- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson wants the Environmental Protection Agency to look into a Texas company fined in Florida for an unauthorized drilling operation using acid to create fractures.

In a letter Thursday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Nelson, D-Fla., said the “fracking-like incident” raises concerns about activities that “pose a threat to the drinking and surface water so close to the Florida Everglades.”

The EPA released a statement saying it has no authority to issue permits or otherwise regulate exploratory oil wells.

The state fined the Dan A. Hughes Co. $25,000 last month. Officials said the company had a permit allowing one acid treatment but did another one in December without approval. Collier County officials want the state to revoke a permit that has allowed the company to drill on an island surrounded by a sanctuary since 2012.

Residents have challenged the company’s plans to drill near panther habitat.

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