Dan Maduri: Gov Rick Scott Wants to Poison Your Water
TAMPA – Ready for some more pollutants in your water? You may get them whether you are or not. Polluters may get the go ahead from a state panel to let polluters increase the level of toxic chemicals they dump into Florida rivers and lakes. It could be the first update of the state’s water quality standards in 24 years. And they ‘rethinking of moving in the wrong direction.
What possible public interest could there be in adding more pollution to the water? Have voters flooded the phone lines of their elected officials demanding more trichloroethylene in the water? Are there piles of letters on the desks of state legislators insisting that more lead come out of their taps?
No. Rick Scott is attempting to shove more crap into your drinking water so that his rich business cronies can make a few more bucks. And those aren’t bucks that will be trickling down to you from the polluters. They’ll be using the money to add a few extra feet to their mega yachts, which will be docked in exotic ports they haven’t polluted yet. The only thing that will be trickling down to you is toxic sludge.
A little history: Back in 1998, the EPA gave states six years to develop “numeric,” i.e., measurable, standards for water quality. Florida used a “narrative” standard: if the fish ain’t floating belly-up, that water’s fine.
Florida ignored the 2004 deadline, and state officials keep pretending that court cases won by various citizens and environmental groups don’t mean polluters actually have to clean up their mess.
So the dirty water’s on the Florida Legislature. And on Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who sees any attempt to enforce the Clean Water Act in Florida as sinister federal overreach. And on Rick Scott.
When Gov. Charlie Crist left office in 2011, there was a deal in place for the state to buy 187,000 acres of US Sugar land which would begin restoring the natural flow of the Everglades south. The ’glades, a natural filter, would help clean up the water before it got in the rivers and estuaries.
Scott voided the agreement. He even opposed a much scaled-back purchase in 2015 that would have gone a little way to putting water where it needs to be. By then, US Sugar wasn’t keen on selling. The company mused that maybe they’d put a resort or two and a bunch of houses on the land instead. More profit in that than in Everglades restoration.
South Florida waters have been gunked-up with toxic algae on and off for years. Tourism is suffering; property values are tanking.
Scott has just noticed. If he’s going to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018, he needs to look like he cares about the environment. He also needs to take care of Big Shug.
Guess which one will win out?
Florida Live with Dan Maduri can be heard weekday’s 3 pm to 6 pm on WWBA 820 AM in the Tampa Bay area as well as worldwide on the TuneIn app. Watch the show live or on-demand at www.newstalkflorida.com