Published: Dec 01, 2011 9:25 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Five environmental groups are challenging a water pollution rule the state has drafted as an alternative to tougher federal regulations proposed for Florida.
    
Both are designed to curtail toxic algae blooms that are choking Florida waters. They kill fish and make humans sick.
    
The environmental groups filed their challenge Thursday with the state Division of Administrative Hearings.
    
The federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed numeric nutrient standards to settle a lawsuit by environmentalists.
    
The state drew up its own version after utility, agriculture and other interests complained the federal rule would be too expensive.
    
The EPA has since given the state's alternative tentative approval.
    
The environmental groups say it's too weak to protect state waters and public health.

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