Why is the sugar industry legally allowed to dump their pollutants into Lake O?
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The toxic algae blooms killing Florida’s estuaries, tourism, economy, and livelihood altogether, originates north, up towards Orlando. Lake Okeechobee has a huge watershed. (Watershed: “an area of land that drains ground and rain water into a river, lake, or sea.) Phosphate/Phosphorus (a.k.a. “The Devil’s Element” known also by that, because of it’s uses in poisons and explosives,) has been mined in Florida since 1883. The target phosphorus levels for Lake Okeechobee is 105 metric tons per year. In 2015, it was 450! Let that sink in... In short, this problem has been building up for over a century. Governor Rick Scott blames the algal blooms on the Federal Government because it is a Federally controlled dike around the lake. The reason we have the water releases is to protect the dike, which is deteriorating. In reality, this is not a Federal issue, this is a State issue! Decades and decades of over development and raw sewage are also contributors, but not the primary. Lax agricultural regulations are, however... Governor Rick Scott and his Water Management appointees rejected a sweet deal to buy U.S. Sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee to build a reservoir to store the extra water. That could have solved our crisis. Why didn’t our Governor Rick Scott take the deal? Oh, that is right, U.S. Sugar is one of Governor Rick Scott’s MAIN contributors. Through out the years, Governor Rick Scott has taken over $600,000 from sugar interests. Including money raised during a fundraiser personally hosted by none other than Florida Crystals exec, Pepe Fanjul. In 2015, the State Legislature passed an agricultural backed revision to the water quality law, that allows polluters to continue the dumping. The Federal Pollution Control Act of 1972 (a.k.a. The Clean Water Act,) it’s objective is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters by preventing point and nonpoint pollution sources, providing assistance to publicly owned treatment works for the improvement of wastewater treatment, and maintaining the integrity of wetlands. It is one of the United States' first and most influential modern environmental laws. The Secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for issuing all permits for the discharge of dredged and fill materials. Does this law not cover this crisis we are facing? It is no coincidence that the blooms are occurring right after the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. It’s time to Take Back Our Florida! Governor Rick Scott, what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong, and we are calling you out! Enough is enough, we not only deserve truthful answers, but we want results NOW! If you didn’t do a thing about this as Governor, what makes you think you qualify for Senate? We are tired of talk, we want action! Restore the natural flow or build the reservoir, something needs to happen!
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