News-press

Published: Apr 01, 2014 7:29 AM EDT

AP-FL--Lake Okeechobee-Clean Water
S Fla water managers may appeal Clean Water ruling
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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - South Florida's water managers may appeal a federal judge's ruling over the pumping of water from farmlands into public water supplies such as Lake Okeechobee.
    
Environmentalists hailed last week's ruling by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas in New York. Karas said the practice of "backpumping" violates the Clean Water Act.
    
South Florida Water Management District spokesman Randy Smith tells the News-Press (http://newspr.es/1fJBSqN ) that day-to-day operations won't immediately change while the district considers filing an appeal.
    
Smith says backpumping is rare and "used primarily for health and human safety issues during flood control operations." He also says the district's projects don't fall under a federal permit required when polluting U.S. waterways.
    
Historically, backpumping was used to provide water for fields during the dry season and to prevent flooding during heavy rains.
    
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Information from: The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press, http://www.news-press.com

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4/1/2014 6:58:35 AM (GMT -4:00)