The following letter to the editor was published in The Daily Sun on March 21, 2023.
Communities across Florida have a huge stake in clean water. But if two bills filed and introduced in the state Legislature early this month become law, they will abolish local governments’ ability to fight pollution, inevitably leading to dirtier water. House Bill 1197 and Senate Bill 1240 would grant sole authority to the state to regulate water quality and quantity, pollution control and wetlands preservation. The state would “preempt” (replace) local authority.
If the state was doing a good job protecting water quality and fighting pollution, we would not need local clean water regulation. But the state is not doing an adequate job. These bills cannot become law. They threaten Florida’s waters. Thus, they threaten our public health and economy. Water is life, and we must protect it!
You can help stop these harmful bills. Call and/or email your state representative to say you oppose HB 1179 Land and Water Management. Call and/or email your state senator to express your opposition to SB 1240 Land and Water Management.
In Charlotte County, your representative is Michael Grant in District 75. His email is Michael.Grant@myfloridahouse.gov and phone (850)717-5091.
In Sarasota County, your representative is James Buchanan in District 75. His email is James.Buchanan@myfloridahouse.gov and phone (850)717-5073.
In Charlotte County, your senator is Ben Albritton in District 27. His email is Albritton.Ben.firstname.lastname@example.org and phone (850)487-5027.
In Sarasota County, your senator is Joe Gruters in District 22. His email is Gruters.Joe.email@example.com and phone (850)487-5022.
Thank you for protecting our most valuable resource.
Francis Dance, Englewood
Image Credits: Charlotte County Government