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Democrats want state panel to reject water standards plan

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(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida's congressional Democrats say proposed changes going before a state commission will hurt the quality of the state's waterways.

The Democratic lawmakers issued a statement Monday asking the state's Environmental Regulation Commission to reject a proposal they say will lower standards and allow higher levels of some toxic substances in surface waters.

"Polluting our state's water systems could have severe consequences, including posing serious health risks by contaminating our drinking water, harming our state's renowned seafood industry with higher than acceptable levels of contaminants, and impairing our already struggling tourism sector," the Democratic congressional delegation said.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has maintained that the proposal would strengthen the state standards overall, as many of the chemicals under consideration aren't currently regulated.

The commission is scheduled to review the proposal Tuesday.