Update 2022-12-23: EPA gives Florida 12 months to fix its water quality standards 2022-12-05.
FDEP could have stuck with U.S. EPA’s recomendations for water quality, but instead did a complicated statistical analysis to excuse raising the amounts of benzene and other toxins in Florida’s waters. Drinking, fishing, swimming: all are affected. The decision may be made 9AM this Tuesday morning, July 26th 2016, by the Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) in Tallahassee. Please call or write its members, your newspaper or TV stations, or come to the meeting early for the demonstration and then attend (see below for details).
The ERC has cancelled all its other monthly meetings so far this year, yet it wants to meet this month with nothing but this topic on its agenda. The ERC is also missing two members, whose seats Florida Governor Rick Scott has not filled for more than a year.
We already have serious problems with dissolved solids including salts and sulfates coming up in wells from the coast to far inland. Add to that the existing and proposed phosphate mines, the numerous chicken houses which are concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), with their resultant chicken manure being spread on agricultural lands bought in the past few years by west coast investors, and there are numerous causes for concern about water quality. That’s all before even thinking about the risk from fracking, which is an imminent threat to Florida (and a veiled threat to Georgia).
This ERC ruling could affect the Suwannee River, the Alapaha, the Withlacoochee, as well as numerous springs, and the Floridan Aquifer, since groundwater is constantly interchanged with the aquifer.
For more background, see the blog post by St Johns Riverkeeper.
Here is the action part of that blog post:
Contact the Environmental Regulation Commission members, today!
Ask them to vote NO on July 26 on FDEP's Human Health-Based Criteria proposal to increase limits for chemicals discharged into our state's waterways.
Joe Joyce email@example.com
Adam Gelber firstname.lastname@example.org
Cari Roth email@example.com
Sarah Walton firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Varn email@example.com
Also, contact Governor Rick Scott. Ask him to finally fill the two vacant seats on the Environmental Regulation Commission and to oppose the increase of limits for chemicals discharged into our waterways.
Learn more about the proposed revisions to the Human Health-Based Water Quality Criteria on the FDEP website.
Thank you, Lisa Rinaman, St Johns Riverkeeper, for taking the lead on this. I hope to see you and many other people in Tallahassee Tuesday morning.
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!