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Numeric Nutrient Plan Backed in Florida Senate

From The News Service of Florida:

After years of litigation with the federal government, the Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to move forward with new water-quality standards.

The bill (SB 1808), which was approved 34-4, relates to an agreement between the DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about what are known as “numeric nutrient criteria.”

The bill has been a priority of business groups. But while it passed easily, Democrats unsuccessfully pushed an amendment that would have required the DEP to submit a report about people and animals exposed to algae blooms.

Amendment sponsor Darren Soto, D-Orlando, said such a report would indicate whether the standards are working. The amendment was opposed by bill sponsor Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, and was rejected in a voice vote.

The House version (HB 7115) is ready for floor action.

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