.

Drinking Water 

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the primary federal law that ensures the quality of drinking water in the United States. This law sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, localities and water suppliers who implement these established standards. 

Ground Water

Groundwater refers to water that is found underground in geological spaces in soil, sand and rocks called aquifers. Aquifers function as main sources of drinking water in many parts of Florida including Leon County. 

Impaired Waters 

Local and state governments are required to keep track of a list of water bodies that are too polluted and do not meet the standards established in the Clean Water Act. 

Surface Water: Lakes, Rivers and Streams 

Stormwater and Wastewater

Stormwater is surface water resulting from heavy rain while wastewater is water that has been used in the home, in a business, or part of an industrial process. The Environmental Protection Agency controls water from storms and sewer overflow through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)





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