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Clean Water Network Asks Federal Judge To Force EPA's Hand

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A Panhandle environmental group opposed to Florida’s sweeping new water quality standards is asking a federal judge to intervene.

The Florida Clean Water Network’s complaint names the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and asks a judge to force her to weigh in. Tallassee attorney David Ludder says state regulators ignored a 30-day deadline to submit the new standards to the EPA.

“It’s up to the EPA to enforce those deadlines. EPA historically has not enforced those deadlines and as a consequence, states feel that they can do whatever they want.”

A state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman said regulators are waiting for administrative challenges to be resolved. Ludder says critics are worried the state is waiting for a more sympathetic Trump Administration to take office.

Clean Water Network activist Linda Young is urging members to flood a legislative committee next week when regulators give an update on the standards to lawmakers.

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.