Gov. Rick Scott to EPA: Water guidelines aren’t necessary in Florida
From The Miami Herald:
The day after the Florida House passed a bill to ban implementation of water quality standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday asked the agency to rescind a January 2009 determination that the federal rules are necessary for Florida.
Opponents of the federal requirement say the state is better equipped to decide how best to comply with the federal Clean Water Act, which is intended to manage nitrogen and phosphorous pollution of lakes, rivers, streams and bays. They say the EPA standards will be costly to implement, don’t address specific conditions of local waterways and provide little biological benefit.
According to Scott’s office, the petition sent to the EPA details eight pollution control measures already in place Florida that mirror EPA recommendations for effective water pollution control.
“Florida is one of the few states that has a comprehensive program in place to address excess nutrients, and we continue to lead the nation in developing innovative tools to ensure the health of our state’s waterways,” Scott said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working with the EPA to reach an agreement that will promote clean water standards in the way that makes the most sense for our state.”
The U.S. EPA released pollution standards for Florida waterways in December 2010 as part of a 2009 legal settlement with environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, who sued the agency for not enforcing the Clean Water Act in Florida.