THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, Sept. 29, 2010…….While environmental officials in Florida discussed coming federal water pollution standards Wednesday, the federal agency that wrote them agreed to delay their implementation by a month and a U.S. Senator said he’d try to block the new rules altogether.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency agreed on Wednesday to move the deadline for finalizing new numeric limits on the amount of pollution in state bodies of water from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, at the urging of the state’s congressional delegation. The delegation’s request came after 36 CEOs of Florida businesses called for a partial review of the new standards.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat who supported the delay, said the extra time will be used to collect more feedback on the standards, which follow a long legal fight between the state and environmentalists.
“I support new water standards but many Florida residents, municipalities, businesses and farmers have expressed concern about the potential cost of these standards and the validity of the science,” Nelson said in a statement.
But Nelson’s counterpart in the Senate, George LeMieux, a Republican, moved independently to altogether block the new regulations, which would allow different nutrient levels in different water bodies.
“This rule will hurt Florida’s families. It will cost our state billions of dollars, thousands of jobs, and drive up water bills,” LeMieux said Wednesday. “This is lawsuit-driven regulation without a sound scientific basis and the result will be unnecessarily catastrophic for Florida. The EPA’s actions threaten Florida’s economy and (are) unlikely to provide little, if any biological benefit.”