Published: Nov 29, 2010 8:47 PM EST
Updated: Nov 29, 2010 5:47 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court won't force Florida water managers to get permits to pump contaminated water from farmland into Lake Okeechobee.

The high court refused to hear an appeal from the Friends of the Everglades, the Florida Wildlife Federation and other groups.

The 11th U.S. Court of Appeals had agreed with the Environmental Protection Agency that transferring polluted water from one navigable body to another does not require a permit.

A federal judge in 2006 had said the pumping constituted a "discharge of a pollutant" under the Clean Water Act and required the South Florida Water Management District to get a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.

The case is Friends of the Everglades v. South Florida Water Management District, 10-196.