Yesterday, the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee approved a proposed piece of legislation that prioritizes Florida’s sugarcane industry and is poised to have devastating effects on Florida’s water and Everglades restoration efforts.
Specifically, SB 2508 touched on 3 main areas of concern:
- Language in this bill forces the South Florida Water Management District to maintain existing, overly generous water-supply promises in the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). This would lead to more toxic algae blooms on Florida’s east and west coasts.
- It would delegate some wetland “dredge and fill” permit reviews to utility companies, meaning major companies like FPL and Duke Energy could potentially evaluate their own permit applications. This would not be necessary if DEP was properly staffed and resourced to take over the 404 wetland-permitting program in the first place.
- Language in this bill would bump up certain projects in the Everglades restoration funding line, including the scientifically questionable Aquifer Storage and Recovery wells that are central to the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project.
Only 4 senators (Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, Jason Pizzo of Miami, Linda Stewart of Orlando and Randolph Bracy of Orlando) had to gall to stand against it.
In total, 16 Florida senators snubbed the concerns of clean-water advocates in the room, voting in favor of SB 2508. Florida stands to lose too much if this bill continues to move forward. They need to hear from you, and we’ve listed them below.
Not sure which senator on this list below represents your area? You can CLICK HERE to double check.
Sen. Kelli Stargell
Sen. Aaron Bean
Sen. Ben Albritton
Sen. Dennis Baxley
Sen. Lauren Book
Sen. Doug Broxson
Sen. Manny Diaz Jr.
Sen. George Gainer
Sen. Audrey Gibson
Sen. Ed Hooper
Sen. Travis Hutson
Sen. Debbie Mayfield
Sen. Kathlee Passidomo
Sen. Keith Perry
Sen. Bobby Powell
Sen. Darryl Ervin Rouson
If you missed it, you can read our full update from yesterday by clicking here.