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February 06, 2019

THE TOXIC WATER HAS SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS

Last summer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discharged water from Lake Okeechobee that was 50 times more toxic than safe for human contact. As a result, family pets and local wildlife died, and people in our communities fell seriously ill.

Believe it or not, the Army Corps won’t even acknowledge the health risks created by these discharges despite scientists and health professionals connecting toxic algae to serious illness and even death. That is unacceptable.

That’s why yesterday I introduced the Toxic Health Threat Warning Act to hold the Army Corps accountable for their harmful actions. This bill will make sure that people know the dangers of coming in contact with contaminated water by requiring testing on any water they plan to discharge from Lake Okeechobee into our communities. If the water is contaminated, then the public must be notified of the planned discharge and the health risks associated with it.

There’s no doubt we need to stop discharges entirely, but while our fight for clean water continues, the status quo of not even tell people that their health is being jeopardized is very dangerous. The bottom line is this: if someone’s health is at risk, then they need to be notified. Anything less is simply unacceptable.

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