Sierra Club Lawsuit

The environmental groups claim the state has abandoned water quality standards.

A circuit judge has ruled the state is wrong in not requiring permits for large commercial cattle farms.

"The judge said that the Dept. of Environmental Protection has so badly mismanaged this industry, the dairies, the large dairies that it appears that DEP has delegated a program to the dairies to regulate themselves."

The environmentalists say the farms are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the state allowing polluters to fun wild.

The Sierra Club and the National Resource Defense Council are taking the state and federal government to court. They want to force the federal government to take over the regulation of water policy that it gave to the state in 1995.

Eric Huber, Sierra Club’s attorney says, “Trend is towards worse and worse water quality. Towards more dirty rivers and streams. Towards more toxic pollution.
Towards more mercury, fish consumption advisories, the works."

Jeb Bush has appealed the ruling over the cattle runoff. He calls the decision wrong. Bush also says the groups are wrong when it comes to protecting the state’s waters.

"That's just not true. I respectfully disagree."

But the environmentalist lists point to the phosphate mess in central Florida and two paper mills that have been operating without permits for almost a decade as proof of the state’s failure. They say the court is the only place to work out their differences.

The promise of this lawsuit comes as the Legislature considers a bill to exempt run range owners from environmental laws.