TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- December 2, 2012
The federal Environmental Protection Agency's split decision on new water pollution rules gives both sides in the contentious debate something to cheer and jeer about.
The EPA late Friday said it was approving rules drafted by the state for about 15 percent of Florida's 100,000 miles of waterways while adopting its own rules for the rest.
Environmental groups that sued the agency favor the EPA rules and contend the state's alternative proposal is too weak to halt pollution that's causing toxic algae blooms that are choking the state's waters.
Agriculture, business and utility interests as well as Florida officials favor the state's proposal, arguing the EPA rules would be too expensive to implement.
The agency, though, left the door open to later applying the state rules to more waterways.