Why would anyone intentionally poison their drinking water? Why would anyone spend hours devising complicated rationalizations regarding how many people might get cancer because of what you are doing? For money, that’s why.
The Seminole Tribe is understandably not pleased that the agency devised by those in power to protect the people’s health and well-being is protecting business corporations instead, so they have petitioned for an administrative hearing at the Division of Administrative Hearings.
Linda young of Florida Clean Water Network has written the following important information:
- The Tribes may be the only group in the state that could have standing to challenge;
- The petition correctly points out that the public notice for the hearing was inadequate and therefore the rule is invalid.
This likely means that DEP has to do the hearing all over again. Yes!!! You read that correctly. All over again. If I had to guess, I will guess that the DEP will voluntarily pull the rule from DOAH and schedule a new hearing. We have to wait and see about that.
The Tampa Bay Times has carried Jim Saunders’ article, which can be read in the original here.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Seminole Tribe challenges revised water standards
- By Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida
Tuesday, August 9, 2016 7:24pm
TALLAHASSEE — The Seminole Tribe of Florida has filed a legal challenge against controversial new state water-quality standards, arguing they don’t adequately take into account the amount of fish and other wildlife eaten by tribal members.
The tribe filed the challenge Monday in the state Division of Administrative Hearings, about two weeks after the state Environmental Regulation Commission narrowly approved the standards over the objections of environmentalists. The standards, developed by the Department of Environmental Protection, involve new and revised limits on chemicals in waterways.
In the legal challenge, the Seminole Tribe said the standards don’t adequately take into consideration potential health effects for people who eat fish on a “subsistence basis.”
“The proposed rule, which bases human health-based surface water quality standards off of a recreational level of consumption of fish, water fowl, frogs and other aquatic life and does not set standards that recognize and protect human consumption at a subsistence level, adversely affects the Seminole Tribe and its members who continue to exercise their customary and traditional hunting, fishing, trapping and frogging rights on millions of acres of lands and waters across South and Central Florida,” the six-page challenge said.
The Department of Environmental Protection, however, tried to dispel such concerns before the Environmental Regulation Commission approved the standards July 26. In a lengthy explanation posted on its website July 25, the department said the criteria would protect people in the state.
“The criteria consider a range of environmental variables and account for the most at-risk populations, including young children, pregnant women and those whose diets comprise primarily of Florida seafood,” the online post said.
The challenge, filed against the Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Regulation Commission, was assigned to Administrative Law Judge Bram D.E. Canter.
The Environmental Regulation Commission, which is appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, voted 3-2 to approve the first changes in the water-quality standards in nearly a quarter century. Environmentalists argued that at least some of the changes would lead to degraded water quality. The changes need to go to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for review and approval.
Seminole Tribe challenges revised water standards 08/09/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 9:47pm]