As lawmakers work to help Florida's springs, industry groups object
Times environmental reporter Craig Pittman has a story today about the obstacles to helping Florida's springs. An excerpt:
Some of Florida's most powerful state senators have put their heads together to draft legislation designed to help Florida's ailing springs.
The draft bill would earmark about $378 million per year for sewage hookups and septic tank improvements in springs areas, and would require the state Department of Environmental Protection to create "protection and management zones" for 38 of the state's most prominent springs. Most homes in those zones would be required to hook up to a central sewer line.
Given the position of the senators — all four chair key committees — the bill might be expected to have smooth sailing once the Legislature convenes March 4. But now a cadre of business groups — including the Association of Florida Community Developers, the Florida Home Builders Association, the Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce — have said: Not so fast.
"There is another way," the groups wrote in a Jan. 28 letter to the senators, then advocated sticking with the laws and rules that are now on the books.