UPDATED: Will Rick Scott sign “toilet to tap” legislation?

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stormwater, sewage
A new 1000-foot wastewater injection well at St. Petersbug's Southwest Water Reclamation Facility. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News, 11 July 2017.

UPDATE, Friday 6 April 2018: Governor Rick Scott has vetoed this bill. In the veto statement, Scott said “I’m not convinced that this legislation will not muddle Florida’s protection of our aquifers.”

A Florida bill recently passed by the state legislature would allow more treated sewage to be pumped into the aquifer; it’s a bill that critics call “toilet to tap.”

HB 1149 encourages the disposal of treated wastewater (often called reclaimed water) in surface waters or the drinking water aquifer.

Linda Young opposes the bill and is pushing for Governor Rick Scott to veto it. She’s executive director of the Florida Clean Water Network.

Young pointed out that under the bill, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection would be responsible for implementing the practice. She criticized its environmental track record, especially in recent years.

She’s concerned that toxins like heavy metals, carcinogens and pharmaceutical drugs could get into the drinking supply.

Young suggested as alternatives water conservation, a look at the state’s carrying capacity and growth patterns and a study of how discharging sewage effluent into drinking water would affect human health.

Listen to this segment here:

Young also decried another bill passed by the Florida Legislature: HB 7043, which, if signed, would allow the FDEP to take over issuing wetlands destruction permits. Currently it’s the Feds — the Army Corps of Engineers — doing that.

 

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