Published: Nov 02, 2011 8:26 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The federal Environmental Protection Agency has preliminarily approved a state alternative to water pollution regulations EPA had proposed for Florida.
    
A lawyer for environmental groups says the state proposal is too weak and that it will draw a court challenge if EPA grants final approval.
    
The tentative approval came Wednesday in a letter from the federal agency to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
    
EPA had proposed its tougher rule to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the environmental groups.
    
They are represented by Earthjustice lawyer David Guest.
    
He said the state alternative would not stop outbreaks of algae blooms that have been choking Florida's waters.
    
Business and agriculture interests and some local government officials say the federal rules would be too costly to implement.
    
Environmentalists disagree.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)