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Miccosukee Tribe of Indians v. United States

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20205
Nos. No. 04-21448, (S.D. Fla., 07/29/2008)

A district court held that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it concluded that amendments to Florida's Everglades Forever Act complied with the Clean Water Act (CWA). The amendments extended the December 31, 2006, compliance deadline for meeting the phosphorus criterion for at least 10 more years. In so doing, the Florida Legislature changed water quality standards under the CWA and violated its fundamental commitment and promise to protect the Everglades. Turning a "blind eye," EPA determined that there was no change in water quality standards. EPA is "patently wrong" and acted arbitrarily and capriciously in reaching its conclusion. The Agency further compounded its error in its subsequent review of the state's phosphorus rule. EPA again failed to adhere to the mandates of the CWA and properly analyze whether the rule was a "blanket change" to the previously approved December 31, 2006, compliance deadline. The court, therefore, ordered EPA to re-review the Everglades Forever Act amendments and the phosphorus rule.