EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will be in Miami tomorrow to discuss the agency’s “WaterSense,” an initiative that brings together local water utilities, governments, product manufacturers and retailers to “promote water efficiency, and enhance the market through innovation and product design for water efficient products, programs, and practices.”
Jackson will meet with local green business leaders and tour the Brownsville Transit Village, “a new environmentally sustainable building project in an underserved community that incorporates water and energy-saving features.”
According to a press release, Brownsville is being developed by Carlisle Development Group, a company that specializes in environmentally sustainable affordable housing, and is a partnership with Alterna Corp., an EPA WaterSense partner and leading distributor of green building products. The project is estimated to save more than 5 million gallons of water per year and roughly $50,000 per year in utility savings.
The EPA WaterSense program has so far helped Americans save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion in water and energy bills. The program has also reduced 6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Jackson’s agency has been a major target during the lead-up to the 2012 presidential race. A particular subject of criticism is the EPA’s goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Though the EPA planned to go forward with new, more stringent air- and water-quality rules in 2011, the White House overruled the agency in December, following an intense lobbying campaign by industry groups that argued the rules would cost millions of jobs and billions of dollars.
In Florida, Jackson has been a target for her role in the agency’s “numeric nutrient criteria,” a set of state-specific rules governing pollution in Florida waterways.
The EPA mandated the rules, but has since handed over the reins to the state Department of Environmental Protection and, just this week, proposed delaying the implementation of the rules. Agricultural and utility groups waged a fierce lobbying campaign against the rules and the agency mandating them. Barney Bishop, the president and CEO of lobbying group Associated Industries of Florida, was quoted last year as saying that Jackson “thinks she talks to God” and is “killing jobs quicker than the president can create them.”