In March, U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas of New York ruled that pumping water out of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee to irrigate farms and then pumping nutrient-laden water back into the lake violates the Clean Water Act. Groups such as Earthjustice and the Florida Wildlife Federation filed the lawsuit in 2002 saying the South Florida Water Management District was not conforming to federal policy. The case ended up in New York after several lower court opinions and appeals. The water district may appeal the ruling. Lake Okeechobee is the source of drinking water for millions of Floridians.
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