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Water-Related News

Ag Commissioner Sees Hope for Water Truce with EPA

Saying Florida needs "good science to make good decisions," state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam suggested Friday that the battle with Washington over water-quality standards might be easing.

"There will be new regulations," Putnam told the Florida Water Forum in Orlando. "The only question is, will Florida make the right decisions for Florida, or will they come from a judge and the EPA while the rest of the states get off scot-free?"

But instead of fighting the federal Environmental Protection Agency's costly and controversial "numeric nutrient criteria," Putnam said the state should develop its own NNC standards.

Arguing that Florida has the most sophisticated and detailed water-quality data in the nation, the commissioner indicated that the EPA may be willing to at least listen.

"We have the data. The EPA just put its spin on it. We have our narrative approach that, I hope, the EPA will decide is acceptable," he said. ...