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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Effort to block EPA water pollution rules for Florida intensifies in Washington

8

March

As foreshadowed last week, Sen. Marco Rubio is going to try to get the Senate to stop new water pollution regulations for Florida.

Rubio sent a letter to budget chief Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-HI, and top budget Republican Thad Cochran, R-Miss., calling on the Senate to include in any budget resolution an amendment by Rep. Tom Rooney defunding the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement of the so-called numeric nutrient regulations.

"It would be imprudent to allow the EPA to move forward with these regulations without further review of the many unanswered questions, particularly given the substantial regulatory and financial consequences that would burden the state of Florida," the letter reads. "By maintaining Section 4035, in time, we will be able to sufficiently address the many concerns raised and ensure that there is confidence in the regulatory regime being promoted by the EPA as we work to address water quality in the State of Florida."

Separately, a group of 57 businesses, interest groups and local governments sent a letter to Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson asking them to strip out funding for the EPA regulations. The letter is attached.

Nelson has worked to delay the regulations himself. His office said today that he has not signed on to Rubio's effort, but said Nelson will meet this week with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to learn more about the "science" behind the proposal.

"Right now, his main question is the charge by critics that the science is flawed," spokesman Dan McLaughlin said in an e-mail. "He wants to find out for himself more about the science in question."

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[Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 2:33pm]

    

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