We are in a war for our water - for the health and safety of our families, our environment and our local economy.
War is one thing that I can speak about very well. In any war there are many battles. Sometimes you win the day and sometimes, even when you’ve done absolutely everything possible, you don’t.
But the way I was raised and the way I was trained in the military, you always go back out the next night and bring the fight again with everything you have. I will keep doing that every day. That’s how I fight for our water.
This week we won a couple important battles:
- The EAA Southern Storage Reservoir was approved by the White House and the Army Corps. It was officially referred to Congress for authorization. I have been and will continue doing everything I can to get it approved.
- We also succeeded in holding off discharges that were supposed to resume on Monday until Friday. This was a welcome, but temporary, reprieve.
But, the water quality is getting worse. It's now 15 times more toxic than is safe for human contact. And discharges have resumed.
Our community did not create this problem or these conditions on Lake Okeechobee. It is absolutely absurd that we are being forced to have the health of our citizens placed at this risk. That's why, earlier this week, I called for a federal state of emergency to be declared so that we can get all the resources possible to our community immediately.
And, in the meantime, the Army Corps has the authority in the case of pollution emergencies to take immediate action, like suspending discharges. I will continue urging them - fighting for our community - to do exactly that.