Gov. Rick Scott prematurely claimed victory Tuesday on saving what remains of the Everglades.
The governor was in Palm Beach County to sign House Bill 7065, which puts into law the state’s revised plan to clean up water that flows into the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and Everglades National Park. In 1994, when the Legislature passed the Everglades Forever Act after a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice, the state pledged that by 2006 runoff from farms no longer would harm Everglades animal and plant life. The new deadline is 2026, and HB 7065 not only reduces the cleanup cost on sugar growers who cause much of the pollution, it gives the growers a chance to stop paying altogether in 13 years — even if the water isn’t clean enough.
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