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Clean Water Activist Praises Apellate Court Ruling

Clean Water Network

Environmentalists are hoping a recent state appellate ruling will make it easier to challenge Florida’s controversial new water quality standards.

The First District Court of Appeal didn’t weigh in on the merits of the new standards. But it reinterpreted a crucial deadline for filing legal challenges.

Even though the court technically sided with the pulp and paper industry, Clean Water Network activist Linda Young says the ruling also helps groups fighting for tougher pollution controls. The stakes, Young says, couldn’t be any higher.

“We’re talking about the discharge, the dumping of toxic chemicals into our waters that we get our drinking waters from, where we go swimming, and where we fish. These are chemicals that cause cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, birth defects…”

Earlier this year, a hearing officer dismissed the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s administrative challenge, saying it was filed two minutes too late. The court ruled the clock should have started running after the state filed technical changes.

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.