The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District are not doing enough to reduce pollution in the Everglades. That’s the ruling of a federal judge in Miami this week. The case involves phosphorous levels in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge—southeast of Lake Okeechobee. The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians and a consortium of environmental groups filed suit… claiming D-E-P and local water managers weren’t living up to a 1991 agreement. It required a reduction of phosphorous levels by 2006—as part of Everglades restoration. The judge agreed. Lead Attorney for Earthjustic—which helped file the suit—David Guests says the judge agreed with the tribe.
“The judge is saying that the water management district and the DEP made explicit commitments – by way of a judicially approved consent decree (that they agreed to in writing) – and they’re not keeping their agreements. And the court is saying that a promise made is a dept unpaid.”
Phosphorous is a nutrient—which flows into the Loxahatchee from nearby agriculture and suburban yards. Speaking to the Miami-Herald, DEP Secretary Colleen Castille said—quote—“Florida remains steadfast in its commitment to clean up and restore America’s Everglades and will not deviate from the path of progress.”
Friday, 03 June 2005 01:00