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Water-Related News

Environmental groups ask the feds to set Florida water quality standards for algae bloom toxins

Arguing that Florida has not adequately addressed the issue, a coalition Thursday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set water-quality standards for toxins from to algae blooms.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition at the EPA that was joined by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Calusa Waterkeeper, Friends of the Everglades, the Florida Wildlife Federation and the city of Stuart.

It seeks standards for what are known as “cyanotoxins” and says such standards are needed to meet requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.

“Federal standards are necessary because existing state standards and protocols are inadequate to protect public health from these pollutants,” the petition said. “EPA must move swiftly amid state inaction, and public policy counsels in favor of EPA exercising its authority when the state does not uphold its end of the bargain under the act’s framework of ‘cooperative federalism.’”

In recent years, Florida has faced a series of algae blooms in areas such as the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.