Clean Water Action asks that state policymakers continue to include public health, clean and safe water, and clean energy in the top tier of their 2013 Legislative priorities:
• Protect our Water: CWA calls upon lawmakers to protect public health and our water from point and non-point source pollution. Mercury, phosphorous, and other toxics must be dramatically reduced from ground and surface waters. Florida must set enforceable standards to protect our lakes, flowing waters, and estuaries. Investments in conservation and pollution prevention programs should be high priority.
• Protect our Everglades: America's Everglades is one of the world's most precious natural resources. Continued state and federal funding to restore the Everglades will bolster our state's economy by stimulating new construction and recreational jobs, benefitting fishing and hunting industries, and providing safe drinking water for 1/3 of Florida's population. The Florida Legislature should restore former funding levels of $100 million annually to implement the recently approved Everglades water quality plan and for planning and construction of essential restoration projects, and state and federal entities must work together to fund and construct additional bridging of Tamiami Trail.
• Protect our State's Budget: CWA is mindful that state and local governments have finite financial resources. It is critical that agencies that provide protections for our water and environment like the Water Management Districts and DEP receive sufficient funding. The state and the public cannot continue to pay the price of pollution that has been caused by business and industry; making polluters pay the cost of cleanup will alleviate financial burdens on taxpayers and our governmental agencies.
• Protect our Environment with Sound Permitting: We must ensure consumptive use permits protect the state's water; permit holders must demonstrate use of best management practices and provide regular reporting to ensure the protection of our water as a public resource, not a private entity.
• Protect Local Water Quality Ordinances: Numerous municipalities have taken positive, proactive steps toward improving water quality by initiating protective fertilizer ordinances that place restrictions on the use of toxic fertilizers that jeopardize the safety of our water resources. CWA wants to ensure that state rulemaking will not override local efforts to adopt stronger pollution prevention policies.
• Protect our Jobs: CWA supports the investment in green jobs by providing incentives for businesses and the public to support energy, water, and waste efficiency, investments in transit, and sustainable manufacturing. We must retrain and redeploy our workforce in jobs that will move Florida's economy.
• Protect our Communities: CWA will work to ensure that land use decisions maintain the integrity of long-term sustainable planning efforts, with regional and state oversight, to protect our communities.
• Protect our Families from Toxic Chemicals: Unregulated toxic chemicals in everyday items leave Florida's children, communities, and water supply at risk. Toxics must be tested for health impacts and labeled appropriately. Floridians deserve to know which products are safe to bring into their homes.
• Protect our Residents and Environment from Coal Ash: Coal-burning power plants dump billions of pounds of toxic coal ash into Florida's surface and ground waters and air. This leaves residents and natural resources unprotected from exposure to arsenic, mercury, chromium and many other harmful substances. Coal ash disposal needs to be regulated and enforced to protect public health.