Water

Appeals Court Rejects Caloosahatchee Water Case

17 hours ago

A federal appeals court Monday rejected a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ management of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River caused pollution problems in the Southwest Florida waterway.

Photo: EPA via Wikimedia Commons

A state plan to protect estuaries by moving excess water north of Lake Okeechobee underground is sparking opposition.

The plan is aimed at preventing toxic algae blooms like last summer's by disposing of excess water through some 60 deep injection wells north of Lake Okeechobee.

Blue-green algae blooms that devastated Florida's coasts last summer contained as many as 28 types of bacteria, some of which can harm humans.

On a typical spring day, when it hasn't rained in a while, about 7 million gallons of raw sewage flows into St. Petersburg's southwest water treatment plant.

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU News

Federal environmental officials said Tuesday they will not force Florida to update its standards for potable and surface waters. This response comes eight years after environmental advocates petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prepare and publish revised regulations for the state’s waters. Activists want the feds involved because state environmental officials have not updated the state’s water quality criteria in 25 years. 

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