ERC signs off on controversial water standards
Despite vehement opposition from environmental groups, state regulators signed off Tuesday on new standards for Florida's rivers, lakes and coastal waters that include less stringent requirements for certain toxic chemicals.
The Environmental Regulation Commission approved the new human health criteria for surface waters in a 3-2 vote. The decision came after hours of emotional testimony from concerned citizens, who said the new standards will increase chances Floridians will get cancer from eating seafood and drinking water.
Linda Young, executive director of the Florida Clean Water Network, which led the fight against the new standards, called the decision “beyond outrageous.”
“This is a wholesale denial in Florida of the value of our lives,” she said. “This is our governor — who is the person who’s driving this — saying Floridians’ lives don’t matter. What matters are our industries, our corporations, making more money. And they can do that by putting more pollution in our waters.”