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Senator LeMieux: EPA Issues "Stay of Execution' on Harmful Water Mandate

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Senators LeMieux and Nelson proposed amendment to block harmful EPA rule from going into effect

U.S. Senators George LeMieux (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today offered an amendment to pending Senate legislation to delay a controversial water regulation that has not been thoroughly peer reviewed. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) objected to the amendment effectively thwarting the bipartisan effort. In response to the LeMieux legislation, the EPA issued a "short extension" this afternoon, delaying the rule implementation for 30 days to confirm comments have been reviewed, but the Agency did not agree to use the input, adjust or amend their pending mandate. Further, the EPA did not agree to the Florida delegation's request to execute an independent economic analysis or allow for a third party review of the science used to develop the standards.

"This rule will hurt Florida's families. It will cost our state billions of dollars, thousands of jobs, and drive up water bills. This is a lawsuit-driven mandate without a sound scientific basis and the result will be unnecessarily catastrophic for Florida," said LeMieux. "The EPA's actions threaten Florida's economy and is unlikely to provide little, if any biological benefit compared to its estimated cost."

In an August 2, 2010 letter to the EPA, signed by Senator LeMieux and a bipartisan group of 20 other Florida members of the House of Representatives, the delegation asked for the agency to delay their rule until a third party peer review of the science and an independent economic analysis can be conducted. The EPA responded, six weeks later, indicating no further review was necessary and the rule would proceed, despite the protestations of local, state and federal officials.

"We all support clean water. Florida is a nationally recognized leader in promoting water quality. But at a time when our state is suffering from high unemployment, budget deficits and depressed real-estate values, we must be cautious about forcing unwise, unaffordable and unproven federal water mandates on our communities," said LeMieux. "It is estimated that under this new mandate, the average Florida families will pay an additional $700 dollars a year in water bills."

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