Adam Putnam: We don't need the EPA
Gainesville Sun – June 17, 2012
A ruling from an independent Administrative Law Judge last week in support of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) proposed water quality standards is the latest in a long line of affirmations that Florida is best positioned and most capable of managing the health of its own rivers, streams and coastal waters.
The health of Florida’s bodies of water is critical to the future of this state. Part of what makes Florida the ultimate tourist destination is its natural environment. Florida’s lakes and rivers offer endless family-friendly recreational opportunities for Florida’s residents.
Businesses — including energy production, real estate development and Florida’s $100 billion agriculture industry — rely on a high-quality water supply to support their operations. For these and many other reasons, Florida is committed to protecting and restoring its lakes, springs, rivers and streams.
Florida’s efforts to protect its bodies of water do not come without significant challenges, however. Nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, can impact the quality of Florida waters. Though nutrients can be harmful in excessive amounts, they are natural and necessary for healthy waters.
The situation is further complicated by the diversity of Florida’s bodies of water, which vary greatly in size, shape and environmental surroundings. A one-size-fits-all approach is not an option.
Florida’s proposed water quality standards not only take these unique characteristics into account, but also adopt a scientific approach proven to measurably benefit the health of Florida’s water bodies. Florida’s water standards are the culmination of two decades of data analysis and critical discussion by some of the finest scientists in Florida.