Brian Mast Introduces Bill to Stop Army Corps From Releasing Toxic Discharges in Florida Waters

Last week, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., filed a bill to “prohibit toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary and the Indian River Lagoon.”

Mast introduced the bill on Friday and weighed in on it earlier in the week. His office noted the legislation “would make it illegal for the Army Corps of Engineers to discharge water containing algal blooms with a level of toxicity above the Environmental Protection Agency’s human health standard of 8 parts per billion microcystin.”

On Wednesday, Mast weighed in on why he was proposing the bill.

“The Army Corps has proven that if left to their own devices, they will continue to poison our communities with toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee that they have acknowledged to be toxic.  No Floridian should tolerate being poisoned by their government,” Rep. Mast said. “The EPA has told us exactly what level of microcystin is too toxic for human contact, and now we must tell the Corps to stop these discharges that are destroying our waterways and putting our health at risk,” Mast said.

Captains For Clean Water and Friends of the Everglades are backing Mast’s proposal.

Mast’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Friday. So far, he has not reeled in any cosponsors in the House. There is no companion measure so far in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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