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Former Fla. DEP heads oppose EPA water settlement

By Staff | Nov 12, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Two former state environmental secretaries are opposing an agreement by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to set surface water pollution standards for Florida.

They joined organizations that represent Florida businesses Tuesday in warning residents that meeting the standards could cost tens of billions of dollars to upgrade wastewater treatment facilities.

The EPA plans to set standards for farm and urban runoff as part of a lawsuit settlement with Earthjustice.

Former environmental secretaries Virginia Wetherell and Colleen Castille said the EPA is setting nonscientific, unreachable limits which will push aside state efforts to study and clean waterways.

But Earthjustice lawyer Monica Reimer said opponents haven’t even seen what the EPA standards are and they’ll have an opportunity to challenge them once they’re set.