Friday, November 30, 2012

Major Victory for Florida's Environment!

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
Agrees to Set Enforceable Clean Water Limits 
for 100,000 Miles of Florida Waters

Judge Fails to Grant Extension Sought by the EPA

Nov. 30, 2012


TALLAHASSEE – In a case with national implications, a Florida federal judge today failed to grant an extension sought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the EPA has agreed to immediately propose enforceable, numeric limits to curb the water pollution that causes toxic algae outbreaks, taints drinking water, kills wildlife and threatens public health in Florida.

After years of court battles and foot-dragging, the federal agency has agreed to establish numeric pollution limits for some 100,000 miles of Florida waterways and 4,000 square miles of estuaries. Standards for Florida’s lakes and springs have already been set.

“Slime outbreaks and Red Tides are a pestilence on the state, contaminating water, killing fish, destroying property values and chasing off tourists.  Now the EPA has to stop dragging its feet and deal with it,” said Earthjustice attorney David Guest. “We fought every polluting industry in Florida for four years to get to this result.”

Currently, Florida and most other states have only vague standards regulating contamination from the inadequately treated sewage, manure and fertilizer that runs off into lakes and streams.  Because Florida is so hot and so flat, these contaminants fuel massive slime outbreaks and recurrent Red Tide. 

“EPA’s response here will set the standard for the nation.  What we’ve lacked is a set of quantifiable numbers that are basically a speed limit sign to make the law clear and enforceable,” Guest said.  “The EPA will now start painting the numbers on that speed limit sign. It will be abundantly clear what the rules are.”

The EPA got several court-granted delays in the case, and was seeking another, which U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle today failed to grant.

Now, using extensive data it has been collecting and analyzing in concert with Florida Department of Environmental Protection scientists, the EPA will impose numeric limits on the allowable amount of phosphorus and nitrogen – so called “nutrient” pollution – in the state’s waterways.

The EPA 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 state of Florida has spent the past 14 years asking for more time to develop protective limits on sewage, manure and fertilizer pollution.  Today, the time is up,” said Frank Jackalone, Florida Staff Director for the Sierra Club. “EPA has agreed to take immediate action to finally bring the Clean Water Act to Florida with strong rules that will clean up our slime-fouled springs, rivers, lakes and beaches.”

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

“We are pleased that Floridians do not have to wait any longer to receive the Clean Water Act protections they deserve,” said Andrew McElwaine, President of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “We can now move forward toward effective pollution limits which truly protect public health, our economy and our environment.”

Becky Ayech, of the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, said EPA pollution limits are especially welcome in her part of the state, which started this year’s tourist season with a nasty red tide outbreak and dead fish on the beaches.

“This slime shut down a drinking water plant for 30,000 people. That’s not right. We can prevent this mess, and we ought to be preventing it,” Ayech said. “Not only is it disgusting, but it kills our economy when tourists show up and they see dead fish, stinking algae, and they can’t swim or fish or even ride in a boat without getting stinging eyes and breathing problems.”

“The St. John’s River was covered with a 100-mile long green slime toxic algae outbreak and fish kill in 2010. We had more green slime in 2011.  It has been heartbreaking to hear health officials warning us not to boat or swim in the water. We are really hoping that the EPA standards will start us on the road to preventing this so we can enjoy our river,” said St John’s Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman.

“We’ve waited long enough to get moving on these cleanup standards,” said Florida Wildlife Federation President Manley Fuller. “A new, positive chapter starts today.”



Anonymous said...

Hello! I've been following your weblog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good work!
Take a look at my site how to play piano

oakleyses said...

christian louboutin outlet, replica watches, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet store, michael kors outlet online sale, nike outlet, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, red bottom shoes, prada outlet, tiffany and co, kate spade outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp handbags, longchamp outlet online, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, burberry outlet online, chanel handbags, nike free, tory burch outlet online, coach outlet, ray ban outlet, tiffany jewelry, polo ralph lauren, michael kors handbags, nike air max, christian louboutin, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, jordan shoes, coach outlet, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren outlet

oakleyses said...

longchamp pas cher, converse pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, michael kors, ray ban uk, longchamp, true religion outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, true religion jeans, air jordan, ralph lauren uk, lacoste pas cher, michael kors canada, vans pas cher, lululemon outlet online, oakley pas cher, hermes pas cher, new balance pas cher, burberry pas cher, true religion outlet, nike roshe run, michael kors uk, nike free pas cher, hollister uk, tn pas cher, scarpe hogan, timberland pas cher, guess pas cher, mulberry uk, coach purses, nike air force, hollister, louboutin, air max pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, north face, true religion, north face pas cher

oakleyses said...

hollister, asics shoes, soccer shoes, nike free, p90x workout, nfl jerseys, mont blanc pens, lululemon outlet, herve leger, new balance outlet, birkin bag, giuseppe zanotti, instyler ionic styler, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, beats headphones, ferragamo shoes, nike air huarache, vans outlet, wedding dresses, chi flat iron, ghd, bottega veneta, nike air max, nike trainers, jimmy choo shoes, celine handbags, reebok shoes, north face jackets, nike roshe, babyliss, soccer jerseys, longchamp, mcm handbags, abercrombie and fitch, valentino shoes, north face jackets, air max, nike roshe, mac cosmetics

oakleyses said...

sac lancel, thomas sabo uk, iphone 6 case, toms outlet, juicy couture outlet, oakley, louboutin, converse shoes, converse, coach outlet, timberland boots, ralph lauren, nike air max, supra shoes, abercrombie, links of london uk, ray ban, vans, replica watches, air max, hollister clothing store, swarovski jewelry, montre femme, pandora jewelry, juicy couture, marc jacobs handbags, pandora charms, gucci, baseball bats, swarovski uk, karen millen, wedding dress, pandora uk, hollister canada

Post a Comment