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Clean Water Network Wading Into Standards Fray

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has lost an initial legal challenge to Florida’s controversial new water quality standards, but now the Clean Water Network is about to wade into the fray.

The state insists its new water quality standards are safe, even though they allow higher concentrations of some carcinogens, like benzene. But the Seminoles argue that’s not safe for people who eat lots of fish.

Administrative Law Judge Bram Canter dismissed the complaint for technical reasons. The state argued the challengers missed a filing deadline by two minutes.

Now Clean Water Network Executive Director Linda Young says her group is considering heading to federal court.  

“It seems, just from looking at it, and from where EPA draws the line, that Florida has gone over that line.”

The City of Miami, Martin County and a paper industry group were part of the challenge. Democrats in the Florida Congressional delegation are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to keep a close eye on the controversy.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.