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Statement By:
Tom Feeney, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding Florida U.S. Senators’ Efforts on Numeric Nutrient Criteria

February 16, 2012

“As the driving force behind the statewide Numeric Nutrient Criteria Task Force, Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has placed a high priority on returning regulatory control of Florida’s waters back to the State of Florida.

Today, an important step toward this goal was achieved through federal legislation filed by Sen. Marco Rubio which will ask the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow Florida to set its own water quality standards. We’ve done the research and we have the data we need to accomplish the correct numeric nutrient criteria for our state.

We commend Sen. Rubio for introducing the State Waters Partnership Act today and also applaud Rep. Steve Southerland for his work is setting the stage for this important legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives through his bill filed in January.

Additionally, we recognize the efforts of Sen. Bill Nelson who yesterday called upon the EPA to consider the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) request to implement a practical, state-run nutrient control program.

We are encouraged by the support of these Congressional members who understand the importance of establishing frameworks where states are allowed to address their own unique issues with the federal government acting as a partner. We cannot recruit companies to Florida and we cannot ask our Florida companies to expand without knowing the costs of doing business in our state. The current EPA proposal would bring more uncertainty to an already fragile economic environment.

The DEP Numeric Nutrient Rules, recently passed by the Florida Legislature and signed today by Gov. Rick Scott, offer the most achievable and cost effective way to balance the need for clean water with the diversity of Florida’s water resources. We thank Sen. Rubio, Sen. Nelson, Rep. Southerland and Gov. Scott for their support on this important issue and look forward to working with them to ensure Florida has clean water without imposing additional financial burdens on Florida businesses and local governments.”