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DEP Chief: We Followed The Rules On Water Quality

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson is insisting his department followed the book when it adopted highly controversial new water quality standards.

Senate Budget chief Jack Latvala is blasting regulators for moving up the date of a final vote on the standards. Steverson says the public was properly notified, but he won’t comment on a recent federal lawsuit filed by Panhandle activists.  

“We followed all Florida APA standards, we have to, when we do that. So we did. And that suit? I can’t comment because they’re suing EPA, they’re not suing us.”

The Florida Clean Water Network is asking a federal judge to force the federal government to either approve the standards or send Florida regulators back to the drawing board. The state says the new standards are safe, even though they are more lax for some contaminants and stricter for others.

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.