Last week, representing you, the residents of Florida, and using your tax dollars, Florida attorney general, Pamela Jo Bondi, unbelievably, took legal action opposing local efforts to clean up Chesapeake Bay. (See http://swfwmdmatters.blogspot.com/2014/02/florida-sues-to-stop-clean-up-of.html) The action, with the apparent blessing of Florida governor Rick Scott, has triggered reactions both here and there. Here are two letters, one from Manley Fuller, President of the Florida Wildlife
Federation, and Jennifer Hecker, Director of Resource Policy, Conservancy
of Southwest Florida. - Sandspur
|AG Pam Bondi|
filed legal action to stop
cleanup of Chesapeake Bay
Re: “Florida joins states in brief challenging water ruling” (news, Feb. 4).
We were stunned that Florida would attempt to derail the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint. As we continue our own fight to improve waterway conditions in Florida and in neighboring states like Georgia and Alabama, we should be looking for ways to reduce our own pollution and clean our own water, not attacking other states’ solutions.
After years of failed proposals, the landmark Chesapeake plan was approved with support from all six watershed states and is recognized as “cooperative federalism” in a recent ruling by a federal judge. Those living in the Chesapeake region recognize, as do Floridians, that a healthy economy is intrinsically linked to a healthy environment. Like Florida, Chesapeake states know that a healthy watershed is vital to its multibillion-dollar tourism, recreation and commercial seafood industry.
Chesapeake Bay, ACF River Basin, St. Johns River and the Everglades are recognized as America’s Great Waters for their national significance. It is imperative that we cooperate across the country on efforts to restore our Great Waters for our critical natural resources and nature-based economy.
MANLEY K. FULLER
President, Florida Wildlife Federation
Florida Needs to Stop Its Dirty Water Lawsuit
Last week, the State of Florida used your tax dollars to take legal action to try to stop the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. While dirty water abounds here at home, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a brief against the Bay clean-up plan.
Bondi, and other state attorneys generals, joined polluters including the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Council, The Fertilizer Institute, National Beef Cattleman’s Association and others, to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from carrying out its plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. These are the same types of polluting industries we’ve been trying to get to stop pollution at its source here in Florida. They are also the same polluting interests that joined Bondi in suing the EPA to fight protective enforceable water quality standards for controlling fertilizer, sewage and agricultural runoff into waters used for drinking, swimming and fishing.
Florida’s waters and the Chesapeake Bay are being polluted by the same nutrient pollution. Therefore, the implementation of an effective nutrient pollution clean-up plan for the Chesapeake would also mean that Florida’s polluters would be forced to treat their own pollution on-site, rather than disposing of it in our waterways. This would save us from continuing to pay the price in lost tourism, lower real estate values and the expense of publicly funded clean-up projects. We understand why the polluters would fight the clean-up of the Chesapeake, but are confounded and outraged as to why our state would join their fight.
This cannot be credibly portrayed as a state’s rights issue, as the Chesapeake Bay states signed and supported the clean-up plan. This also cannot be portrayed as protecting Floridian’s interests, as this is not in Florida and would set a negative precedent for establishing effective clean-up plans for Florida’s waters.
Contact Florida’s Governor Rick Scott at 850-488-7146 and Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi at 850-414-3990, to tell them they need to stop and withdraw this dirty water lawsuit immediately and to use our tax dollars to clean up Florida’s polluted waters instead.
And to the people of the Chesapeake Bay region, we apologize that Florida’s leadership would try to prevent you from having a clean bay for you to safely enjoy. Please know that we want you to have clean water, just as much as we want it for ourselves.
For more information on protecting Florida’s waterways, visit www.conservancy.org or call 239-262-0304.
Director of Natural Resource Policy
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Quote - Ron Littlepage, ( email@example.com (904) 359-4280) Florida Times Union, Via Florida Conservation Coalition News Brief:
“Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and her buddy Governor Rick Scott have lost their minds. Last week, Bondi joined in a lawsuit to undermine an agreement that would clean up one of the nation’s most valued bodies of water, the Chesapeake Bay… That puts Bondi and by extension all Floridians on the side of the American Farm Bureau Federation in being pro-pollution and anti-clean water.” Littlepage continues, “You can forget about those environmental clothes Scott has been masquerading in of late while making a big deal about handing out dollars for restoring the Everglades and our iconic springs. Scott and Bondi are all about protecting Big Ag’s ability to pollute for profits.” Read Why are Florida leaders involved with Chesapeake Bay? Find the legal brief challenging the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Plan here.