NAPLES DAILY NEWS: Florida gov orders 24-hour public notice of pollution events

NAPLES DAILY NEWS: September 26, 2016. Written by Associated Press.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott has issued an emergency rule requiring public notification of pollution events within 24 hours, a move that comes after it took weeks to notify local residents about a fertilizer plant that leaked millions of gallons of contaminated water into a major aquifer.

In a news release Monday, Scott says a recent sewage spill in Pinellas County and the sinkhole incident revealed outdated state reporting laws.

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EYE ON MIAMI: John Scott For FL House District 79: Fort Myers Election Is A David v. Goliath Battle

EYE ON MIAMI: September 26, 2016. Written by Gimleteye.

State House District 79 is in Fort Myers. It serves Florida voters well to understand a little of what makes Tallahassee tick. This is one race where the choices facing Florida are fully visible. It is a David versus Goliath race, and I support John Scott, the underdog challenging Big Sugar's salesman in Tallahassee, incumbent state representative Matt Caldwell.

Scott was born and raised in Hialeah. He lives and works in North Fort Myers in information technology and is a volunteer leader for Sierra Club. Although this is Scott's first venture into politics, he has chosen an extraordinarily important effort: to challenge an incumbent who represents a status quo that is wrecking Florida. 

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WPTV: Lake Okeechobee discharges bring algae concerns

WPTV: September 25, 2016. Written by Alex Hagen.

Algae concerns are blooming once again on the Treasure Coast.

The Army Corps of Engineers has begun discharging 1.1 billion gallons a day into the St. Lucie River. Now residents and business owners fear another round of algae blooms is coming.

It's the same flow rate sent into the river in May and June that caused multiple toxic algae blooms.

Lake Okeechobee's elevation this week is over the maximum level of 15 feet, 6 inches. This caused the increase in discharges.

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PALM BEACH POST: Cerabino: Too much regulation? Ask algae bloom, sinkhole neighbors

PALM BEACH POST: September 24, 2016. Written by Frank Cerabino.

Donald Trump has said he would get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“What they do is a disgrace,” he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace last year. “Every week they come out with new regulations.”

Wallace asked Trump: “Who’s going to protect the environment?”

“We’ll be fine with the environment,” Trump answered. “We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”

Trump’s hardly the first to make this argument. But if you look at what’s going on in Florida today, it would be hard to come to anything but the conclusion that Trump has this backward.

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PALM BEACH POST: Water district must fund control of invasive fern (Point of View)

PALM BEACH POST: September 24, 2016. Written by Patrick J. Gleason.

The Sept. 14 letter from Jim Moran, a member of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, demanded that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) act now to control Lygodium, a pernicious fast-growing exotic fern, that is destroying native tree-island vegetation in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (LNWR). Failure to do so may result in the SFWMD rescinding the FWS license to use the refuge.

My message to SFWMD is that it should stop asking the federal government for a hand-out and start using its own money to stop the seemingly inevitable destruction of this unique part of the Florida Everglades.

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FLORIDA POLITICS: Jack Latvala: Water quality is a business issue

FLORIDA POLITICS: September 23, 2016. Written by Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster

Environmentalists shouldn’t be the only ones sounding the alarm when it comes to Florida’s water quality concerns.

Instead, Sen. Jack Latvala said all of the state’s stakeholders need to work together to address the issues affecting Florida’s water.

“It’s not just (environmentalists). It’s not just the white hats with petitions and protests,” said Latvala, a Clearwater Republican and the incoming chairman of the Senate appropriations committee. “These are business issues. If we allow those (resources) to be desecrated in any way … that’s not going to help keep people coming to Florida, whether it’s as tourists or whether it’s as residents. Everyone needs to be invested.”

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TCPALM: Lake Okeechobee pollutes St. Lucie River with 1.1 billion gallons a day

TCPALM: September 22, 2016. Written by Tyler Treadway.

With Lake Okeechobee water levels too high and rising, polluted discharges to the St. Lucie River will increase to more than 1.1 billion gallons a day, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday.

The new flow rate, which begins Friday, is the same amount of lake water the Corps sent to the St. Lucie in May and June. Those discharges carried a huge algae bloom in the lake into the river, causing widespread toxic algae blooms in June and July, with thick mats of foul-smelling algae in some marinas and canals.

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MIAMI HERALD: More polluted water to be flushed from Lake Okeechobee

MIAMI HERALD: September 22, 2016. Written by Jenny Staletovich.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will increase polluted water flushed from Lake Okeechobee to the Treasure Coast to the maximum allowed Friday to ease pressure on the aging Herbert Hoover dike.

In the past month, water level in the lake has jumped nearly a foot, rising .21 feet in just the last week. At 15.57 feet Thursday, that puts the lake above the level considered safe for the dike, which is in the midst of a massive rehab. Since 2001, the Corps has spent about $800 million on repairs and will spend another $800 million in coming years.

The increased flushing is expected to dump more than 13,000 gallons per second in the St. Lucie River, raising the threat to the troubled estuary. Over the summer, repeated releases helped trigger a brutal algae bloom that turned water a putrid green. Run-off from heavy rain could bring even more polluted water, Corps officials warned.

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POLITICO: 2014 conservation spending measure could get $3.3B more, analysts say

POLITICO: September 22, 2016. Written by Bruce Ritchie.

TALLAHASSEE — State analysts say a water and land conservation spending measure approved by voters in 2014 could receive nearly $3.3 billion more than was expected before the vote.

That's good news, some environmentalists say, but they remain concerned about how the money could be spent. The revenue forecast also could play a role in the debate over Everglades restoration.

Amendment 1 in 2014 provided one-third of revenue from an excise tax on real estate and other transactions for conservation. The measure was expected to generate $19.1 billion over 20 years but state analysts recently adjusted the forecast to $22.3 billion.

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WPBF: U.S. Army Corps to raise amount of discharge from Lake Okeechobee

WPBF: September 22, 2016. Written by Greg Leuthen.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will raise the amount of discharges from Lake Okeechobee back to the same levels as they were at the height of the toxic algae crisis.

The Corps was discharging only about 650 cubic feet per second from the lake two weeks ago.

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