TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — The state plans to spend millions of dollars to take some immediate steps to reduce water coming from Lake Okeechobee into nearby estuaries.

The Legislative Budget Commission on Thursday approved the nearly $3 million spending proposal that was being pushed by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

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The legislative panel agreed to spend $2.77 million on several projects.

Part of the money will go to pump stations to divert water south of the lake in order to reduce the need to discharge water to adjacent water bodies.

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Discharges from Lake Okeechobee this year have been blamed for pollution and fish kills in the St. Lucie Estuary and Caloosahatchee River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it must discharge water in response to high water levels.

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