Florida coalition fights pending federal pollution rules

After losing on the legal front, a powerful coalition of agriculture and business interests, wastewater utilities, water managers and tax watchdogs is mounting a lobbying assault on pending federal rules that could force Florida to clean up pollution fouling lakes, canals, streams and beaches statewide.

The target: A settlement a federal judge in Tallahassee approved last week in a lawsuit brought by five environmental groups against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

It requires that federal regulators, for the first time, step in and set a state's water quality standards for nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that flow into waterways from fertilized lawns, sewage plants, farms fields, cattle pastures and a host of other sources.

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