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Clean Water Network Drops Federal Challenge

Florida Clean Water Network

Activists are abandoning a federal challenge of Florida’s water quality standards after the Trump Administration refused to step in.

Florida Clean Water Network head Linda Young claims relaxed standards for some cancer-causing substances, including benzene, threaten human health.

But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is refusing to order a rewrite while other legal challenges are pending.

Young says it’s pointless to sue the EPA after Trump promised to ease regulations.

“Bad cases make bad law and that’s what we’re looking at here if we move forward with a mandatory duty lawsuit right now, is that we’ll get some bad law out of it.”

Young filed the federal challenge before Trump took office. Florida regulators claim the new standards, which cover previously unregulated chemicals, are perfectly safe.  

A state hearing officer dismissed an initial challenge on technical grounds without ruling on the merits of the complaint.

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.