WHO WINS RICK SCOTT’S CANCER LOTTERY?  BIG POLLUTERS SUCH AS THE KOCH BROTHERS, OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY, CHEMICAL COMPANIES, ELECTRIC POWER COMPANIES, PHOSPHATE COMPANIES, ETC.

Dear Friends of Florida’s Waters:

Things have been busy along Florida’s waters and many of you are on the front lines fighting to protect these valuable resources. So many of Florida’s waters are feeling and showing the stress of too many people, too little and outdated infrastructure, no environmental enforcement from state and federal agencies, etc. Elections are nearing and I wonder how many Floridians will refuse to vote for politicians who don’t give a hoot about protecting our natural resources?

Here’s what’s on our plate today. I hope you can help us.

  1. Human Health Toxics rulemaking – Schedule below. The cancer lottery is back!!! DEP is ready to sacrifice our waters and health to save money for polluters such as the Koch brothers and the oil and gas industry.

More details:

Human Health Toxics rulemaking – the cancer lottery is back!!! I know that most of you remember three years ago when DEP tried to weaken state criteria for human health toxics (both cancerous and non-cancerous). Many of you went to the ERC meeting with us and together we beat back DEP’s efforts.

Much has happened since then. We have continued to discuss Florida’s toxics rules (approx.. 25 years since they’ve been updated and only have criteria for 36 of the 113 that EPA has offered guidance for) with EPA. EPA updated their own criteria in June 2015 using the same statistical methodology (deterministic) that they have always used. Florida is the only state that has been pushing for the use of the “probabilistic approach”.

We’ll have to wait and see if EPA approves it or not. The Obama EPA has been extremely reluctant to push back on Florida’s rapidly deteriorating water quality standards – sadly. Not sure what that’s all about, but it has been VERY disappointing to say the least.

DEP finally released their draft criteria last week and has set a schedule for public workshops. The rulemaking is supposed to go to the ERC (according to DEP) in August. Here’s the workshop schedule for next week:

DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, May 10, 2016; 9:00 a.m.

PLACE:  Martin County Building Department, Conference Room, 900 S.E. Ruhnke Street, Stuart, FL

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, May 11, 2016; 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Central District Office, 3319 Maguire Boulevard, Suite 232, Conference Room B & C, Orlando, FL

DATE AND TIME: Thursday, May 12, 2016; 9:00 a.m.

PLACE:  Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building, Conference Rooms A & B, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, Tallahassee, F

I will be posting a spreadsheet of the proposed criteria on the Florida Clean Water Network website ASAP (still constructing it). The web address is: www.floridacleanwaternetwork.org

In short, here’s what you will find there in a few days:

  • DEP is proposing new criteria for 42 carcinogens. Of those 42, 21 get weaker/less protective and 36 of DEP’s proposed criteria for carcinogens are weaker/less protective than EPA’s recommended criteria. Most are SIGNIFICANTLY weaker.
  • DEP is proposing new criteria for 45 non-carcinogens. Of those 5 get weaker/less protective.
  • DEP is proposing a total of of 87 new human health toxic criteria.
  • EPA has issued guidance that says 117 total carcinogens and non-carcinogens should be regulated by the states. Florida chooses to ignore toxic chemicals such as dioxin, arsenic (found in pulp and paper wastewater in large amounts), and many others.
  • Benzene is now declared to be non-carcinogenic and FL DEP is proposing that we increase the allowable amount in drinking/Class I waters from 1.18 ug/l to 3.01 ug/l. For fishing and swimming/Class III waters DEP would like to raise the allowable amount a polluter can dump into our waters from 71.28 ug/l to 92.6 ug/l. Hey we all need more benzene in our belly’s.
  • Another typical pulp and paper chemical is chloroform. DEP wants to increase the criteria for chloroform from 5.67 ug/l to 60.5 in Class I/drinking waters; and from 470.8 ug/l to 2330 ug/l in Class III waters. Amazing!!!

The sordid tale continues and I will continue to unravel this for you before the workshop.

IF YOU CAN POSSIBLY ATTEND ONE OF THESE WORKSHOPS, PLEASE DO. ALSO PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD, FAR AND WIDE ABOUT WHAT OUR STATE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO DO TO OUR WATERS AND OUR HEALTH.

YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS AND YOUR LOCAL MEDIA ABOUT THIS. EVERYONE IN FLORIDA SHOULD HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING AND THEN HAVE THEIR VOICE HEARD.

There is a lot more to tell but this is a lot to digest in one sitting so I’ll tell you about our Notice of Intent to sue that we sent Cape Coral; some good news for Santa Rosa Sound; some potentially bad news for Santa Rosa Sound and more in the very near future.

Thank you for your commitment to Florida’s waters and for speaking out for them.

For all of Florida’s waters,

Linda Young

Florida Clean Water Network

PO Box 5124

Navarre, FL 32566

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Category: Uncategorized

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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