TCPalm – Amended lawsuit filed claiming pollution, health problems from sugar cane field burning

Editor’s note: This article and its headline have been modified from the original version to clarify the complaint filed is an amended lawsuit.

A Boca Raton law firm has filed an amended lawsuit charging the sugar industry with blanketing communities south of Lake Okeechobee with polluted smoke and “black snow” whenever sugarcane fields are burned before harvesting.

The amended complaint was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach, about a month after federal Judge Rodney Smith dismissed claims in the original lawsuit claiming smoke from the fires causes health problems to residents of Belle Glade, Canal Point, Clewiston, Indiantown, Moore Haven, Pahokee and South Bay.

But Smith left the door open for a claim alleging the smoke from fires used to burn off leaves and prepare stalks for harvesting contains pollutants.


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