Following a decade of rapid water quality deterioration, Florida waters need strong, enforceable water quality regulations now. We can no longer afford to kick the can down the road or implement half-measures with little to no chance of success.
Despite being named the “Clean Waterways Act” Senate Bill 712 as currently written, will not adequately protect and restore Florida’s water resources, further endangering our environment, economy, and public health.
Last year, Senator Debbie Mayfield, the sponsor of SB 712, promised clean water advocates she would “fix the bill” during a Committee Hearing on the 2019 “Clean Waterways Act.” There is still time for Senator Mayfield to keep her promise but we need your help.
SB 712 is scheduled for its final Committee Hearing on Thursday, February 20th. This is our best opportunity to have our voices heard and FIX SB 712.
Please contact the Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee!
A Total Maximum Daily Load is the amount of pollution an impaired water body can receive and still be able to recover to health. For most Florida waters, pollution inputs must be much less than they are now in order to restore the water body. That should be the goal of SB 712.
Two week ago, Waterkeepers Florida, Sierra Club Florida, and the Florida Springs Council offered a suite of amendments to accomplish this goal.
If you can, please COPY AND PASTE the message below into a pre-addressed email to the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to urge them to SB FIX 712:
The “Clean Waterways Act” Senate Bill 712, as currently written, will not adequately protect and restore Florida’s water resources, further endangering our environment, economy, and public health. Please vote to adopt amendments that:
- Ensure that Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) include projects and programs that are capable of achieving all the pollution reductions needed to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load and account for future growth in pollution.
- Require each major pollution source (agriculture, septic tanks, etc.) to actually meet pollution reductions necessary to achieve water quality goals.
- Require an agricultural remediation plan, including advanced best management practices (BMPs) and land acquisition, in areas where agriculture is a significant pollution source.
- Require that all agricultural BMPs or water quality monitoring begin within two years of the adoption or update of a BMAP.
- Strengthen protections for Priority Focus Areas of impaired Outstanding Florida Springs by prohibiting major new pollution sources.
- Increase and require penalties for violations of water quality regulations.
- Include a deadline for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) to turn over collected fertilizer data.
- Remove all language from the bill that promotes sprawl as it calls for septic to sewer conversion in undeveloped areas.
- Eliminate the land application of biosolids in environmentally sensitive areas and bolster regulations state-wide to ensure they do not contribute to water quality degradation.
Thank you for your consideration of these important amendments.