Chief science officer defends water-quality bills that critics argue are deeply flawed
Florida Chief Science Officer Tom Frazer on Thursday defended his praise of water-quality legislation that environmentalists say is designed to fail and protects polluters.
“I stand by my statement [published in the Sarasota Bradenton-Herald] that SB 712 is one of the most progressive and comprehensive pieces of legislation that we have seen in over a decade,” Frazer said in remarks issued by his office.
“SB 712 addresses a broad suite of nutrient sources that affect Florida’s water quality – including septic tanks, wastewater, agriculture, and stormwater. This legislation is a step forward on every front.”
The Florida Phoenix wrote Wednesday that clean water groups asked Frazer to “set the record straight.”
In a joint letter released Wednesday, the Florida Springs Council, Florida Waterkeepers, and Sierra Club of Florida critiqued SB 712, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Mayfield, a Republican who represents parts of Brevard and Indian River counties, calling it “well intentioned” but “deeply flawed.” Similar legislation is sponsored in the House by Rep. Bobby Payne, a north-central Florida Republican.