National News

Judge won't end decades-old Everglades cleanup oversight

By CURT ANDERSON
Posted: Feb. 11, 2019 7:00 am Updated: Feb. 11, 2019 4:07 pm

MIAMI (AP) A judge has refused to end a decades-old court order that oversees water quality in the Florida Everglades.

Miami U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno on Monday rejected a motion by the South Florida Water Management District to end a decree signed in 1992. Among other things, the order sets thresholds for the amount of phosphorous in the Everglades, an ingredient in fertilizer from the vast sugar-growing regions to the north.

The water district and sugar growers say the decree is outdated and thwarts projects that would benefit the Everglades. The U.S. government, environmental groups and an Indian tribe disagree, saying the decree is key to pursuing potential violations and ensuring the cleanup projects get built.

Moreno noted the district governing board is being changed by new Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.