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What!? Florida Congressman Acts In Support of Toxic Slime

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16 February 2011, 2:38 PM
Rep. Rooney seeks to block EPA's water pollution limits

Florida Slime

From the Now We’ve Seen Everything Department (A large and busy department here in the Sunshine State):

Florida Republican Congressman Tom Rooney has introduced language into the federal budget bill to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing important new public health protections for Florida.

As you’ve read in this space before, the EPA’s new water pollution limits are designed to control the public health threat posed by the green slime that continually breaks out on Florida waterways. This horrid slime is fed by partially treated sewage, animal waste and fertilizer pollution. (Pictures here. ) Florida health authorities have had to close swimming areas and drinking water plants because of this toxic algae. The algae outbreaks can cause breathing problems, sores, rashes, illness, and even death.

The EPA’s new limits for the pollutants phosphorus and nitrogen (which come from sewage, animal waste and fertilizer) finally address a health threat that has gone on too long. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection first sounded the alarm about the dangers of toxic algae outbreaks in a 2000 scientific report – 11 years ago!

It is hard to believe Rooney would try to block this pollution cleanup when we look at what happened in the Southeast Florida district he represents. In 2005, one of the worst toxic algae outbreaks ever recorded happened on the coastal St. Lucie River and estuary. The entire river was covered with bright green slime and it wasn’t safe to even touch the water. Waterfront property values in the area suffered a permanent decline of a whopping $500 million after the outbreak.

Last summer, Floridians endured the worst algae outbreak in years – a 100-mile long toxic algae slime covered the St. Johns River, fouling the water for boating and swimming and piling up dead fish along the riverbanks.  

Congressman Rooney is clearly at odds with the public. When the EPA asked the public to comment on the new water pollution limits, the agency received 22,000 comments, and 20,000 were in support of the new limits.

The new limits were developed jointly by the EPA and Florida’s DEP after scientists at the two agencies reviewed 13,000 water samples at 2,200 sites around the state.

Florida is ready and willing to start this cleanup. Two years ago, then-Florida DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole acknowledged the state’s serious problem with the so-called “nutrients” phosphorus and nitrogen. He issued this statement in January 2009:

The State of Florida recognizes that more needs to be done to address nutrient pollution in our rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries … Excess nitrogen and phosphorus levels (nutrient pollution) in water bodies can cause harm to aquatic ecosystems and threaten public health.

Nutrient pollution can lead to water quality problems such as harmful algal blooms, low-oxygen “dead zones” in water bodies and declines in wildlife habitat. These effects also disrupt recreational activities and pose threats to public health.

Not a good scenario for a state that depends on tourism to run its economy. Rooney and the other members of the Florida congressional delegation should be standing up for clean water – not standing in the way of cleanup.

Why can't people get that short-term greed willl only lead to long-term problems? Please humans, wake up!

It seems those members in Congress would trade their souls to get Corporate money and
be in power. Be damned everyone else.

Do these people not care about future generations and their own families?

It seems as if the anti-EPA people think that the EPA is a Liberal playground. Listen up, people: it's your health, your family's health, the health of the land and water and the health of the Nation.

There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.
Keep working ,great job!
Florida home for sale by owner

Very nicely done indeed.I think listening to your members is key and ACTING on the info they share/provide is also important. Taking their feedback, knowledge etc and doing something with that information..whether that means promoting it so other members can benefit or making changes to how the community is run, features it includes, etc. Certainly you should communicate how you are acting on the info your members provide.Don't forget that another way to build online community is to leave your own community from time to time and visit others.

buy property in USA

Great Information. That sounds pretty cool. Really helpful thanks for the Article, Great job, Keep posting interesting matters here. Looking forward to it. Thanks and keep it up! All the Best.

Real estate investors

Absolutely disgusting. Pure corruption. Unconscionable. How can people be so ignorant-why would they elect such a lowlife? We are in real danger because our population has ceased to think critically, and fails to examine issues beyond paid-for 30 second sound bytes.Wake up people! This is what you get.

Toxic algae blooms are often the result of overfertilizing with N and P from point source and nonpoint source runoff. One must limit nutrients flowing from point sources such as wastewater treatment plants and nonpoint sources such as urban surfaces, fertilized lawns and gardens, farm fields and poultry waste and cattle feedlot manure. We have a choice to limit nutreint input into rivers and lakes or endure algae blooms.

Where does Congressman Tom Rooney get HIS drinking water when he is in Florida supposedly representing his constituents? Most likely he is having the bottled water shipped in from some other location and its probably being paid for by his big polluter company backers . Hey Tom, How about going for a swim in or a boat ride on the river next time you're in town?!?

What us going on? Are we in an alternate universe?
Congressman Tom Rooney, you should be ashamed! And then you should get busy and tell the Congress that you made a mistake; that you want to represent Florida's citizens instead of Big Bucks.
And hurry!

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