"The everglades are a national treasure and a world heritage site. We can't let the sugar companies ruin it," said Earthjustice attorney David Guest. "The cleanup program has major failings and a special master will find out why and explain it to the court. "
The judge announced he'd issue another order within ten days identifying the person chosen as a special master. The judge indicated the special master will be a scientific expert who is well versed in environmental law.
Florida's pledge to reduce the phosphorous was pushed back from an original date of 2002 to the current date of 2006. In June Governor Jeb Bush signed a law reneging on the state's commitment to the 2006 cleanup date and substituting the year 2016. The special master is expected to help the judge determine the technical feasibility of achieving the 2006 date. The special master is also expected to help the judge resolve factual disputes about how the clean-up program is working.
"This case will start moving fast because the special master will turn a bright light on why the cleanup is getting stalled" said Earthjustice attorney Monica Reimer.