Dear Friends of Florida’s Waters:

It may be hot and muggy in Florida lately, but that hasn’t slowed down the thousands of clean-water and energy warriors who are pushing their momentum forward for new victories around the state.  It is so inspiring to see so many groups, communities and individuals working together to make Florida a sustainable, healthy and beautiful place to live. Here’s a list of what’s on our mind this Friday and what you can do to help the momentum for clean water and energy going strong in Florida:

1.  Big victory for clean water and energy in Escambia County and 12 other Florida counties so far.  As of last night, there are 13 counties across Florida that have passed resolutions to ban fracking for oil and gas in Florida. Commissioners in Escambia County, one of only three counties in Florida where drilling is a reality right now, listened to good science and a strong public outcry led by Pensacola 350 and Earth Ethics, along with many, many other groups and individuals.  This victory comes on the heels of Jefferson County also voting for the ban.  The list of cities that have voted for a statewide ban is also growing, with at least 20 having passed resolutions so far.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?  If you live in a city/county that has not yet passed a resolution to support a statewide ban, then contact your city/county commissioners and let them know that you want them to do what so many other Florida communities are doing to protect clean water and energy:  Pass a resolution in support of a statewide ban on any kind of fracking for oil and gas in Florida!!!

2.  Triennial review update.  Nothing substantial has happened since early in the summer when DEP held a public workshop for the current triennial review.  We are primarily interested in the human health based toxics criteria, which DEP is not including in this Triennial Review.  Honestly, I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.  If they don’t include it, then they can go back into stall mode for another 20 years, which is what they’d probably like to do.  However, I’m not sure we can make them include it.  Meanwhile, EPA is purportedly going to release national recommended criteria for the human health toxics ANY DAY.  This will likely be helpful to us.  When this last went before the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission in 2012, we were able to convince the Commission to reject DEP’s VERY pro-polluter criteria.  At that time the ERC members wanted to know what EPA thought about Florida’s proposed criteria.  Apparently EPA has given Florida feedback on their “cancer lottery methodology” but so far DEP is refusing to tell us what EPA said.

No big surprise there since the Rick Scott administration has mastered the art of deception and despises transparency in government.

WE WILL HAVE A REQUEST FOR YOU TO HELP WITH THIS IMPORTANT RULEMAKING SOON.  

3.  Buckeye/Foley Cellulose – We’re still fighting that pipeline.  We asked you to co-sign our comment letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers, asking for them to deny a permit extension and modification for Buckeye’s pollution pipeline to the Gulf – AND YOU DID!!!  THANK YOU!!  We got a great response from you and many of you shared our request with your friends and colleagues.  The letter was sent with all of your signatures.  We also requested through Facebook and our FL-CWN website (www.floridacleanwaternetwork.org) that people contact the Corps directly and we are told by the person there that they are hearing from lots of people.  Our social media outreach was picked up by over 20,000 people!!!  We are continuing to build support for protecting the Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic preserve in Apalachee Bay where Buckeye/Foley Cellulose/Koch brothers wants to go with their 45 to 60 million gallons per day of dioxin-contaminated industrial waste.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP US?  Please send an email to the permit reviewer at the Army Corps of Engineers and tell him that Buckeye’s permit should not be extended and/or modified.  It should be denied and expire.  The contact is: Andrew A Kizlauskas and his email address is: andrew.a.kizlauskas@usace.army.mil

You can also send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Use your own words or draw from this:

Evidence mounts that the Gulf of Mexico is still and will be for years, suffering from the pollution caused by the BP disaster. Yet, another staggering amount of toxic waste, 20 times the size (by volume) of the BP spill on a daily basis, is being considered for our beleaguered Gulf.

An antiquated pulp mill owned by the Koch brothers is planning a 60 million gallon per day (mgd) pollution pipeline from the mill in Perry, Florida to the mouth of the Fenholloway River on the Gulf. Even though the mill makes $1 million/day in profit, the Koch brothers believe that the Gulf should absorb 40-60 mgd of dioxin contaminated industrial waste – in order to save the company money.

A 10-square mile dead zone already exists at the mouth of the river caused by 65 years of this pollution being dumped 26 miles upstream. The potential damage when it is moved to open waters could be catastrophic for the nearby important fisheries, some of the richest nursery areas in the NE Gulf today.

4.  Is MeterHero still waiting to hear from you?  We are told by MeterHero that quite a few of you signed up and have been getting your rebates this summer.  Hurray!!!  I know I am doing all that I can to reduce my use of water and energy and I’ve been saving a lot of money on my electricity bill since getting my new solar panels installed in March.  PLUS, I’ve gotten rebates from MeterHero totaling almost $300 since last November as a reward for my efforts.  Have you signed up yet?  If not, what are you waiting for? Florida Clean Water Network is sponsoring your rebates in Florida because we want all of our friends to be a part of the solution to dwindling water supplies, climate change/sea level rise and destruction of our natural resources.  Here’s the website again:  www.MeterHero.com

I will leave you to your weekend now.  I hope it is a fun, relaxing and safe weekend for everyone.  Thank you to everyone who is working to protect Florida’s waters and other natural resources.  In spite of the opposition to good water policy in Tallahassee, we are making progress and that is because of the work you do.

For all of Florida’s waters,

Linda L. 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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