A judge rejected a request from Angelo's Aggregate for a permit to develop a landfill on the edge of the Green Swamp in Pasco County, saying the company failed to prove that the ground can be stabilized enough to limit the danger of damage to nearby water supplies.
The proposal had galvanized opponents including the cities of Zephyrhills and Tampa, and Nestle Waters North America, parent company of Zephyrhills Spring Water.
State Administrative Law Judge Bram Canter issued his recommended order Friday. The final decision will be made by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
"His wise decision to reject the proposal sends a strong message in defense of Florida's precious and irreplaceable natural resources," Kent Koptiuch, with Nestlé in Florida, said in a prepared statement.
Nestlé attorney Doug Manson had argued that if the landfill failed because of a sinkhole or other cause, a "slug of leachate" would contaminate drinking water supplies for hundreds of thousands of people - including the Hillsborough River - and cause irreparable damage to the bottled water giant.