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McCollum sues the feds over new water rules

Flanked by the incoming attorney general and incoming agriculture commission, Attorney General Bill McCollum announced Tuesday that the state is suing the federal government for imposing an "unfair" and "capricious" water quality rule.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Pensacola, alleges that the rule by the federal Environmental Protection Agency is "not based on scientifically sound methodology" and were adopted "just to settle a lawsuit" by environmental groups and citizens.

Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi and the newly-elected Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said they will continue to lawsuit because they view the newly announced rules a violation of Florida's rights.

The federal government announced in November new water pollution standards that set specific numeric caps on pollutant levels for Florida lakes and rivers. Earthjustice attorney David Guest, who filed the original lawsuit against the federal government for failing to enforce the federal Clean Water Act, said the challenged by the Republican attorney general on behalf of landowners and agricultural interests was expected.

"The lawsuit is a waste of taxpayer dollars,'' Guest said in a statement. "Instead of protecting public health, the state is usuing our tax dollars to side with polluters."

He said that the standards are designed to keep "poorly treated sewage, fertilizer and animal waste out of public waters."

But Putnam, and current Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, said that the new rules will be too expensive.

"It's going to cost the taxpayerse of this state billions and billions,'' Bronson said. He said the rules appeared to single out Florida for toughter water quality standards than other state and were based on inaccurate science.

The suit was filed in the same court that McCollum hand selected for another lawsuit against the federal government, the state's challenge to the federal health care reform plan.

Comments

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Patti Lynn

Remember the old ad, "Pay me now or Pay me later,? The pollution rules are designed to protect the drinking, irrigation, and recreational water in our state. If the water is allowed to contain an unhealthy amount of pollutants and carcinogens, Floridians will become ill. Shame on McCollum, Bondi, and Putnam. Our state does not have enough money for education, children's health care, medicare, or medicaid. People are going hungry. Do these folks not understand that this is NOT their money that they're spending on this frivolous lawsuit?? It is coming out of the pockets of working people. STOP the political stupidity.

ralph

I agree, this is another example!


"In their quest to reduce regulations, particularly on businesses, Gov.-elect Rick Scott and Florida's new legislative leaders are taking aim at a whole range of environmental protection efforts."


"Their first target was a new law requiring every homeowner and business with a septic tank to pay for an inspection every five years. Untreated human waste leeching from Florida's estimated 500,000 broken septic tanks contributes to health warnings across the state and chokes waterways with algal blooms."

D Moore

When they put diapers on the 1.5 million cattle in florida, then ask me about my septic tank.

Wetlandman

Its time for Florida to Clean up its act.
McCollum and Republicans want the right for their buddies to pollute the water of all Floridians so that a few may profit. The citizens of Florida who deserve safe clean water and an unpolluted environment should far outweigh any other Stakeholders in this fight, yet the AG is fighting for the rights of Industry, namely sugar, to continue to pollute our waters.
EPA standards are based on sound science and have been implemented by almost every state except ours where we allow the profits of the few to override the health and sustainability of the many.

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