EPA gives OK to $880M Everglades clean-up plan

By MATT SEDENSKY | June 13, 2012 | 1:56 PM EDT

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Federal officials have given their approval to a 12-year, $880 million plan to clean up the Everglades.

The approval Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency came just over a week after a new plan to improve Everglades water quality was submitted by the South Florida Water Management District.

It finally cements a plan to settle lawsuits dating to 1988 over enforcement of Clean Water Act standards in the fragile ecosystem.

The plan would create five stormwater treatment areas in an effort to filter phosphorous, which comes from fertilizer and promotes the growth of unhealthy vegetation that chokes native plants.