Sugar field pollution adds cost to Everglades plan

More than half the land Florida is poised to acquire from sugar growers has levels of pollution that could harm wildlife and cost tens of millions of dollars to clean up.

The results from an environmental assessment, outlined Thursday by South Florida water managers, added a new concern to the state's $1.34 billion bid to buy 181,000 acres of sugar fields owned by U.S. Sugar Corp.

The soil shows varying concentrations of copper, selenium, DDT and other agrochemicals -- which could complicate and increase the cost of constructing massive reservoirs and pollution treatment marshes envisioned to replace fields in the future.

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