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Pinellas Beaches among cleanest in the nation listen

06/25/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: beaches, water, water quality, Pinellas County, Sarasota County, Ben T. Davis beach, Fort DeSoto

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Pinellas County beaches are among the cleanest in the nation. A report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that most Tampa Bay region beaches are consistently safe for swimming. Steve Fleischli is the water program director for the group. He says the water quality tests look for harmful bacteria.

“…that can cause a grim inventory of illnesses like dysentery, hepatitis, stomach flu, infections and rashes.”

Ten beaches in Pinellas County were tested. Most of...

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Tampa Bay environmental projects get $625,000 funding boost listen

06/03/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Tampa Bay Estuary Program, water, water quality, phosphorus, nutrient pollution, Holly Greening, environment, Steve Kornell

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Water and habitat restoration in Tampa Bay are getting a $625,000 boost this year. The Tampa Bay Estuary Program announced nine projects during a press conference at Clam Bayou in St. Petersburg Tuesday. Holly Greening, executive director for the program said despite continuing need for water quality improvements, Tampa Bay is the cleanest and clearest it’s been since the 1950s.

“We’ve got over 18 projects now that we’ve been able to fund over the last two years through the environmental ...

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Proposed gas pipeline could threaten Tampa Bay water supply listen

05/19/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: EPA, Sabal Trail, Anita Stewart, SpectraBusters, environment, water, natural gas

A coalition of energy companies including Florida Power and Light wants to build a 460-mile long natural gas pipeline through Florida and two other states. But environmentalists are pushing back against the project they say could contaminate aquifers. Anita Stewart is a district supervisor for the Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation District. She’s worried about a section of the pipeline that could bisect parts of a preserved area in Sumter and Pasco counties.

“This pipeline i...

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Florida DEP moves forward with numeric nutrient water standards as critics push back listen

03/26/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: water, numeric nutrient standards, TMDL, total maximum daily load, DEP, EPA, Florida

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Many Florida waterways still don’t have nutrient pollution standards. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is holding a series of meetings all over the state to talk about nutrient standards and how to make sure things like nitrogen and phosphorus are not contaminating water bodies.

“A healthy water body needs nitrogen and phosphorus so it makes plants grow and the plants grow and the aquatic fish and other life forms can eat the plants and you have a healthy system.”

Th...

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EPA proposes rule clarifying Clean Water Act protections for streams and wetlands listen

03/25/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: EPA, Clean Water Act, rivers, water, streams, wetlands, regulations

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Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule aimed at clarifying and strengthening the Clean Water Act.

The rule was published on the EPA website and says it would ‘enhance protection for the nation’s public health and aquatic resources … by increasing clarity as to the scope of “waters of the United States” protected under the Act.’

In an online video, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the new rule will help identify [streams and wetlands](http://environmentflorida....

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Clean water activists to take their fight to stubborn Tallahassee Republicans

02/07/14 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: water, Cathy Harrelson, Sierra Club, environment, Janelle Irwin

Environmental groups are supporting a pledge signed by more than 2,000 people so far asking the state to stop over consumption and privatization of Florida's water supply.

The groups also want legislation that promotes proactive behaviors instead of reactionary ones - an act Cathy Harrelson says would ultimately save money.

But many lawmakers are pushing back against water regulations including House Speaker Will Weatherford and Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Harrelson joins us on the ...

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Environmentalists in 16 Florida cities demand state action to promote clean water listen

01/22/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: EPA, DEP, water, clean water, Florida, Kevin Beckner, Mark Danish, fertilizer

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Environmentalists in Tampa are joining 15 other communities across the state in signing a clean water pledge Wednesday. During a rally on the Riverwalk behind the Straz Center, Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner added his name to the list of elected officials and activists who are demanding the state do more to protect water.

“We also have an issue in Hillsborough County of individuals having access to clean, affordable drinking water. It’s something that so many of us take fo...

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Pat Kemp talks with Chris Costello of Sierra Club listen

11/19/13 Pat Kemp
Last Call Tuesday
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Tags: water, Chris Costello, Sierra Club, manatees, pollution, Everglades

Pat Kemp talks with Chris Costello of Sierra Club about the growing toxic blooms and pollution in waters across the state including the death of more than 700 manatees this year.

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Activists aim to spook lawmakers into increasing protections for waterways listen

10/30/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: water, clean water, Gulf Restoration Network, Environment Florida, Sierra Club, EPA, Clean Water Act

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Some waterways haven’t been protected under the Clean Water Act over the past decade because of some Supreme Court rulings. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule change that would close those loopholes. At a press conference Wednesday at Rivercrest Park in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, Environment Florida’s Jennifer Rubiello said without the change water bodies considered unnavigable are vulnerable to pollutants.

“This did not used to be the case, s...

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Some researchers point to climate change in algae blooms and other water woes listen

10/28/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: water, algae, nutrient pollution, climate change, global warming, fisheries, the Gulf of Mexico

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Scientists are studying the effects of harmful algae blooms on water supplies and ecosystems. During a five-day symposium in Sarasota looking at the science behind algae blooms and other harmful outbreaks, experts tied increasing water problems to climate change. Patricia Tester, a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, studies bacteria that cause Ciguatera fish poisoning.

“The Food and Drug Administration picked up Ciguatera fish poisoning cases in differen...

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