EPA Follows Court Lead and Rejects Florida’s Flawed Water Standards
October 3, 2005
Thanks to a Sierra Club lawsuit, Florida's most heavily polluted waters will now get more attention. Following a federal court decision that ruled that the Bush administration had not done its job to protect Florida’s waters, the Environmental Protection Agency in early October followed suit and struck down Florida’s controversial Impaired Waters Rule. The rule had been used by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to remove polluted waters from the state’s cleanup list by changing the listing requirements instead of cleaning up the pollution as required under federal law. By getting rid of the rule, the EPA reinstates tougher water quality standards which will apply to all of the state’s rivers, lakes, and other water bodies.
October 8, 2004
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Bush administration is not doing its job to protect Florida’s waters from pollution. The decision comes in response to Sierra Club’s challenge of a Florida regulation known as the Impaired Waters Rule (IWR). The appellate court found that the Bush administration could not merely accept Florida’s word that the IWR was not weakening water quality standards. This decision is critical because Florida has used the IWR to cut more than 100 rivers, lakes and bays from its pollution cleanup list, including waters with fish consumption advisories due to mercury which is known to cause serious health effects. Among other waters, the impaired waters rule has negatively affected Tampa Bay, Lake Kissimmee, Peace River, Escambia River, and the Ochlockonee River.
Details and Documents:
Cleaner rivers-- on paper
December 11, 2005, Mike Salinero, Tampa Tribune
Opinion: State DEP takes lax stance on waterways
October 16, 2005, by Linda Young, Miami Herald
EPA Rejects Florida's Water Standards
October 7, 2005, by Mike Salinero, The Tampa Tribune
Environmentalists Praise EPA Decision Against Florida Water Rule
October 7, 2005, by Associated Press, WFTV 9
Selling out Florida's environment
October 8, 2004, by John J. Glisch, Florida Today
You can read the full decision by the 11th Circuit by clicking here.
Court Rules Bush Administration Failed to Protect Florida Waters
October 5, 2004
Revoking Florida's Free Pass to Pollute: Taking Away Water Permitting Rights
Bush Administration Hypocritical on Mercury Pollution
See other "Safeguarding Communities" cases.