Action Alerts

Below are current list of active action alerts that need your help:

BAD FLORIDA STATE LEGISLATURE BILL on FERTILIZER!!!

Rep. Nelson has filed an omnibus bill with a section on fertilizer that is designed to make it difficult for localities to adopt ordinances to protect water quality before it’s too late.

HB 1445 adds new hoops for local government to jump through before it can pass fertilizer ordinances to protect water quality before it is impaired. The bill is an example of de facto preemption – it creates a set of hurdles that are onerous enough to prevent all but the most determined locality from adopting a fertilizer ordinance. There is no concern for water quality in the bill, only concern for the fertilizer industry being able to continue selling its product.

See HB 1445 here: HB 1445 The sections dealing with fertilizer are on lines 174-268.

The bill is being heard in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday. Please call committee members and urge them to vote against this bill that would:

· Require the establishment of a biased workgroup to be composed of a fertilizer applicator, a retailer that sells fertilizer, and DACS (de facto advocates for fertilizer) and only two members concerned about water quality: a DEP representative and the local government representative.

· Require a workgroup to provide a report that addresses the economical and technical feasibility of enforcing the proposed additional or more stringent standards – given the workgroup’s makeup, the majority report will say the economy will be hurt if people purchase less fertilizer.

· The local government is to document in its records the vulnerability of waters in its jurisdiction due to “nutrient enrichment due to landforms, soils, hydrology, climate, or geology.” The problem to be addressed by turf fertilizer ordinances is not caused by landforms but by fertilizer. This requirement is an attempt to divert attention to other concerns, and more particularly, to establish in the rec ord other possible sources of nutrients so opponents of the ordinance can use it against them.

It has passed both the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Committee 2010 and the Natural Resources Appropriations Committee. It is now in the General Government Policy Council if it passes that it moves to the House Floor. Please contact the members of this council and let them know that this must not pass.

Marcelo, Llorente,(R), Miami, (850) 488-5047
John, Legg (R), Port Ritchey, (850) 488-5522
Keith, Fitzgerald (D), Sarasota, (850) 488-7754
Kevin C., Ambler (R), Tampa, (850) 488-0275
Mary, Brandenburg, (D), West Palm Beach, (850) 488-0260
Jennifer, Carroll (R), Jacksonville, (850) 488-5102
Faye B, Culp (R), Tampa (850) 488-2770
James C., Frishe (R) Belleair Bluffs, (850) 488-9960
Audrey, Gibson (D), Jacksonville, (850) 488-7417
Ed, Homan (R), Temple Terrace, (850) 488-3087
Dorothy L., Hukill (R), Port Orange, (850) 488-6653
Evan, Jenne (D), Ft. Lauderdale, (850) 488-0245
Dave, Murzin (R), Pensacola, (850) 488-8278
Ari Abraham Porth (D), Coral Springs, (850) 488-2124
William D. Snyder (R), Stuart, (850) 488-8832
Perry E., Thurston (D), Fort Lauderdale, (850) 488-1084
Baxter G., Troutman, (R), Winter Haven (850) 488-9465
Juan C., Zapata (R), Miami (850) 488-9550

______________________________________________

EPA to Hold Additional April 2010 Public Hearings in Florida

In order to accommodate the high level of public interest, EPA will hold three additional public hearings on the proposed rule, “Water Quality Standards for the State of Florida’s Lakes and Flowing Waters.” The public hearings afford an opportunity for the public to provide oral and/or written comments on EPA’s proposed rule. Brief oral comments and written comments will be accepted at the hearings. You do not have to be present at the hearings in order to provide written comments on the proposed rule. EPA held public hearings in Tallahassee, Orlando, and West Palm Beach on February 16, 17, and 18, 2010, respectively.

Due to the large number of expected commenters, EPA expects to limit each oral comment to five minutes or less in order to give everyone an opportunity to speak. You do not have to be present at the hearings in order to provide written comments on the proposed rule (see “How to Submit Written Comments” below). EPA must receive all written comments on or before April 28, 2010.

Hearings Dates and Locations

April 13, 2010: Fort Myers Harborside Event Center 1375 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901

12:00 noon to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
April 14, 2010: Tampa
Hilton Tampa Airport 2225 North Lois Avenue, Tampa, FL 33607
12:00 noon to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
April 15, 2010: Jacksonville
Clarion Hotel Airport Conference Center 2101 Dixie Clipper Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32218
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Participation in Public Hearings
EPA strongly encourages you to preregister for a hearing, as we expect a large number of participants. Everyone who attends will have the opportunity to speak, however those who have preregistered will be able to speak first. Information on the hearing process is provided below.

Hearing Process
All participants will be required to sign-in upon arrival at the hearing. If you are planning to speak, please read the following paragraphs. EPA expects to limit each oral comment to five minutes or less.

If you would like an opportunity to speak, please select that on your preregistration. Those who have preregistered to speak will have the opportunity to speak before those who are not preregistered. Once you have signed in, you will be given a number indicating the order in which you speak. The order will be based on your time of arrival.

Individuals who have not preregistered will have an opportunity to speak after all preregistered participants have spoken. If there is not enough time in the afternoon session for all speakers, you will have the opportunity to speak in the evening session. Please note that EPA will also accept written comments at the hearing and throughout the comment period.

Interpretation
A sign language interpreter will be available at all the hearings. A Spanish translator will also be available at all the hearings.

How to Submit Written Comments
If you are unable to attend any of these hearings, you can submit comments by other means. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0596, by one of the following methods: Regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments or refer to the Comment Submittal Directions (PDF) (1 pg, 9K).

E-mail: ow-docket@epa.gov

Mail: Water Docket, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0596.

Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, EPA West Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0596. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

EPA must receive all written comments on or before April 28, 2010.

Questions? If you have questions about the proposed rule contact Sharon Frey (frey.sharon@epa.gov) at 202-566-1480.
_____________________________________________________________________

PROTECT STAGHORN CORAL IN FL

Staghorn coral was added to the Endangered Species List in 2006. An aspect of the listing was for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to establish an area of Critical Habitat, necessary for the survival of the species. NMFS did that and proposed an area in Florida to include all suitable reef habitats from the Dry Tortugas to the northern end of Palm Beach County. The wealthy Town of Palm Beach objected to having the reefs offshore of the town included in the habitat protection area. In November 2008, NMFS issued the final critical habitat designation and excluded the reefs offshore of Palm Beach, eliminating half of Palm Beach County from the protected area.

Reef Rescue has challenged the final critical habitat boundaries for endangered corals by filing a formal petition asking the feds to revise the area to include the staghorn reefs off Palm Beach, as was originally proposed. Another objection has been issued by Palm Beach reiterating reef protection interferes with the town’s beach projects and the insignificant number of staghorn corals off their coast do not warrant habitat protection.Please take a moment to email the Town.

STOP OCS OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING

Offshore oil and gas drilling poses a seemingly endless list of risks for the ocean and coasts, caused by both large spills and gradual degradation of the ocean associated with drilling-related activities.  The dangers range from the vast long-term ecological impacts to the destruction of marine habitat, recreational uses and the economic value of our ocean resources.

The deadline for comments is coming up on September 21.  Please take a few moments right now to communicate your desire to protect our shores from harmful drilling.

TAKE ACTION HERE!
Let’s Pass the Beach Bill!
For the third year in a row, Congress is considering a bill to reauthorize the BEACH Act. This landmark law was first championed by Surfrider Foundation a decade ago.

The Clean Coastal Environment & Public Health Act of 2009 will increase the amount of federal dollars that can be spent on beach water quality monitoring and will modernize the technology we rely on to protect the health of the beach-going public. It also expands the scope of the BEACH Act to include tracking and cleaning up the sources of beach water pollution. The House of Representatives has passed this bill twice now, but it has not yet seen the Senate floor.

Urge your Senato
rs to show their support for healthy beaches and robust coastal economies by cosponsoring the Clean Coastal Environment & Public Health Act of 2009. Don’t let them put this off for yet another year!

To take action click this link….. http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/pass_beachbill

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Responses

  1. Thanks for raising awareness about how we can all pitch in and help with the most recent oil spill and other pertinent issues regarding ocean conservation. It still stops my heart to think of all the ignorance and blatant lack of concern, but being paralyzed into complacency is no solution. I appreciate the resources to be a part of the action, and it’s really not as hard as it seems.
    I also wanted to add that I know NRDC (and I’m sure a bunch of other environmental organizations) are rallying now to end offshore drilling. It may seem like an impossible mountain to climb, but we must start somewhere. I’d like to encourage all readers to add their voices in as many places as possible online to the protest against offshore drilling. It’s really easy using online petitions and whatnot. Here is the link to NRDC’s letter to Obama calling for the end to offshore drilling – http://www.southkonayouth.com/endoffshoredrilling

    Thanks again! ~Aloha~


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