September 30, 2016
upset' with Florida's water quality woes
Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, expressed concern Friday about contamination
in Florida's water, saying the state and local governments have failed to
fulfill one of their most basic jobs: ensuring people have access to safe,
upset with the totality of what's happening to our water supply around the
state," said Latvala, who will be the powerful Senate budget chairman next
year. "It's maybe not as sexy as talking about tax cuts or new programs
but it's just a fundamental responsibility of government to protect citizens
and their water supply."
ago, green algae blooms caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee made national
headlines. Then, in the wake of Hurricane Hermine, local governments including
Tampa, St. Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater began dumping excess sewage
into Tampa Bay. Now, a sinkhole has opened at a Polk County phosphate
processing plant owned by fertilizer giant Mosaic, which both the state
and company initially kept quiet.
incidents, said Latvala, "all portend for some attention because it's just
hard to imagine they're all happening at the same time."
pointed specifically to cutbacks in staffing at the Department of Environmental
Protection, the state agency charged with ensuring state waterways aren't
polluted. But Latvala would not go as far as to say DEP is to blame for not
taking a more active role.
don't know if there's any culpability there," he said of the Mosaic
sinkhole. "I will tell you in Tampa Bay, DEP has been very responsive to
the concerns of our delegation in Pinellas County."