Brian Mast introduces the Stop Harmful Discharges Act
Stuart, Fl- Speaking in Stuart on Tuesday, Congressman Brian Mast introduced the “Stop the Discharges Act.”
Congressman Mast lives here on the Treasure Coast and the discharges affect him personally. He wants to make sure the health and safety of his family and the community are taken seriously.
The legislation calls for the end of discharges from Lake Okeechobee and changes the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the lake. Mast says dike integrity is a priority for the Army Corps. He feels people on the Treasure Coast are being taken advantage of.
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch wrote this yesterday:
This morning, in the City of Stuart, Congressman Brian Mast introduced the “Stop the Discharges Act” that when/if passed by Congress will require change in the priorities of the Central and South Florida Plan (C&SF) that since 1948 has dictated the ACOE’s South Florida operational priorities. The Act would require the Master Operations Manuel of the ACOE to take “Public Health and Safely” into consideration when managing Lake Okeechobee.
Presently, this is not a priority and thus we are plagued by toxic algae blooms as the federal government watches on and the state remains quiet regarding their negligence to meet water quality standards.
The Central and South Florida Plan’s 1948 legal priorities include flood control of 700,000 acres of Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee and all South Florida – most important, overseeing the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike; water supply for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses; and prevention of saltwater intrusion.
Two priorities that always seem last are water supply for Everglades National Park (ENP); and protection of fish and wildlife resources.
These priorities of the Central and South Florida Project were written and are driven by Congress – a congress of yesteryear. The “Stop the Discharges Act” does not take away the present requirements but adds public health and safety to the list. Today’s Congress must update; we are no longer living in 1948. (http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/CFS-CSFC/)
Standing with Congressman Mast were representatives from Florida Oceanographic Society, Blair Wickstrom, Florida Sportsman Magazine, Joe Banfi, Candidate for Martin County BOCC, Rob Levy, State Senate District 25, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Alex Gillen from Bullsugar, Kim Streiber and Troy Brown representing #toxic18.
The Rivers Coalition Defense Fund is supporting the bill. The Rivers Coalition does not support individual candidates. The 103 organizational members of the Rivers Coalition will vote on supporting the legislation only. They will vote at their September 26 meeting.
Congressman Mast gave a shout out to #toxic18 for all the documentation since the beginning of our discharges. He encouraged everyone to continue to document. You can join #toxic18