TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge is signing off on water pollution rules, but environmentalists are blasting the ruling and say they may appeal the decision.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled Tuesday that state and federal authorities can move ahead with an agreement that lets the state set rules designed to head off contamination that leads to toxic algae blooms.
It's the latest chapter in a long-running battle over the regulation of the state's lakes, rivers as well as some estuaries.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and state environmental officials hailed the decision.
But environmentalists said the ruling means Clean Water Act protections will not apply to most Florida waters.
David Guest, an attorney with Earthjustice, said the state's rules aren't working and that there are toxic slime outbreaks happening across the state.