Important Hearing for Florida Springs Advocates

For further information, contact:

Katie Tripp, Ph.D.,
Director of Science & Conservation
Save the Manatee Club
Phone: (407) 539-0990
E-mail: ktripp@savethemanatee.org

For Immediate Release: September 5, 2013

On September 10, 2013, Save the Manatee Club, Save the Homosassa River Alliance, Inc., Chassahowitzka River Restoration Committee, and three area residents will present their case showing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) that the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) failed to follow State and Federal laws in setting Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs) for the Chassahowitzka and Homosassa Springs and Rivers. SWFWMD’s adopted MFLs will allow additional aquifer water withdrawals, and will not protect water quality and recreational, fish and wildlife uses of these exceptional natural resources.

Counsel for the Petitioners, John R. Thomas, hopes to connect the dots for FDEP to help them see that MFL’s for Outstanding Florida Waters (OFWs) must not allow water withdrawals that would cause or contribute to water quality violations, and cannot allow lowering of water quality beyond established state water quality standards for these waters.

“It’s no mystery.” Thomas explains, “Polluted water is flowing from the aquifers to the springs and wreaking havoc on the spring and river ecosystems. Along with aquifer pollution, reduced flow results in changes in these rivers that further reduce water quality. We hope to learn from FDEP what part of ‘No degradation of water quality is to be permitted’ they don’t understand. We hope to help them become compliant with their own statutes.”

The Hearing will begin at 8:30 a.m. at SWFWMD’s Governing Board Room in Brooksville according to the Agenda. Click here to see the agenda. Click here to see the petition. After presentations from the Petitioners and SWFWMD, the hearing officer will accept public input from citizens at 2:00 PM.

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