Dear Friends of Florida’s Waters:
There’s only a few days let your voice be heard regarding Florida DEP’s plan to increase the amount of carcinogens that polluters can dump in our waters. Here is a summary of the 9 page letter to Governor Scott that you can sign on to by Saturday. To read the entire letter see the previous post. Send your endorsement to email@example.com
In the following comments we will provide:
• Human-health based toxics rule additions/revisions proposed by DEP are largely not adequately protective of public health, especially for children, pregnant women, and sub-populations that consume a high amount of fish.
• DEP’s rule proposal will increase the allowable levels of carcinogenic toxins in Class I, II and III waters (drinking, shellfishing, swimming, fishing) for most parameters. Revisions to current water quality criteria will result in 23 criteria for carcinogenic toxins being weakened. Forty-five new criteria for carcinogenic toxins will be regulated at less-stringent levels than EPA recommends for the national average, which is already not protective of Floridians who eat more fish than the average American. Only six criteria are proposed to become more stringent than today.
• Several human-health toxic chemicals are being completely ignored in this Triennial Review (including dioxin, mercury and arsenic).
• DEP is changing the criteria for many pollutants from single-sample maximums to monthly or annual averages, which radically weakens Florida’s water quality standards and will allow even more pollution into our water.
In short Governor, the citizens of Florida want clean, safe water. We do not want our state to have the weakest drinking water standards and the most toxic fish in the nation. We don’t want to participate in the Florida Cancer Lottery that your DEP seems to be creating. We object to Florida’s biggest polluters having a disproportionate amount of power and influence over water policy decisions. The major problem with DEP’s proposal is the methodology they are using. If they are required to stick with their current method of calculating toxic chemical limits, the same method used by EPA and most if not all other states, then Floridians will have better health protection and our resources will be better protected. As the final decision maker on this issue, we expect you to lead your agency for the public interest and reject these radical, anti-public health proposals.