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PALM CITY, Fla. —U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio urged President Barack Obama Thursday to approve Gov. Rick Scott’s request for a federal emergency declaration.
In a letter to the president, Rubio urges Obama to make a federal emergency declaration because of the harmful algae blooms that have infested bodies of water stemming from Lake Okeechobee discharges in Florida.
Rubio shared what he observed during his visit to the Treasure Coast last week and expressed his concerns for residents, businesses and the environment.
“I write in full support of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s July 6, 2016 request for a federal emergency declaration in response to the harmful algal blooms in Florida’s waters as a result of Lake Okeechobee discharges,” Rubio wrote. “After seeing the catastrophic situation firsthand this past Friday, the proposed declaration and the resources that will accompany it are sorely needed."
Rubio said more action needs to be taken to resolve South Florida’s algae problem.
“The algae overgrowth bears a health, ecological and economical emergency,” Rubio said. “Governor Scott already declared a state of emergency, but more needs to be done. Although the Army Corps of Engineers has decreased the amount of discharges, unfortunately, the end of this problem is nowhere in sight. I remain concerned for the health of residents and visitors, who have reported headaches, respiratory problems and rashes, among other ailments. Additionally, businesses that rely on these waters have also greatly suffered – not only from these harmful algal blooms but also what they have been experiencing all year as a result of the continued discharges from Lake Okeechobee.”

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