Today former Congressman Joe Garcia issued a statement in response to the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission’svotes to allow higher levels of toxic chemicals in our waters. Some chemicals, like trichloroethylene (or “Trike”) have been linked to birth defects and cancer. Even the state’s new standards on certain chemicals fall short of Federal EPA standards.
“Florida is in a water crisis, yet Republicans are taking us backwards,” said Joe Garcia, Candidate for Florida’s 26thCongressional District. “We should be protecting South Florida’s most precious resource—clean water—instead of giving polluters the green light to contaminate our lakes, rivers and coasts with dangerous toxins.”
A green and blue algae bloom in a Florida river / Credit: Ryan Stone for The New York Times
In Congress, Garcia fought to protect South Florida’s water. He helped secure $200 million for Everglades Restoration and a$15 million TIGER Grant for the construction of the Tamiami Trail bridge. Garcia also secured an additional $2 million in funding for the Florida Keys Water Quality Improvement Project.
While Republicans in Tallahassee weaken Florida’s protections against water pollution, House Republicans like Rep. Carlos Curbelo do the same in Washington. Just last week, Curbelo voted to underfund the EPA and give major concessions to the energy, oil and coal industries. Like Florida Republicans, Curbelo has also voted to allow toxins in our water and air.
Although Curbelo tries to present himself as an environmentalist, he is known for saying one thing in South Florida and voting the opposite in Washington. A GOP mega donor recently pledged millions of dollars towards painting anti-environment Republicans like Curbelo as pro-environment. Curbelo is a strong ally of big oil, having voted to approve the Key Stone XL Pipeline and to protect oil drilling on public lands.