John Kennedy reports for GateHouse Capital Bureau – “Gov. Rick Scott on Friday vetoed what environmentalists had derided as the “toilet-to-tap” bill, a measure that could have allowed treated wastewater to be pumped into Florida’s fragile underground aquifer… The veto… occurred as Scott readies to run statewide for U.S. Senate in a campaign he is expected to announce [today] in Orlando. ‘Miracles happen, in an election year,’ said Linda Young, director of the Clean Water Network of Florida, among the organizations opposing the legislation (HB 1149)… Scott had received more than 3,000 petition signatures from people opposing the reused water proposal… Environmentalists… said the legislation threatened to poison the aquifer for generations – fouling the prime source of drinking water for millions of Floridians… [I]n his veto message, Scott agreed with opponents that allowing the bill to become law could undermine ‘Floridians’ confidence in our existing water quality regulatory system.’… Treated sewage water is already used to irrigate lawns and crops and for a variety of industrial uses… While Payne (the bill sponsor) vowed that treated waste would be cleaned to federal drinking water standards, environmentalists point out that does not eliminate other toxins found in human waste, such as antibiotics, antidepressants and other drugs.” Read Scott vetoes ‘toilet-to-tap’ bill
Elizabeth Koh reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “In a state where water supply problems are a looming threat, reusing treated wastewater has already become a conservation priority, from industrial use in farming and to irrigate lawns, golf courses and parks. It has also become an environmental tool used to hydrate wetlands… Some municipalities have already begun moving toward putting treated wastewater into the aquifer. The city of Clearwater is in the process of permitting a treatment facility to recycle wastewater and return it into the aquifer, and in the city of Tampa, officials are conducting a feasibility study for a recharge and recovery project to pump the wastewater 900 feet underground into the aquifer and recover it at a shallower depth to naturally treat it, before further filtering it at a water treatment facility or funneling it into a reservoir.” Read Environmentalists get wish. Rick Scott vetoes controversial wastewater bill.
Barbara Peters Smith reports for the Herald Tribune – “Trailblazing Sarasota pediatrician, environmentalist and philanthropist Mary Jelks, who with her husband donated $1 million to preserve 604 acres of land on the Myakka River… died…” Read Sarasota environmentalist Mary Jelks dies at 88
Susan Salisbury reports for my Palm Beach Post – “Florida Power & Light’s cleanup of polluted water seeping from its Turkey Point nuclear plant’s cooling canals will take more than 60 years, not five or 10 years as the company has stated, a hydrologist (Nuttle) said… Customers of Juno Beach-based FPL are paying $200 million to draw back a plume that is saltier than seawater that is contaminating the Biscayne Aquifer. The aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for 3 million people, including Palm Beach County Utilities’ customers. The underground plume has spread 5 miles west of the two-reactor plant… about 25 miles south of Miami and also is contaminating Biscayne National Park… FPL spokeswoman Bianca Cruz said…, ‘…The groundwater model indicates that the recovery well system will work, and it will work within 10 years.’… Nuttle’s calculations come at a crucial time, as the Miami-Dade County Commission is set to vote April 10 on an agreement with FPL. The agreement calls for tens of millions of gallons of treated municipal waste water to be added to Turkey Point’s canal system every day… ‘… These new inputs of reuse water will decrease the effectiveness of remediation,’ Nuttle said. Diverting the water to the canal system would solve the problem of what to do with treated sewage Miami-Dade County now sends into the ocean. State law requires southeast Florida utilities to eliminate the normal use of ocean outfalls by the end of 2025, except under certain defined conditions.” Read Expert: FPL’s Turkey Point pollution fix will take 60 years
Bryan Nelson writes for The Apopka Voice – “Thank you to everyone that came out to the Basin Management Action Plan Community Meeting last week… In an attempt to address… inquiries, I wanted to provide a recap of the meeting as well as some history regarding BMAPs and how residents are impacted today.” Read Septic Tanks: The Wekiva River Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP)
Mark Harper reports for The Daytona Beach News-Journal – “Leek… is an attorney who has previously served as managing partner at Cobb Cole, the Volusia-Flagler area’s largest locally based firm… In the House, Leek has served as vice chair of the Public Integrity & Ethic s Committee as well as on the Ways & Means Committee and several other subcommittees… Tripp… said she’s had an interest in serving in the Legislature after 10 years working as director of science and conservation for Save the Manatee. She has… worked as a biologist with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Tripp is a supervisor with the Volusia County Soil & Water Conservation District and is an appointee to the Indian River Lagoon Citizens’ Advisory Committee… Hannoush, the Libertarian, calls himself an ‘average Joe,’ a 37-year-old food-deliveryman…” Read Democrat Katie Tripp to challenge Tom Leek for House 25 seat
Pam Wright reports for Weather.com – “The Indonesian city of Jakarta, touted as the world’s fastest-sinking city, may only have a decade left before it’s too late to reverse impending disaster. About 40 percent of the metropolis now lies beneath sea level, and several districts…, have sunk as much as 14 feet in recent years… The city that is home to about 10 million people is reportedly sinking at a rate of nearly 10 inches per year, largely due to the overconsumption of groundwater. Only about a third of the city’s population is served with piped water, so residents are resorting to digging illegal wells deeper and deeper into the ground to access groundwater. As the aquifers are depleted, the land sinks under the weight of concrete and buildings. There is ample rainfall to fill the emptied aquifers each year, but with an estimated 97 percent of the city covered in concrete and asphalt and a lack of sewers, the water is prevented from sinking back into the ground. Instead, it runs off into the ocean and the 13 highly polluted rivers that serve the city, which only exacerbates the city’s flood risk.” Read Jakarta is the World’s Fastest-Sinking City and it May Have Only a Decade Left
Rebecca Savranksy reports for The Hill – “Drafts of a federal report on sea level rise and storm surge reportedly no longer include any mentions of humans’ role in climate change. Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that National Park Service officials had scrubbed the mentions from drafts of the report… ‘Censorship of this kind is something you’d see in Russia or some totalitarian regime. It has no place in America[,’ said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist and dean of the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability.]” Read National Park Service officials delete references to humans’ role in causing climate change from drafts of new report
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
April 10, 6:30 pm – Attend “Every dollar you send into the world makes an impact” at the Bayview Senior Center (2000 East Lloyd St.) in Pensacola. Join impact investor Jacey Cosentino and investment advisor Lori Ptacek of Morgan Stanley to learn more about investing with impact. Impact investing refers to investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable and beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. For more information contact email@example.com.
April 11, 12:45 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussion Group at the Belvedere Library Community Room (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in The Villages. Grant Wilson, J.D., Directing Attorney of Earth Law Center, will make a presentation via Skype on the rights of Nature and rivers. For more information and to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 11 – April 17 – Solar United Neighbors is hosting several solar co-op information sessions around Florida throughout the next few months. Attendees will learn about solar equipment, financing, and the benefits of joining a solar co-op. For a complete list of sessions, click here.
April 14, 11:00 am – Attend the Last Straw Campaign Kickoff in Pensacola. Learn how you can modify your lifestyle to say no to straws and what you can do to get others on board. For more information, click here or contact Mary Gutierrez at email@example.com.
April 19, 7:00 pm – Attend “Garden for Wildlife with Native Plants” in Tallahassee. David Mizejewski will focus on restoring wildlife habitat in our cities, towns and neighborhoods through the use of native plants. For more information, click here.
April 21, 4:00 pm – Participate in Hike for the Corridor 2018 in Gainesville. Participants will hike to show they want Florida’s land conservation programs fully funded and the Florida Wildlife Corridor protected. For more information, click here.
April 22, 2:00 pm – Participate in ELAPP’s Florida Wildlife Corridor Connection 9-Mile Hike in Plant City. For more information, click here.
April 23, 4:00 pm – Attend a viewing of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power at the Mary Esther Public Library (100 W Hollywood Blvd) in Mary Esther. For more information, click here.
April 27-28 – Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium in Orlando. For more information, click here.
May 3, 6:30 pm – Watch Mac Stone’s TED talk on “the Amazing Everglades” at the Harvey Martin Democratic Center (3432 Deltona Boulevard) in Spring Hill. After the TED Talk, Dr. Tom St. Clair will comment on Everglades ecology and restoration. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 277 – 3330.
May 17-20 – Attend The Florida Native Plant Society’s 38th Annual Conference in Miami. For more information, click here.
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