Judge refuses to block changes to Florida's water quality standards
An administrative law judge has refused to block the Florida Department of Environmental Protection from moving forward with new water-quality standards as legal battles continue over the controversial plan.
Judge Bram D.E Canter issued an order Monday rejecting a request by the Seminole Tribe of Florida for a stay that would have at least temporarily halted the formal process of adopting the standards. The tribe sought the stay as it pursues an appeal of an earlier ruling that tossed out a series of challenges to the standards.
In Monday's order, Canter sided with attorneys for the Department of Environmental Preservation and the state Environmental Regulation Commission who argued that the tribe was unlikely to be successful in the appeal.
"In order to prevail on a motion for stay, a party must demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits and that it will suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted," Canter wrote. "This required demonstration was not made in the (tribe's) motion."