Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wants to fight water regulations that limit the amount of waste allowed to be dumped in Florida waters. #
Rubio’s plan mirrors a similar measure by Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, who inserted a rider into the House budget bill that would severely limit the EPA’s funding for water-quality criteria in Florida. Now Rubio is planning to insert a similar rider in the budget resolution in an effort to bar the EPA from implementing those rules. #
Rubio defended his decision in a statement made to the St. Petersburg Times: “At a time when our state is facing double-digit unemployment and our families are struggling with the effects of a prolonged recession, the last thing we need is another Washington mandate that will cost billions, destroy jobs and increase daily costs.” #
According to Julie Hauserman of environmental law firm Earthjustice, Rubio’s budget rider will stop the EPA from enforcing new limits on sewage, fertilizer and manure waste, all of which “spark toxic algae outbreaks all over Florida, closing beaches, wrecking fishing, and causing serious health problems for people and animals.” #
In an email sent Wednesday, Hauserman says Earthjustice has heard from over 100 organizations who have gone on the record in support of the pollution limits, and that the EPA received 22,000 comments regarding the rules, 20,000 of which were in support. #
Despite a continuing public legal challenge waged by the state of Florida, state lawmakers are still dedicating a significant amount of time to passing memorials, bills that are mostly ceremonial, urging the federal government to repeal the health care reform bill.