The Everglades cleanup bill still would give farmers more than they deserve, but it no longer would sell out the “River of Grass.”
The Legislature must update the 1994 Everglades Forever Act to comply with the deal Gov. Rick Scott and the federal government struck last April. The act was passed after a federal lawsuit in 1988 accused the state of letting farmers pollute federal land: the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County and Everglades National Park. The public — through a tax on South Florida Water Management District property owners — and the farmers — through a separate tax on their land — pay for a program designed to make farm runoff clean enough that it no longer harms the Everglades.
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