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Statement By:
Tom Feeney, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Federal Ruling on Numeric Nutrient Criteria Lawsuit

February 20, 2012

“Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) and Florida’s business community are pleased with the recent federal ruling supporting the position that Florida knows how best to manage its own waters and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has indeed overreached its authority when it comes to the protection of our state’s streams and rivers.

The ruling issued by United States District Judge Robert Hinkle upholds the EPA lakes and springs standards that closely align with Florida’s established Numeric Nutrient Criteria. However, the Court found the EPA’s conflicting standards for our streams and rivers to be arbitrary and capricious as the EPA administrator did not base criteria for rivers and streams on sound science or demonstrate that any levels other than that which she established were certain to be harmful to the flora, fauna and other elements of the environment.

We congratulate the State of Florida, Attorney General Pam Bondi and members of the AIF-led Numeric Nutrient Criteria Task Force who argued in federal court that Florida was already doing the right thing in terms of monitoring levels of phosphorus and nitrogen in our flowing waters and our water quality standards should only be based on Florida’s decades of sound, scientific data.  

AIF looks forward to our continued efforts to work in partnership with the federal government to ensure there will be clean water for future generations of Floridians without laying a heavy and unnecessary financial burden on businesses and governments that would be responsible for meeting the subjective water quality standards suggested by the EPA.”