An important agreement was reached Friday between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that allows the state to maintain nutrient regulations for its waterways instead of Washington-based bureaucrats.
After a protracted legal battle, state officials see the agreement as a positive step for the Florida economy that will limit the cost burden placed on farmers and other businesses while protecting our waterways. The decision is also expected to establish greater predictability that will benefit job creation.
DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard Jr. applauded the agreement, saying in a statement, “We can now move forward to implementing nutrient reduction criteria, rather than delaying environmental improvements due to endless litigation.’
Earthjustice, an environmental law firm that had sued the EPA over a delay in imposing stricter standards, said the “flawed’’ plan will still face federal court review, according to the Miami Herald.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who labeled the EPA’s previous efforts at regulating Florida’s water quality as “bullying,” released a statement calling Friday’s agreement a “significant win.”
“Keeping the EPA out of Florida on this effort is a significant win for job creators across the state,’’ Rubio said. “It will better ensure that the proper balance can be struck between protecting our water and making sure over-regulation doesn’t drive businesses and jobs out of Florida.’’
At a time when states’ rights have been under assault from an overreaching federal government, Rubio said Florida has set “a good example other states can emulate when facing similar undue pressure from EPA bureaucrats.”
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