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Extravagant cost estimates for water quality standards written by industry, and disputed by state

Dozens of politicians, lobbyists and industry heads have written to both the EPA and Congress to argue against new water quality standards that would force many big utilities and agricultural companies to reduce the amount of waste they dump in Florida's waterbodies. Their argument? The rules would be far too costly to follow for industries in a state already grappling with record high unemployment. But according to internal Department of Environmental Protection emails obtained by The Florida Independent, the extravagant cost estimates regularly cited by Florida leaders were crafted by an industry-dominated organization, and were routinely disputed within the department.