The EPA's decision to set water pollution limits in Florida is quickly becoming a political issue -- and given the potential effect on big business and big agriculture, one that is attracting a litany of special interests.
Michael Sole, the state's Department of Environmental Protection secretary, briefed the Cabinet on Tuesday. All members, in particular Attorney General Bill McCollum who called the EPA's actions "outrageous," appear ready to go to court to challenge the federal government if they don't like the number set in January.
Already one legislative committee heard from DEP about the issue and a second group of lawmakers will get briefed this afternoon.
The forces aligned against the EPA -- led by Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, who expressed skepticism in global warming yesterday -- are making presentations with heightened rhetoric about a standard that the federal government hasn't even set yet. Likewise, the environmental groups that settled the lawsuit with the EPA continue to parade the same series of enlarged algae bloom photos to prove their point.
But in an interview, Sole clarified a few points that should quiet the crowd's draconian predictions -- if they listen.