Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-09) on Tuesday attended a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Orlando to address an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation that would cost Floridians money and jobs.
"These are historically tough economic times for Floridians," Bilirakis said. "I have said for years that there is nothing worse for creating jobs and growing an economy than burdensome regulations and over-taxation."
At issue is an EPA regulation that creates federal nutrient water quality criteria for lakes and flowing waters in Florida. The EPA created these standards with no input from the state, and overruled Florida's more effective and efficient water quality standards.
"As Floridians, we know how important clean water is to Florida's economy," Bilirakis said. "But EPA's overreach would do nothing more than negatively impact citizens, local governments and the business community at a time when they are struggling in this economy. The reality is Florida, not the federal government, should regulate Florida's waters."
The State of Florida determined that the EPA regulation could cost up to $8.4 billion annually. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports that Florida's agricultural community alone will lose 14,545 full-time and part-time jobs and lose more than $1 billion per year under the EPA criteria.