TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Major Water Policy Reforms

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now For Florida’s Environment), implementing major reforms to ensure the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality.

“Our water and natural resources are the foundation of our economy and our way of life in Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The protection of water resources is one of the most pressing issues facing our state. That’s why today I’m taking immediate action to combat the threats which have devastated our local economies and threatened the health of our communities.”

The order calls for:

– $2.5 Billion over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of water resources (a $1 Billion increase in spending over the previous four years and the highest level of funding for restoration in Florida’s history). 

– The Establishment of a Blue-Green Algae Task Force, charged with focusing on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years.

– Instruction to the South Florida Water Management District to immediately start the next phase of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project design and ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the project according to schedule.

– The Creation of the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency charged with organizing and directing integrated scientific research and analysis to ensure that all agency actions are aligned with key environmental priorities.

– The Appointment of a Chief Science Officer to coordinate and prioritize scientific data, research, monitoring and analysis needs to ensure alignment with current and emerging environmental concerns most pressing to Floridians.

Executive Order 19-12: Achieving More Now For Florida’s Environment

Section 1: Focus on Rapid Improvement for Water Quality, Quantity and Supply

I hereby direct the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Health (DOH) as provided in paragraph J below, and Visit Florida and the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) as provided in paragraph L below, to take the following actions to enhance Florida’s water quality and preserve its natural resources:

A. Secure $2.5 billion over the next four years to invest in Everglades restoration and protecting our water resources.

B. Establish a Blue-Green Algae Task Force, charged with focusing on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years. This task force should support key funding and restoration initiatives to expedite nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries. This task force should identify priority projects for funding that are based on scientific-data and build upon Basin Management Action Plans to provide the largest and most meaningful nutrient reductions in key waterbodies, as well as make recommendations for regulatory changes.

C. Update and secure all restoration plans, within one year, for waterbodies impacting South Florida communities, including Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries. These updates will ensure that the Blue-Green Algae Task Force has the necessary information to provide guidance to DEP on maximizing the investments in water quality improvements.

D. Instruct the South Florida Water Management District to immediately start the next phase of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project design and ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the project according to schedule.

E. Expedite key Everglades projects including the C-44 reservoir and stormwater treatment area, C-43 reservoir, Tamiami Trail and additional projects necessary to protect our waterways and natural resources.

F. Work with the South Florida Water Management District to add stormwater treatment to the C-43 Reservoir to provide additional treatment and improve the quality of water leaving this important storage component.

G. Expedite projects with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve management of Lake Okeechobee, including updating the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule and identifying water quality treatment technologies to install near water control structures in Lake Okeechobee.

H. Direct DEP to establish a septic conversion and remediation grant program with a local government match requirement.

I. Instruct all five water management districts to increase transparency and accountability by providing data and information to DEP to support key water quality restoration efforts. Instruct all water management districts to review budgets and prioritize available funding to focus on projects that will help address harmful algae blooms and maximize nutrient reductions.

J. Participate in Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force to provide technical expertise and assistance studying causes and impacts of red tide. The DOH is also directed to participate in FWC’s Task Force to help study air quality and human health impacts of red tide.

K. Continue DEP’s red tide emergency grant program to support local governments to clean up their beaches and coastal areas to minimize the impacts of red tide to residents and visitors.

L. Partner with Visit Florida and DEO to identify opportunities within communities and recommend investments in green infrastructure, such as wetland treatment systems, that benefit our natural resources and local economies by increasing recreational and tourism opportunities, while improving water quality.

M. Engage local governments, industry, universities and water management districts to identify and research all viable alternative water supply sources and provide an assessment of funding needs critical to supporting Florida’s growing economy. DEP should take all necessary steps to establish recurring funding for an alternative water supply grant program to help communities plan for and implement vital conservation, reuse and other alternative water supply projects.

N. Engage local governments, industry, citizens and other stakeholders through a targeted education and outreach campaign that will focus on the importance of conservation and reuse efforts and encourage Floridians to implement essential conservation and reuse efforts in their homes, businesses and communities throughout Florida.

O. Continue to explore every option to stop Georgia’s harmful upstream water use from causing further adverse impacts to the Apalachicola River and Bay.

Section 2: Restructuring to Focus on Accountability, Transparency, and Science to Achieve More Now for Florida’s Environment

I hereby direct DEP to implement the following actions to ensure the agency is making sound decisions based on the best available science and providing for accountability and transparency:

A. Create the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency charged with organizing and directing integrated scientific research and analysis to ensure that all agency actions are aligned with key environmental priorities.

B. Appoint a Chief Science Officer to coordinate and prioritize scientific data, research, monitoring and analysis needs to ensure alignment with current and emerging environmental concerns most pressing to Floridians.

C. Take all necessary actions to move the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Unit from FWC to DEP to align resources focused on environmental protection and ensure strong enforcement of Florida’s environmental laws.

Section 3: Ensure Florida’s Valuable and Vulnerable Coastlines and Natural Resources are Protected

I hereby direct DEP to implement the following actions to protect Florida’s coastlines and natural resources:

A. Create the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection to help prepare Florida’s coastal communities and habitats for impacts from sea level rise by providing funding, technical assistance and coordination among state, regional and local entities.

B. Take necessary actions to adamantly oppose all off-shore oil and gas activities off every coast in Florida and hydraulic fracturing in Florida.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

Florida National News Names Four New Associate Editors

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Kareen Kennedy, Randy Ross, Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey and Kasey Hudson…

Florida Democratic Party Chair Blasts GOP as ‘Axis of Corruption’

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Over 1,500 Democrats from across Florida descended on…

Anatomy of the phone call now imperiling Trump’s presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — There were dozens of ears listening to President Donald Trump’s 30-minute phone call with…

Arrest of Giuliani associates ensnares ‘Congressman 1’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businessmen with ties to Rudy Giuliani lobbied a U.S. congressman in 2018…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

[WATCH] Orlando Mayoral Candidates Buddy Dyer, Sam Ings, Aretha Simons Debate The Issues

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Orlando mayoral candidates incumbent Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Sam Ings and…

Florida Democratic Party Chair Blasts GOP as ‘Axis of Corruption’

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Over 1,500 Democrats from across Florida descended on…

Governor Ron DeSantis and FDEM Award $150.9 Million to Bay County and $20 Million to Mexico Beach for Hurricane Michael Recovery

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has…

Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Two to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointments of Judge Caroline Shepherd and…

FNN POLITICS & POWER SERIES

FNN SPORTS

  • ORLANDO (FNN SPORTS) - Walt Disney World Resort Sponsors the UCF Knights (Photo: UCF)

MORE SPORTS NEWS

UCF Defeats East Carolina 41-28 in Homecoming Despite Challenging Second Half

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The UCF Knights (4-2, 1-1 AAC) returned rested and energized…

Florida National News Names Four New Associate Editors

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Kareen Kennedy, Randy Ross, Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey and Kasey Hudson…

Orlando Magic Suffer Tough 126-94 Loss at Home Against Philadelphia 76ers

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Going into the Orlando Magic's Sunday preseason game, against the…

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning Defeat Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3

TORONTO, Canada (FNN SPORTS) - Last night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was highly…

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning Fall 4-3 in OT to Carolina Hurricanes on the Road

RALEIGH, N.C. (FNN SPORTS) - The Lightning and the Hurricanes were both coming off road…

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning Stun Florida Panthers 5-2 in Season Opener

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - After a tough closeout to the 2018-2019 season, The…

BUSINESS NEWS

  • Apple's new emojis offer greater representation for those with disabilities, LGBTQ+ and an even greater variety of funny emoticons. Image: Apple.
    CUPERTINO, Ca. (FNN NEWS) - Apple Announces New Batch of Emojis on World Emoji Day (Image: Apple.)

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Mission Resolve Foundation Purchases Forklifts and Provides Forklift Training to NEMA Grand Bahama

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Source: Mission Resolve Foundation // Mission Resolve Foundation purchased…

Florida National News Names Four New Associate Editors

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Kareen Kennedy, Randy Ross, Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey and Kasey Hudson…

Mass Shootings Give Rise to Bullet-Resistant Backpacks

NEW YORK (AP) — Companies like Guard Dog Security, TuffyPacks and Bullet Blocker are peddling…

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Passholder Appreciation Days Perks

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Source: Universal // Universal Orlando Resort revealed that for the…

Orlando Continues to Support Small Businesses

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Small businesses play such an important role in the economies…

S&P 500 posts its worst week of 2019 as trade tensions flare

Investors rattled by President Donald Trump’s latest escalation in his trade war with China drove…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • LAS VEGAS (AP) - All in for riches: World Series of Poker marks 50th run

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Orlando Film Festival Hosts Magical Opening Night with Walt Disney Documentary

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The 2019 Orlando Film Festival returned to the Cobb Theaters…

Florida National News Names Four New Associate Editors

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Kareen Kennedy, Randy Ross, Sara-Beth Colon Jeffrey and Kasey Hudson…

J. Lo, Shakira to perform at Super Bowl halftime show

NEW YORK (AP) — Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are going to bring the heat to…

Bill Cosby hit with $2.75M legal bill after losing dispute

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby has been hit with a $2.75 million legal bill as…

Judge won’t return R. Kelly bond money to woman who paid it

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge in R. Kelly’s Illinois sexual assault case has refused to…

Halloween in Orlando Starts in September

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - It may only be September, but Halloween is already in…

LIFESTYLE: TRAVEL, TOURISM, THEME PARKS

  • LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - 26th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Blooms for 90 Days at Walt Disney World Resort (Photo courtesy Walt Disney World)

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Top Car Brands Return to Orlando for Central Florida International Auto Show

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The world's top car brands came to Orlando to show…

Orange County’s “Don’t Pitch It-Fix It!” Event Urges Residents to Salvage Stuff

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Orange County's Environmental Protection Division is celebrating National Pollution Prevention…

Halloween in Orlando Starts in September

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - It may only be September, but Halloween is already in…

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” Now Open at Universal Orlando Resort

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Source: Universal Orlando Resort // The darker side of the…

Universal Orlando Resort Rolls Out New Year’s Eve Celebrations Across the Entire Destination

ORLANDO, Fla. – At Universal Orlando Resort, New Year’s Eve isn’t just another holiday – it’s…

Orlando Mayor Dyer, Commissioner Ortiz Launch Hispanic Heritage Month at City Hall

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - To celebrate the commencement of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September…