Trial began today in Miami in a federal lawsuit over alleged contamination of Lake Okeechobee. A coalition of environmental groups says the South Florida Water Management District is illegally back-pumping polluted agricultural run-off from the Everglades Agricultural area into Lake Okeechobee. It says under a provision of the federal Clean Water Act, a permit is required to move that water. But water managers say the environmental groups are misinterpreting the clean water act...that no permit is required. Attorney for the District Scott Glazier says a ruling for the plaintiff’s could have a substantial ripple effect.
It could have an impact all over the country. Big water users in the west depend on big transfers of water to fulfill needs for drinking water. If you get an adverse ruling, it could applied across the country and wreak havoc throughout the country – that’s why there’s significant consequences
Environmental groups say the back-pumping threatens human health as well as plants and animals. Testimony is expected to last two weeks.
Monday, 09 January 2006 00:00