February 3, 2010
Florida is facing a challenge like it has not seen and it is all due to a lawsuit by EarthJustice and other environmental organizations. They filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Florida was not moving fast enough to set numeric nutrient criteria for its water bodies. EPA settled the suit and is now in the progress of setting the numeric nutrient criteria for our state. Florida is the only state that is currently being subjected to EPA setting numeric nutrient criteria for bodies of water in our. The economic impact of this arbitrary move on Florida’s economy will be devastating for consumers and business owners. The cost to meet these new standards has been estimated at $50 billion dollars. Average water utility costs for consumers will increase by $62 dollars and the increase on business owners will be in the thousands of dollars. Florida’s economy cannot sustain this hit…especially given our record levels of unemployment.
Florida companies are not promoting dirty water for our state. Instead we are promoting a scientific approach on how to set standards appropriate for Florida. We have established a Total Maximum Daily Loads program that numeric nutrient criteria is based on watersheds making Florida recognized as a national leader in water quality protection and restoration. We are afraid that EPA will abruptly change that and cause Florida to spend billions of dollars to meet standards.
AIF is urging our members to get involved in this issue by contacting your elected representatives in Tallahassee and in Washington to let them know that taking away Florida’s ability to set its own numeric nutrient criteria is unacceptable! In addition, we urge all our members to provide comments to the EPA during their upcoming hearings in Florida this month.
For more information on this issue please read our Statement of Concern on this issue.
In light of the large number of pre-registrants, the Agency has adjusted the times of the hearings on the Proposed Water Quality Standards for the State of Florida's Lakes and Flowing Waters to allow for as many speakers as possible during each session. The dates of the hearings remain the same. Below you will find the new times of the hearings and important information on the process by which speakers will be able to make oral comments.
February 16, 2010 at the Holiday Inn Capitol East
1355 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32301
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon (NEW Session)
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
February 17, 2010 at the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal
7800 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819
1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (this session has been extended 1.5 hours)
7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (This session will begin 30 minutes later than originally planned)
February 18, 2010 at the Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport
1301 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
12:00 noon-5:00 p.m. (this session will begin 1 hour earlier than originally planned)
6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. (this session will begin 1 hour earlier than originally planned)
There may be an extended wait to speak in the afternoon sessions due to the large number of registrants. EPA wants to offer you an opportunity to change the time for which you have already registered. If you are interested in changing the session that you are registered to attend, please reply to this e-mail with your preferred time and date. Please do not re-register on the website. You will receive a confirmation e-mail acknowledging your change.
All participants will be required to sign-in upon arrival at the hearing. If you are planning to speak, please read the following paragraphs. Everyone who wishes to will have a chance to speak at some point during the hearing.
Those who have pre-registered to speak will have the opportunity to speak before those who are not pre-registered. Once you have signed in, you will be given a number indicating the order in which you speak. The order will be based on your time of arrival.
Individuals who have not pre-registered to speak will have an opportunity to speak after all pre-registered speakers have made their comments. However, in the afternoon sessions there may not be enough time for unregistered speakers to provide oral comments before each session ends. In that case, you will have the opportunity to speak in the evening session. Please remember that EPA will also accept written comments at the hearing and throughout the comment period.
If you would like to change your current registration, please reply to this e-mail and indicate what part of your registration you would like to change (e.g., session for which you have registered; option to speak or not speak).
More information on the effort to prevent EPA from jeopardizing Florida’s agriculture and the state’s economic recovery is available at the Don’t Tax Florida Web site at www.DontTaxFlorida.com