Fellow Floridians -
Florida House Bill 7003 Does Not Protect Our Water
HB 7003 Does Not Advance Real Springs Restoration
Many of Florida’s world class springs are suffering from reduced water flows and excess nutrients. Significant and expeditious action is necessary to restore springs. Unfortunately, HB 7003:
· Lacks deadlines for the adoption of minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for Priority Florida Springs.
· Lacks deadlines for achieving water quality goals for impaired springs.
· Lacks deadlines for restoring spring flows that have fallen below MFLs.
· Allows pollution to continue to be introduced in springsheds from sewage sludge, hazardous wastes, new septic systems and wastewater disposal facilities which only treat effluent to minimum standards and animal feedlots.
HB 7003 Delays Lake Okeechobee Cleanup
Florida’s largest lake suffers from decades of neglect. The lake discharges polluted water to the Everglades and to coastal estuaries. Florida agreed to clean up the Lake Okeechobee by 2015 but has done little to meet water quality goals. This bill:
· Deletes the existing 2015 deadline for meeting water quality standards and offers no deadline for meeting the cleanup goal.
· Sets aside an existing rule that allows state agencies to require that discharges meet water quality standards and adopts an ineffective plan (Basin Management Action Plan).
· Adopts a phosphorous pollution control program that relies on activities (BMPs) that have not been shown to meet water quality standards.
· Undermines federal efforts to protect communities from a disastrous breach in the dike around Lake Okeechobee and undermines efforts to protect fish and wildlife during droughts. HB 7003 Does Nothing for Water Conservation
Water conservation is the most environmentally protective and cost-effective means of meeting Florida’s future water needs. This bill:
· Funds private water supply projects but does nothing to promote water conservation and more efficient uses of water to stretch limited water supply.