MIAMI HERALD: Florida’s ‘landmark’ water law sure looks familiar

Miami Herald: Written by Jenny Staletovich. January 29, 2016.

In 2000, amid a flurry of state and federal pledges to clean up the ailing Everglades, Florida passed a law hailed as a landmark and key to an ambitious $8 billion restoration plan: the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act.

The legislation ordered up a strategy to deal with decades of pollution pouring into the lake from farms, pastures and stormwater pipes around its rim. Lawmakers, reacting in part to public outcry over ghastly ulcers breaking out on fish in coastal rivers, set a January 2015 goal to sharply reduce damaging nutrients flowing into a vast lake that historically flowed into the River of Grass.

The deadline passed unmet. So this month, the Florida Legislature rammed through another law, hailed once again as a landmark by one of its authors — but disappointingly familiar to environmentalists and longtime Everglades restoration advocates.

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