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Important Water News 2.12.2019

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February 12, 2019

This week the Army Corps of Engineers held their first three public planning meetings on the new proposed Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual, also known as LOSOM. But don’t worry if you couldn’t make the meetings this week because there are still plenty of opportunities to make your voice heard about the harmful effects of toxic discharges. The full list of remaining meetings can be found here.

In addition to attending the Army Corps’ public forums, I encourage you to share your story by submitting a public comment on my website. After you submit your comments, we’ll be using the submissions so we can keep up the fight for our community.

You should also send them directly to the Army Corps in an email addressed to: LakeOComments@usace.army.mil.

I know I don’t have to tell you how dangerous these discharges have been to our community’s public health. As you know, just last summer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discharged water from Lake Okeechobee that was found to be more than 50 times too toxic for human contact.

That’s why earlier this week I also introduced the Toxic Health Threat Warning Act. My bill will require tests to be conducted to determine whether the water to be released from Lake Okeechobee into our communities is contaminated and toxic. If it is, then the Army Corps must notify the public of the contamination and the public health risks before releasing the water out of Lake O.

Our goal is definitely no discharges, period. But right now, the Army Corps won’t even acknowledge the health risks created by their discharges.

The bottom line is this: if your health is at risk, then at a very minimum you need to be warned, and my bill will help us take an important first step toward finally holding the Army Corps accountable for their life-threatening actions.

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