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TUESDAY: EPA to Hold Additional Public Hearings on Proposed Florida Waters Standards in Fort Myers

Release Date: 04/12/2010
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, , 202-236-2426

(ATLANTA – April 12, 2010) On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold additional public hearings in Fort Myers to ensure that Florida residents’ voices are heard regarding the agency’s proposed Florida water quality standards. The standards will protect people’s health, aquatic life and the long term recreational uses of Florida’s waters, which are a critical part of the state’s economy.

EPA is accepting public comments on the proposed standards through April 28, and is holding public hearings on the proposed rule in three Florida cities to obtain input and comments on the direction of EPA’s rulemaking. The hearings are scheduled for April 13, April 14, and April 15 in Fort Myers, Tampa, and Jacksonville respectively.

Nutrient pollution can damage drinking water sources; increase exposure to harmful algal blooms, which are made of toxic microbes that can cause damage to the nervous system or even death; and form byproducts in drinking water from disinfection chemicals, some of which have been linked with serious human illnesses like bladder cancer. Nutrient pollution problems can happen locally or much further downstream, leading to degraded lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries, and to hypoxic “dead” zones where aquatic life can no longer survive.

WHO: Ephraim King, Director, Office of Science and Technology, EPA Office of Water

WHAT: EPA proposed water quality standards for Florida

WHEN: Tuesday, April 13, 2010, Noon – 4:00 pm; 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

WHERE: Harborside Event Center

      1375 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901

*** Credentialed press should sign-in at the registration desk

More on the proposed rule and public hearings: