The Environmental Protection Agency approved a $880 million plan to clean up the Everglades in Florida. The plan is designed to clean up the water quality over a 12-year period.

EPA approved permits for the proposal, saying its completion “would represent a significant and historic milestone in restoring America’s Everglades.”

The agriculture industry will be watching the unfolding of the plan closely as the plans stemmed from lawsuits in 1988 over the enforcement of the Clean Water Act in wetland areas. Florida is already facing challenges over meeting numeric nutrient criteria in other parts of the state.

The recently approved project will construct stormwater treatment areas and issue permits for the operation of tens of thousands of acres of already built ones. It will also create new water storage areas. These steps are designed to filter phosphorus out of the water system.

The steps to be taken to clean up the Everglades has been debated for years between state and government officials and the Audubon Society.

“It wraps up most almost a decade of arguing over what the best thing to do is,” Julie Hill-Gabriel, director of Everglades policy for Audubon Florida, told