U.S. House Budget Vote Threatens Florida Clean-water Rule
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget bill on Feb. 19th that would stop the federal government from enforcing new clean-water rules affecting the St. Johns River and other Florida rivers and lakes.
The restriction on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was a minor amendment written into a bill that would cut overall government spending by about $60 billion through the end of September. Its implications for Florida could be dramatic, however.
Interests on opposing sides have painted EPA's efforts as either a key to reducing potentially toxic algae blooms that often cover the state's waterways or a mad rush to waste billions of dollars cleaning streams to impossibly high standards.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam are currently suing EPA over the rules.
Environmental groups will try to convince senators to let EPA enforce its rules. ...