MIAMI (AP) - A federal judge in Miami has ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and not the state of Florida should lead the way restoring the Everglades.
U.S. District Judge Alan Gold's decision Tuesday gives the EPA greater authority over water discharge permits for farms and businesses. Key to preservation efforts is reducing the phosphorous dumped into the vast wetlands. Phosphorous is an ingredient in many fertilizers used by sugar growers.
Gold's 76-page ruling was harshly critical of state restoration efforts, including Gov. Rick Scott's recent request that EPA drop numeric limits for nutrients such as phosphorous. Gold says EPA is in the best position to implement the Clean Water Act in the Everglades free from political pressure.
Everglades restoration has been the subject of court battles for 25 years.