Rep Thad Altman, R-Indialatic, filed a bill Friday advocating for the purchase of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area for a water reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.
The bill is identical to Senate Bill 10 filed by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, in January.
EAA Farmers, Inc., a group representing farmers, landowners and other businesses in western Palm Beach County, asserts the sale of any more land for reservoirs kill at least 1,000 jobs and result in the closure of a sugar mill and two vegetable packinghouses.
The landowners have said they are not willing to sell, and that purchasing more land south of the lake will not solve pollution problems north of the lake.
Everglades Trust Executive Director Kimberly Mitchell said in a statement Friday,
“Representative Thad Altman has always been a champion for the Everglades and Florida’s waterways. Every Floridian should be confident and proud to know that these lawmakers are basing their decisions on sound science that serves the people – and not on politics or special interests. Rep. Thad Altman and Senator Rob Bradley, along with a growing number of legislators, are demonstrating the political will necessary to solve these problems once and for all. This is what true leadership looks like.”
Earlier this week the Senate Committee for Environmental Preservation and Conservation earlier this week unanimously approved SB 10.
After toxic algae-blooms last summer devastated both the east and west coasts of Florida, leading to 242 days under a state of emergency in four Florida counties and weeks of national news headlines, more than 50,000 individuals, small and large businesses, elected officials and nonprofit organizations have united behind the Now Or Neverglades declaration, Mitchell sais,