The U.S. House of Representatives was a in a cruel mood, yesterday, when it passed H.R. 2018, a bill that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting our nation’s waterways and drinking supplies—and give that power to the states.
But, don’t take my word for why this legislation is so potentially devastating. Just check out these recent pictures of the toxic green algae epidemic in Florida’s waterways. The slime—caused by unregulated nutrient runoff from agricultural operations and other sources—is choking the life out of such major rivers as the St. Johns and Caloosahatchee. You can’t swim in them, drink from them, or eat fish from them. And, if H.R. 2018 becomes law, you can bet that state legislators will try to keep them that way.
Water in the Caloosahatchee River during the most recent algae outbreak. Photo taken near the bridge at Alva, Florida, June 13, 2011. Photo by Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.
Photo taken on Caloosahatchee River, June 2011.
Dead Mojarra/Sand Bream and Jack, west of Franklin Lock, June 13, 2011. Photo by Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.
(View more photos of Florida’s nutrient pollution and algae blooms.)
Florida Rep. John Mica helped sponsor H.R. 2018, but he is only one of many powerful state legislators in Florida who are united in support of polluting industries, no matter what harm they bring to the citizenry. Says Earthjustice attorney Monica Reimer:
The EPA standards for Florida are designed to prevent this type public health threat. It is an absolute shame to watch our representatives play politics with our public health.