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Federal lawmakers from Florida are criticizing the state’s recent decision to allow for higher levels of toxins in its waterways. They’re worried about public health because some of the toxins cause cancer.

The Florida Environmental Regulation Commission approved increased levels for about 20 different toxins in Florida surface waters, like rivers and estuaries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would still have to approve the move.

Nine members of Congress recently sent the EPA a letter voicing their concern.

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State regulators voted to allow higher levels of about 20 toxins into Florida’s waterways. And some of them are known to cause cancer. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has not updated these levels since the 1990s. The agency went ahead with this move even though a lot of Floridians are against it,  and that includes nine members of Congress. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has final say on whether or not this will happen. 

We'll speak with experts about how this vote played out and what some say are the potential risks of going through with this water toxin increase. 

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Multiple environmental advocacy groups are suing the National Park Service in federal court to stop oil and gas exploration in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

They’re concerned about how this will affect wildlife like the endangered Florida panther.

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, was in Fort Myers  on Monday discussing solutions for the Lake Okeechobee water crisis. The lake’s freshwater releases have caused damage to both coasts, including the spread of algal blooms.

Sen. Rubio said there’s momentum in Congress to get central Everglades projects approved.

These storage and treatment plans are included in the Senate’s annual water bill.

Courtesy / Rep. Patrick Murphy's Office

Federal, state and local scientists brought Florida’s freshwater crisis to Washington D.C. on Thursday.  They met with congressmen to talk about the damage.