"TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott authorized state officials Friday to ask the federal Environmental Protection Agency to back off on water pollution rules that Florida business and agriculture interests as well as many local government officials say will be too costly to implement.
Scott's directive drew a sharp response from a lawyer for environmental groups that obtained a federal court settlement with EPA to establish the numeric nutrient limits for Florida.
"The idea there isn't a problem is absolutely ridiculous," said David Guest, a lawyer for Earthjustice. Guest said the governor's action "is political posturing in its purest form" and particularly galling because "Scott is thumbing his nose at clean water on Earth Day."
The standards, the first the agency has adopted for a state, are designed to prevent toxic algae blooms that have choked Florida waters, killing fish and sickening people. They are caused by nutrient-rich fertilizer, sewage and animal wastes."