DEP Caves to Industry at the Expense of Health



Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson  has provided the following information from  Linda Young, Florida Clean Water Network.  PO Box 5124  Navarre, FL 32566

ACTION ALERT: BENZENE has been taken OFF the list! of carcinogenic chemicals in Florida and 18 other carcinogenic chemicals will get weakened while they are at it.

Please plan to attend at least one of the DEP workshops listed below:

The DEP has already said Benzene (a chemical known to be directly associated with gasoline/fracking and other petro-chemical industries) is non-carcinogenic and just to be clear, it’s still on the human-health toxics list but not as a carcinogen. They have listed it as a non-carcinogen and significantly weakened the limits – which means that polluters can dump more of it in our waters – including Class I drinking water. …. according to Linda Young, who has spent more than 20 years of her life fighting to protect our clean water in FL, of the 26 carcinogens that we currently have criteria for, 18 of those will get weakened under the new criteria. Benzene is no longer considered by EPA and the state to be a carcinogen. Of the non-carcinogenic human-health toxics (have other adverse health effects) 6 of the 25 we have existing criteria for will get weaker.

Does benzene cause cancer?

Benzene is known to cause cancer, based on evidence from studies in both people and lab animals. The link between benzene and cancer has largely focused on leukemia and other cancers of blood cells.

World Health Organization

Effects following chronic exposure Benzene is a well-established cause of cancer in humans.1,3 The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified benzene as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1).1,3 Benzene causes acute myeloid leukaemia (acute non-lymphocytic leukaemia), and there is limited evidence that benzene may also cause acute and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Individuals who have experienced benzene poisoning requiring treatment show a substantially increased risk of mortality from leukaemia.3

The Department of Environmental Protection (department) is initiating rulemaking to consider proposed revisions to the human health-based surface water quality criteria in Chapter 62-302, F.A.C., that are designed to ensure that Floridians can safely eat Florida fish and drink local tap water. The revisions are based on updated scientific information, including more recent fish and drinking water consumption rate information, updated toxicological information, and revised methods to estimate bioaccumulation of pollutants in fish. Additionally, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 403.061(29)(b) and paragraphs 403.861(21)(a) and (b), Florida Statutes, enacted under Chapter 2016-01, Laws of Florida, the department is proposing to establish a new classification of surface waters (Class I-B, Treated Potable Water Supplies) and to reclassify seven Class III surface waters into the new classification.

Public workshops have been scheduled as follows:

DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, May 10, 2016; 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: Martin County Building Department, Conference Room, 900 S.E. Ruhnke Street, Stuart, FL

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, May 11, 2016; 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Central District Office, 3319 Maguire Boulevard, Suite 232, Conference Room B & C, Orlando, FL

DATE AND TIME: Thursday, May 12, 2016; 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building, Conference Rooms A & B, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL

The Department will present information about the proposed revisions at the workshops and solicit public comment. The same material will be presented at each workshop, so you do not need to attend multiple workshops.

Public workshop agendas and supplemental information about the rulemaking are attached to this email. Draft rule language and additional supporting information for the proposed revisions, including a draft Technical Support Document for the derivation of the human health-based water quality criteria, will be posted on the Department’s website at by May 6.



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