Posted July 24, 2016
Environmental degradation + Florida corruption, cont'd.
CALL FOR ACTION!
issued by Florida Clean Water Network
Linda Young, Director
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:
Adam R. Gelber
Sarah S. Walton
Voice : 850-470-0091
Craig D. Varn
Column: A toxic proposal for Florida
Tampa Bay Times, by Linda Young, special to the Tampa Bay Times, Friday, July 22, 2016 3:45pm
Unless you just like a little extra cancer-causing chemicals in your fish and shellfish, you may want to pay close attention to a decision that will be made Tuesday morning in Tallahassee.
At its headquarters at 9 a.m., the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, better known as "Don't Expect Protection," will ask for final approval from the Environmental Regulation Commission to increase the amount of almost two dozen carcinogens that polluters can dump in our waters used for drinking, fishing and swimming.
Yes, you read that correctly. It is hard for me to believe as well, even though I have been fighting this effort for the past five years and I know they are dead serious. Why in the world would a state agency want to increase the amount of carcinogens and toxic chemicals in our waters? Does anyone think this is a good idea? Does anyone want a little extra Aldrin in their grouper sandwich? DEP wants permission to let polluters dump almost 500 percent more of the insecticide Aldrin than the federal EPA thinks is wise. What about Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)Phthalate? DEP wants to let chemical dumpers in Florida put 600 percent more of that carcinogen in our water than EPA recommends.
The list goes on and on and includes almost 90 toxic chemicals — both cancer-causing and non-cancer causing, but still toxic to our bodies and capable of causing birth defects, kidney and liver disease and worse. For some of these chemicals, DEP is just now getting around to setting any limits at all. After all, they haven't updated the state's regulations on human health toxics since the early '90s. If there are no regulations, polluters can dump all they want. How convenient for them. …
Experimenting with toxics in our waters is too risky, says former DEP attorney
A letter to Florida Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC)
BY Randall Denker, July 24, 2016
Dear ERC Commissioners:
My name is Randall Denker and I am a former DEP enforcement attorney. I have been practicing environmental law all over the state of Florida for nearly 40 years. One thing that I have learned over my many years of exposure to Florida’s environment and regulatory scheme is how important water is in our state. Because most Floridians are essentially living on top of limestone with a thin layer of permeable sand covering their aquifer, whatever gets into our river, streams and lakes, ends up in our groundwater and thereby our drinking water. When someone discharges a toxic chemical into the surface water, it doesn’t stay there. What is discharged into Class III surface waters can often quickly make its way into Class II shellfish harvesting waters and Class I drinking water.
At the current time, our state is already dealing with a number of troubling water issues. We are experiencing frequent toxic algae blooms. We are experiencing salt water intrusion in coastal drinking water wells. We are experiencing outbreaks of listeria.There have been cases of infection and death caused by the flesh-eating bacteria vibrio vulnificus. There have been frequent problems with enteric bacteria, a sign of fecal contamination. There have been problems with surfactants in the water and xeno-estrogens that alter fish gender. Many waterbodies have radioactive pollution from mining activities. We have many water bodies that are already not meeting the water quality parameters set for their class, e.g. Lake Okeechobee, our largest fresh water lake, and many many others are suffering. The Fenholloway River is pretty much an open sewer. Why then, when there are so many extant problems that are already making animals and people sick, closing seafood harvesting areas and beaches, and interfering with natural and commercial systems would we want to lower (not raise) pollution standards? …
… DEP’s proposed criteria will lower standards for 89 known carcinogens and/or human health-based toxic chemicals. ...
Linda Young is the Executive Director of Florida Clean Water Network, established in 1994 as part of the national Clean Water Network based in Washington DC. In 2008, Linda Young received an Award of Recognition from Space Coast Progressive Alliance 'for successfully engaging citizens in protecting our waterways, for persistence in upholding the public interest in clean water, and for ensuring that no one, including our government, is above the law.'
Compiled by Team SCPA
Stop Toxic Proposal!Written by Linda Young + Team SCPA
Posted July 24, 2016