Dear Friends of Florida’s Waters:

Even as many Floridians are facing toxic algal blooms in nearby waters, the Florida DEP is rushing to get approval before the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) for higher levels of carcinogens and toxic chemicals in Florida’s rivers and estuaries.

On July 26, the ERC will vote on whether to approve or disapprove DEP’s proposed criteria for 89 known carcinogens and/or human health-based toxic chemicals that are dumped into Florida waters by industry and other surface water dischargers. Floridians will get weaker protection from almost two dozen carcinogens if the ERC approves DEP’s proposal.  Essentially all of the chemicals would be allowed in our drinking water supplies, shellfishing areas, swimming and fishing waters at significantly higher amounts than EPA recommends.

The time to speak out against this is NOW!!! Here’s what you can do to help us stop our state government from poisoning us for the benefit of corporate polluters:

1.  Attend the meeting in Tallahassee on the 26th at 8:30 am – DEP Bldg., Commonwealth Blvd.
2.  Write to the ERC members and tell them not to poison us with these chemicals.  Here’s their contact info:

Joe Joyce
9916 SW 13th Place
Gainesville, FL 32607
Voice: 352-392-1971

Adam R. Gelber
Atkins North America
2001 NW 107th Ave
Miami, FL 33172
Voice: 305-514-3387

Cari Roth
Dean Mead
215 S. Monroe St., Suite 815
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Voice: 850-591-1094
Fax: 850-577-0095

Sarah S. Walton
25 West Cedar Street, Suite 550
Pensacola, FL 32502
Voice :  850-470-0091
Fax: 850-470-0441

Craig D. Varn
204 South Monroe St., Suite 201
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Voice: 850-583-0007

3.  Contact your state legislators and local government officials and ask them to oppose this in writing to the ERC members;

4.  Write a letter to the editor in your local newspaper.

Here are some details you may want to mention in your communications:

* These criteria are not protective of human health – in fact they put us in greater danger from cancer and other serious illnesses and birth defects;
* Florida is using a “Monte Carlo” analysis.  No other state nor the Federal Government use this method in determining what are acceptable risk levels of toxic chemicals in the waterways. It’s purpose is to justify more pollution in our water and more toxic chemicals in our fish;
* Florida’s limestone (sponge) geology makes it even more important that chemicals not go into the waterways, because they will quickly spread to the Biscayne and Floridan aquifers.
* It’s fine to say that we’re increasing levels of some chemicals, decreasing others, regulating some for the first time, but that’s completely irrelevant.  It may sound good, but the fact remains that most of DEP’s proposed criteria are much higher than EPA recommends.
* DEP’s exclusion of some 25 human health-based chemicals that EPA says must be regulated leaves us at even greater danger;
* DEP is further weakening the protections by basing the non-carcinogen criteria on an annual average instead of a single sample maximum.

5.  Please share this information far and wide and ask everyone you know to speak out, attend and/or pass the information on.  Our future depends on us working together to stop this insane attempt to poison our waters, our food and our bodies.  JUST SAY NO TO RICK SCOTT’S DEP!!!

Linda Young

About the Author

Linda Young has been the executive director of the Clean Water Network of Florida since 1994. From 1989 to 1997, she founded and published a monthly statewide environmental newspaper. Over the past twenty three years, she has co-founded some of the most long-lasting and effective environmental organizations in the Southeast, including the Gulf Restoration Network, Gulf Coast Environmental Defense and C.A.T.E. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Southern Oregon University and a M.A. in Political Science/Campaign Management from the University of West Florida.

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