Governor seeks Everglades delay
WEST PALM BEACH - An important deadline in Everglades restoration efforts — already pushed back four years — would be postponed six more years under a proposal by Gov. Rick Scott. In a Washington meeting with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday, Scott laid out a plan to put off a deadline to reduce the amount of phosphorous flowing into the Everglades to 10 parts per billion. The deadline was originally set for next year but was put off until 2016. Under the governor's proposal, the state would have until 2022. That change would require the approval of U.S. District Court Judge Alan Gold, who has expressed dissatisfaction with Florida's restoration efforts. In an April ruling, he said the state has "not been true stewards of protecting the Everglades in recent years."Reducing phosphorous levels requires building 22,000 acres of stormwater treatment areas to filter water flowing southward. The proposed delay was not met with applause by environmentalists. David Guest of Earthjustice, one of the environmental groups that has sued the state over the Everglades, was blunt in his assessment: "This is terrible," he told The Miami Herald. But Scott insisted, "Florida remains steadfast in its commitment to restoring America's Everglades."