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SELLING OUT TO POLLUTERS...

Here's word on the federal and state sellout to polluters


Earthjustice press release:



Florida’s waterways will be covered with more slimy algae outbreaks if a deeply flawed plan announced today between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is allowed to go forward.

The plan must be reviewed in federal court to ensure that it complies with the Clean Water Act.
The public was cut out of the back-room dealings which led to the flawed plan

“We have record numbers of dead manatees washing up on southwest Florida right now in the prime of our tourist season,” said Earthjustice attorney David Guest. “Where is the leadership? This is an absolute sell out. This bogus plan gives deep-pocketed polluters even more loopholes. And what do we, the public, get? More gross, slimy algae in the water.”

The DEP and EPA’s faulty plan fails to set enforceable limits on the amount of sewage, manure, and fertilizer allowed in Florida waters—especially in South Florida and the ailing Everglades.These pollutants spark slimy outbreaks which are harming Florida’s tourism business, contaminating drinking water, killing wildlife, and threatening public health. Red tide and algae outbreaks are worsened by runoff containing sewage, manure and fertilizer—so-called “nutrient pollution.”

“Obviously, the environmental regulators are bending to politically powerful polluters instead of protecting the public’s right to have clean water to drink and healthy places to fish, boat and swim,” Guest added.

The flawed plan also comes at a time when Gov. Rick Scott’s Administration is firing experienced DEP staffers and replacing them with people who come from polluting industries.

The EPA first began working to set pollution limits for Florida in 2009—part of a settlement in a 2008 Clean Water Act suit filed by Earthjustice in the Northern District of Florida on behalf of the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, St. John’s Riverkeeper, and the Sierra Club. The suit challenged the decade-long delay by the state and federal governments in setting limits for the pollution.

The public supports the EPA pollution limits. In response to a call for action, more than 40,000 citizens wrote the White House in 2012, urging the Obama Administration to stand firm on imposing effective federal standards for Florida waters. More than 18,000 people wrote the EPA this year, urging enforceable limits.

Contact:
Monica Reimer, Earthjustice attorney, (850) 681-0031
David Guest, Earthjustice attorney, (850) 228-3337

Replies

  • I just can't understand how we keep letting politics stop resonsible pollution controls. When will we learn Florida's environmental health is not an options but a requirement.
  • EggsuckindogEggsuckindog Posts: 1,526 Captain
    I lived here my whole life, most of it on lakes and in the summer we get algae blooms, the water gets hot. Maybe this was determined to be overkill regulation?? god knows we have had enough of that in this country. The year of the major issues in Stuart were not a normal year, and yes may have been handled better but I don't remember any repeats.

    We would still have most of the same issues if all the people left the areas in question, which actually sounds like what they are asking for.
    1976 SeaCraft master Angler - Merc 200 XRi
    dscf1243-1.jpg
  • RhudRhud Posts: 10 Greenhorn
    Eggsuckingdog,

    I'm wondering how many of those lakes you lived on were surrounded by fertilized agriculture and/or poorly functioning septic tanks?

    Also, do you think that 'overkill regulations' include what the sugar industry had done to the Everglades and Lk O?

    Is it 'overkill regulation' to allow a polluted Lk O be flushed in the Indian River and Charlotte Harbor?

    Was it 'overkill regulation that allowed the Kissimmee River to be channelized to make for a more profitable cattle industry?

    Is it 'overkill regulation' to let development cause salt water intrusion into our water supply?

    How about all the other pollutants being allowed to enter our lakes, rivers and estuaries, is that an example of 'overkill regulation' too?

    Maybe you also think it was 'overkill regulation' that allowed big banks and Wall Street to become so over leveraged that it collapsed our economy?

    Personally, I think the only things being 'overkilled' these days are our environment and our health.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,405 Captain
    Today (4-10-2013) Jacksonville.com Jacksonville Florida Times Union writer Ron Littlepage produced a curious piece in praise of the current FDEP Secretary who hails from Jacksonville. Apparently the Secretary's use and enjoyment of the St Johns River is to be taken as some type of comfort,qualifier,and we are held breathless reading an account of how the Secretary actually is engaged with the EPA and is.....get this!.......willing to acknowledge such,as if some heroic act in the face of the current political scene.Which come to think about it,it might be. (Do we have an Award for this?)
    Ron touts that it is time for the Environmentalists to quit arguing,and get to work,hand in hand,while giving no details as to the Enviros concerns or historical timeline. The "Enviros as pesky unreasonable obstructionist" theme will resonate.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,299 Admiral
    From the OP

    “We have record numbers of dead manatees washing up on southwest Florida right now in the prime of our tourist season,” said Earthjustice attorney David Guest. “Where is the leadership? This is an absolute sell out. This bogus plan gives deep-pocketed polluters even more loopholes. And what do we, the public, get? More gross, slimy algae in the water.”


    The red tide killed many of the manatees in SW Fl. Silly dumb post quoting lunatic groups like Earthjustice can make one look uninformed and clueless.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/11/17268832-paralyzing-algae-is-killing-manatees-at-record-pace-in-florida?lite
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • Pucker FactorPucker Factor Posts: 875 Officer
    Very interesting.

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has got it all wrong.

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency has got it all wrong.

    EarthJustice has it all dialed in.

    Please folks, do not believe th propaganda that you all read in the papers. The water quality standards and implementation process that has recently been finalized is the strictest and most comprehensive science based approach in the history of the state.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,405 Captain
    The focus on EPA by Earthjustice and others in 2008 spurred action.For that many are thankful.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • mannn123mannn123 Posts: 137 Deckhand
    FloridaOD wrote: »
    The focus on EPA by Earthjustice and others in 2008 spurred action.For that many are thankful.

    ..and the following could also fairly be said:

    "The focus on NMFS by EDF and others in 2008 spurred action (read catches shares and other restrictions). For that many are thankful"

    EDF (and others) believes our fisheries our in peril. They push the federal agency to take drastic action. The federal agency largely adopts their reasoning and proposes rules and programs that the regulated industry (recreational anglers) think make no sense and use bad data/bad science to support such rules. Anglers start squawking to their state and federal representatives that red snapper are everywhere and the "enviros" and feds don't know what they are talking about. State of Florida begins to push back (ie. FWC taking similar stance as FDEP).

    What will the outcome be? Will the feds come around?

    While there are some differences, the parallels are striking. Why do we automatically denigrate the catch share program but applaud the water quality rules that Earthjustice and EPA (at the time) proposed? We all want healthy fisheries and we all want clean water. However, when programs are promoted that can fairly be shown to be unduly burdensome and not necessarily address the real problems and not founded on good science, isn't it fair to oppose such efforts? I am no expert, but the original water quality proposal was hugely flawed from my understanding...yet many blindly supported it. Similarly, we have seen celebrity chefs, environmental groups and others blindly supporting EDF and NMFS with catch shares and other efforts.

    Anyway, food for thought.
  • MadScientistMadScientist Posts: 3,402 Captain
    This issue is what I have worked on for the past 15+years. That is understanding how current water quality compares to pre-disturbance water quality.

    The problem with the EPA proposed rule was that it was a one size fits all approach. The limit for total phosphorus in water was to be 25 ug/l. The problem with that is that it would fail to protect many Florida water bodies on the nutrient poor end of the spectrum. On the other end of the spectrum, the nutrient-rich lakes, 25 ug/l would be an unattainable goal. The best scientific evidence shows that many Florida lakes were historically well above that level (e.g. Lochloosa and Wauberg near Gainesville). So we could waste a lot of money trying to "restore" lakes to a level that never existed.

    My understanding of the current goal for water quality protection in Florida is to set targets for specific water bodies or for groups of similar water bodies. In some cases, it will be less than 25 ug/l, in others more.

    Will the end result be perfect? I doubt it. When left to the politicians, anything is possible.
  • FS Karl SnapperFS Karl Snapper Posts: 285 Officer
    Mad, You might want to talk to Monica Reimer at EJ about that (and leemme know what you find)...
  • gregmbgregmb Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Very interesting.

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has got it all wrong.

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency has got it all wrong.

    EarthJustice has it all dialed in.

    Please folks, do not believe th propaganda that you all read in the papers. The water quality standards and implementation process that has recently been finalized is the strictest and most comprehensive science based approach in the history of the state.

    :Agree
  • Pucker FactorPucker Factor Posts: 875 Officer
    I always find it interesting to see articles like this that use these blanket terms of "water quality", "manatees", "severely overfished" . . . These terms that people immediately cling to and find very hard to deal with and immediately go on the attack of what or whoever is in the article that is being used to start some type and level of unrest.

    Can anyone tell me, from this article above or any other article current to the situation of FAC changes in the state as to what this is all about besides some "water quality" changes? There is zero substance in the above information.

    Anyone tell me who pays EarthJutice's legal fees when they sue under the Clean Water Act?

    Oh and the water quality litigation has been going on for a long time prior to 2008.
  • MadScientistMadScientist Posts: 3,402 Captain
    Mad, You might want to talk to Monica Reimer at EJ about that (and leemme know what you find)...

    I don't see the point. She/they are entitled to their opinion.
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    seems everyone wants to jump on one side or the other.. they do not want to take responsibility nor do they want to hear anything that is not on their personal agenda.. sad state of reasoning and understanding will hurt us all in the long run.
    Lets look at the facts from a regular person that lives or vacations to the Great State of Florida..
    Do we have a problem with our water? Yes.. definitely we do!
    Does the loss of 1 manatee due to this problem (let alone well over how many now??? ) deem a little more research on the matter? Hell yes! (should be the answer for all..)
    Do the people who pave over, overbuild, over populate the waterways and surrounding areas have anything to do with it? ..uh... Hell yes again..
    We all buy fuel, oil, groceries, clothes, tv's, weed killers, soaps.. we all (even the tree huggers..) are responsible for the way our earth is being changed so we all need to get on the same page.. it will be in our best interest for the years we are not here..
    ..but bashing everything in sight is not a way to get it done.. our leaders do not lead very well anymore so it is up to us to try to change that if it means that we just stop using this world as a garbage can.. ! don't you think?
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