Rick Scott Allowed Polluted Water in Lake Okeechobee

By former state senator Paula Dockery, in Orlando Sentinel, 07/06/2016:

The economic, health and environmental impacts are becoming a political liability for those in office who are hearing from angry constituents. They claim to be interested, concerned and fighting to fix this when they are responsible for the mess in the first place.

Gov. Rick Scott and some legislators are blaming the federal government — specifically the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ironically, this is the same governor who fights against federal agencies on environmental and water standards. …

Scott and the Legislature need to stop pointing fingers and get to work. The quality of the water is the state’s responsibility.

Here’s the cold hard truth: They have allowed polluted water into Lake Okeechobee that they know will be released. …

We know that nutrients and chemicals such as fertilizer and pesticides are a danger to our natural systems. We know there are sound environmental policies that protect water resources if regulated and enforced. We know prevention is preferable and less costly than restoration. …

Scott reversed the positive trend of his predecessors. He reduced regulations and permitting, abolished the Department of Community Affairs, stripped the Department of Environmental Protection of long-term science-based staff, and decimated the budgets and staff of the water management districts. Oh, and he took lots of money from U.S. Sugar.

Read the whole editorial here.


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