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A coalition of environmentalists, which included the St. Johns Riverkeeper and Sierra Club, today announced they have filed a legal challenge against a set of water pollution standards that have been drafted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
A group of environmentalists — including the Sierra Club and the St. Johns Riverkeeper — announced today that they have filed a legal challenge to a set of water pollution standards drafted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
The “numeric nutrient criteria” emerged as a consequence of a lawsuit filed in 2008 by environmental groups, which was represented by the environmental law firm Earthjustice. They argued that Florida violated some provisions of the Clean Water Act.
While the federal EPA is still about to draft its own group of standards to be implemented in the state of Florida, the agency lately agreed to permit the state to craft its own rules, which must still be approved by the EPA.
Members of the Florida Water Coalition, in a recent handout, alleged that the standards developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are so inferior that they “would actually be less protective than no numeric nutrient standards.”
A petition seeking to invalidate those rules was filed today by environmental groups.
St. Johns Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon said, “The DEP’s decision to weaken pollution standards is an economic slap in the face to the thousands of Floridians who work in the tourism industry. This pollution hurts people who work in restaurants, hotels, beach concessions, the fishing industry, the boating industry, the dive industry, and the real estate sales and rental markets.”
Florida businesses suffered with the inundation of St. Johns with algal blooms and fish kills, which were believed to be caused by excess nutrients.