TALLAHASSEE -- The lingering dispute over new water pollution rules for Florida is moving to an administrative law court following final legislative action.
The Florida Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a bill (HB 7051) that waives a requirement for legislative approval of the two rules. It goes to Gov. Rick Scott who supports the rules.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection drafted them as a lower-cost alternative to similar numeric nutrient standards the federal government has proposed for Florida.
Business, agriculture and utility interests support the state’s rules, contending the Environmental Protection Agency’s version would be too costly to comply with.
Several environmental groups support the federal rules, arguing the state’s proposal is too weak to stop algae that’s clogging Florida waters.
They are challenging the state rules through an administrative complaint.