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Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio in a real turf battle

The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance -- a new group based in Miami -- is thanking senators Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio and others for sending a letter to the EPA, in defense of turf.

The letter, the alliance says, expresses the senators "concerns with the outdoor criteria of the WaterSense Single Family New Homes Specification."

WaterSense is an EPA program to increase water and energy conservation. But lawn care groups are taking exception to an EPA report that encouraged homebuilders to install water-efficient landscapes in new homes, giving contractors "the option of designing the landscaped areas to use a regionally appropriate amount of water … or to design the landscaped areas to contain no more than 40 percent turfgrass."

Jesus "Chuy" Medrano, president of the alliance says the EPA "fails to recognize the many positive environmental attributes of turf, including oxygen generation, carbon sequestration, storm water run-off abatement, and ambient temperature reduction among others, and in doing so is causing harm to the environment and killing jobs."