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Water District Presses Ahead For End Of Federal Oversight Of Everglades Water Quality

Photo of a water passage cutting through green brush in the Everglades
Erich Martin
/
WFSU News

 

The South Florida Water Management District says sugar farming is no longer a threat to Everglades water in its latest motion calling for an end to federal oversight of restoration, but other organizations disagree.

The district motion is the latest in some 30 years of litigation that began when the federal government sued the state for allowing sugar farming to pollute the Everglades.

A settlement in the early 1990s led to the construction of the world’s largest treatment wetlands aimed at cleansing Everglades water of sugar farming pollution, among other remedies.

The district’s position that the work now is complete is opposed by the federal government, state Department of Environmental Protection and environmental groups.

The work targets phosphorus not nitrogen, which is at the heart of the toxic algae that gripped the state last year. Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled a sweeping spending plan on algae this week.