Fort Myers, FL
A loose coalition of business interests, sportsmen, and environmentalists showed up in large numbers today for a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency public hearing to support new, proposed standards to curb excess nutrient pollution in Florida waters.
The attendees argued in favor of limits on the sewage, fertilizer and manure pollution that plagues Southwest Florida’s public waterways.
The Caloosahatchee River and areas around Sanibel Island have seen noxious outbreaks of toxic algae and red tide in recent years which cause fish kills, close beaches, foul drinking water supplies, and devastate the tourism-dependent economy.
The Southwest Florida Chamber of Commerce endorsed the effort to establish criteria to control nutrient pollution, and urged state and local officials to cooperate with the EPA.
The rulemaking to establish new pollution limits is the result of a lawsuit and consent decree between Earthjustice’ and the EPA. The clients in that case were Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, St. John’s Riverkeeper, and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
EPA is holding two more hearings this week, one in Tampa and one in Jacksonville.
Approximately 100 businesses and environmental organizations have joined the effort to support establishment of new numeric pollutant limits. For more information, visit http://floridawatercoalition.org/