A state appeals court has overturned an action by Florida environmental regulators, finding that state efforts to protect Florida’s bubbling natural springs fell short because they did not adequately take into account nonpoint pollution sources, such as farm fertilizers.

A panel of the First District Court of Appeals on Feb. 15 concluded that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection violated state law by not identifying pollutant loads from nonpoint sources when the agency drafted its basin management action plans.

The opinion will cause FDEP to draft new BMAPS for the springs of the Suwanne, Santa Fe and Ichetucknee rivers, in addition to Rainbow, Silver and Volusia springs, according to the Florida Springs Council, one of the plaintiffs in the litigation.

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