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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Earthjustice sues feds over lake pollution



The environmental legal group Earthjustice filed suit Tuesday in federal court alleging that the federal government has intentionally weakened pollution controls on Lake Okeechobee and its tributaries and should set more stringent pollution limits.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida and Save Our Creeks, was filed in the Northern District court in Tallahassee. It alleges that when the federal Environmental Protection Agency raised the allowable amount of phosphorous pollution in the lake in -- from 77 parts per billion in 2006 to 113 parts per billion in 2008 -- it made the change to benefit the agriculture industry.

"The EPA caved to the big polluters who are destroying the lake. It's shameful,'' said Earthjustice attorney David Guest.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to order EPA to reset the process for setting the total maximum daily load - the amount of pollution allowed in the lake.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:30pm]


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