Florida and the U.S. EPA have been skewered by a federal judge for their Everglades cleanup efforts (or rather, lack thereof). In 2003, Florida pushed back a deadline for reducing phosphorus pollution in the River of Grass from 2006 to 2016. By doing so, the state “violated its fundamental commitment and promise to protect the Everglades,” U.S. District Judge Alan Gold ruled Tuesday. He also turned his Gavel of Shame on the EPA, saying the agency violated the Clean Water Act by not holding Florida to its deadline. The EPA turned a “blind eye” in concluding that the delay meant no change in water-quality standards, said Gold, and was “patently wrong and acted arbitrarily and capriciously.” The ruling forces the EPA to review Florida’s water-pollution standards for the Everglades and determine whether they pass federal muster.
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