Earlier this week the Army Corps of Engineers admitted - for the first time ever - that they knowingly discharged toxic water containing cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms from Lake Okeechobee to our communities.
This is a big deal because, with this admission, the Army Corps has an obligation to prioritize and protect public health when they make decisions about managing Lake Okeechobee. That’s why I’ve been pushing for a number of long-term operational changes including:
- The Toxic Health Threat Warning Act – to require the Army Corps to test the toxicity of the water prior to discharging, and if the water is contaminated, to warn the public of the health effects of their decision to discharge.
- The PROTECT Florida Act – to amend the Army Corps’ operational priorities to prioritize public health and minimize harmful discharges.
Unfortunately, we know all too well what happens when the environment is neglected. As a result of decades of abuse, toxic algal blooms are causing a massive public health crisis. To put it simply, we need to move past the partisan rhetoric and face our environmental challenges head on.
That’s why I also joined my colleagues from the House and Senate this week to launch a new conservation caucus to address the most pressing issues impacting our environment and economy. Together, the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus will work to make real progress to strengthen conservation programs, promote public health, defend our environment, keep our air clean and protect our waterways!
Check out this week’s video to learn more.
In case you missed it, here are a couple other things that happened this week:
- The House voted to pass a number of my priorities to support servicemembers.
- The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was permanently reauthorized.
- The South Florida Water Management District held a workshop on our estuaries.