Clean Water Act Deserves Enforcement and Funding
Littlepage, Ronald L., The Florida Times Union
Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage
The year was 1972 and something came out of President Nixon's administration that today many people probably wouldn't associate with him, or with the Republican Party for that matter.
The Clean Water Act.
The goal of that act was noble: To make all waterways in the United States fishable and swimmable by 1983.
We didn't make it.
And it's getting worse, thanks to the Republicans now in control in Washington -- and Tallahassee -- who want to weaken the act and who refuse to adequately fund the agencies responsible for enforcing anti-pollution laws.
During a news conference Thursday on the Southbank Riverwalk, the Florida Public Interest Research Group released a report titled: "Troubled Waters."
The group analyzed public records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and found that more than 3,700 of the major polluters in the United States -- 62 percent -- had exceeded their Clean Water Act permits at least once between July 1, 2003, and Dec. 31, 2004.
The group also brought its research down to the local level.
Thirteen of the 20 major facilities in Duval County, the report says, exceeded their pollution permits during that time period.
That extra pollution went into the St. Johns River as did the pollution from violators in the other counties that make up the Lower Basin of the St. Johns River.
At the news conference, the St. …