By NEIL JOHNSON
o0 The TAmp Tiibune
CLEARWATER Water sup-
pliers want a group of independent
scientists to look at proposed reg-
ulations that could drastically re-
duce wellfield pumping in Pasco
and Hillsborough counties.
The West Coast Regional Wa-
ter Supply Authority board voted
Monday to ask scientists to review
the data that will be used to estab-
lish a new rule for pumping.
The Southwest Florida Water
Management District will have the
new rule in place by October. It
will determine how far the under-
ground Floridan aquifer can be
drawn down before pumping dam-
ages wetlands and lakes. Pumping
has drained thousands of acres of
wetlands in and around wellfields.
Over time, the rule, called min-
imum flows and levels, could call
for pumping at wellfields run by
West Coast to be reduced by 40
percent or more. West Coast op-
erates wellfields that supply water
to about 1.8 million people in Pas-
co, Pinellas and Hillsborough.
The review requested by West
Coast, over the objections of Pas-
co and Hillsborough representa-
tives, would let a panel of experts
examine the data and methods
Swiftmud's experts used to deter-
mine the aquifer levels.
The review is expected to cost
West Coast and the water district
up to $100,000 each and cost
West Coast another $100,000 for
Swiftmud's governing board
would not be bound by the scien-
tists' findings, but is required to
consider them when establishing
West Coast also could ask for
an administrative hearing to chal-
lenge the regulations.
Swiftmud officials were not
happy with the request, which will
likely delay completion of the reg-
"If you decide to go that way,
we don't encourage it, but we un-
derstand it," said Roy Harrell,
Swiftmud board chairman.
3 charged with selling
'WEST PALM BEACH -
Three men, including a retired
Army colonel, were arrested
and charged with trying to sell
military helicopters adapted for
spraying chemicals to Iraq, fed-
eral agents announced yester-
"Iiidividuals from Egypt and
Lebanon had traveled to inspect
the.helicopters and intended on
purchasing the helicopters for
Iraq," states court documents.
The 34 helicopters valued at
about $12.5 million were at a
warehouse in Canada.
.Retired Army Col. Robert
Fairchild, 53, of Little Rock,
Ark., and Donald Proven, 56, a
former Marine from Chicago,
were arraigned yesterday on
Arms Export Control Act and
conspiracy charges. After an in-
nocent plea was entered, bond
was set at $125,000 each.
George Finlay, 47, who owned
the helicopters, was arrested on
similar charges Saturday by the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
in Bloomfield, Canada. The
Canadian police also seized the
Congress involved in fight
with beach nudists
County's US. representative
has gotten Congress involved in
the fight to ban nudity at Ca-
naveral National Seashore, a
move rejected by state law-
makers this year.
From news services
Dave Weldon and backers say
they want to protect families at
the beach from being bothered
The U.S. House voted last
week for an amendment by
Weldon that would bar the Na-
tional Park Service from post-
ing signs for a clothing-optional
area at the Canaveral National
Seashore east of Titusville.
Weldon, a Palm Bay Republi-
can, said he wanted "moms to
go to the beach with their kids
and enjoy themselves."
Ocala lawmaker wants
work cross-dressing ban
OCALA U.S. Rep. Cliff
Stearns is hot under the collar
about a male state worker who
wears women's attire to work.
The Ocala Republican has
written to state Senate Presi-
dent Toni Jennings and House
Speaker Daniel Webster, sug-
gesting a state employee dress
code to prevent such cross-
"It's antithetical to our mor-
als in Ocala to have a man re-
porting for work with artificial
breasts and makeup," Stearns
told The Orlando Sentinel.
"He's meddling in affairs he
has no business in," said Sabri-
na Marie Theodora Robb, 43,
who in May legally changed his
name from Dale Robb.
-The agency said it hasn't re-
ceived any complaints from co-
workers or the public.
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