Environmental Groups Sue State to Stop Water Pollution Rules

Algae bloom in the Caloosahatchee River at Franklin Lock, June 17, 2008. (Photo courtesy John Cassani/EarthJustice)
TALLAHASSEE (2011-12-1) -

Several environmental groups, including the Florida Sierra Club and EarthJustice, have filed a lawsuit to challenge the state's new proposed water pollution standards.

The “numeric nutrient criteria” came about as a result of a 2008 lawsuit brought by environmental groups represented by environmental law firm Earthjustice; they contented that Florida was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Though the federal EPA was set to draft its own set of standards to be implemented in Florida, the agency recently agreed to allow the state to develop its own rules, which the EPA must still approve. Members of the Florida Water Coalition contend the standards drafted by the state Department of Environmental Protection are so poor that they “would actually be less protective than no numeric nutrient standards.”

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