Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced The State Waters Partnership Act, a bill that would force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt Florida’s science-based Numeric Nutrient Criteria on water quality regulation. This is the Senate companion to a bill introduced in January by Congressman Steve Southerland (FL-2).
“Florida has one of the most aggressive water quality protection programs in the nation implemented by the people who know our state best, and it’s time the EPA stops bullying us into accepting another Washington-contrived mandate that would devastate job creation. This legislation simply reaffirms that states and the federal government should be partners in making sure our water is clean, and prevents Washington overreaches from harming our economy,” said Rubio. “The EPA needs to step back and realize that Florida will not simply stand by as their policies negatively impact Florida’s consumers, agriculture producers, municipalities, small businesses and other job creators.”
“This legislation would save up to 14,500 Florida agriculture jobs while building upon the tremendous successes already achieved on the state level to keep our water clean,” said Southerland, the bill’s House sponsor. “I look forward to working with Senator Rubio to ensure that, when it comes to strengthening the health of our waterways, Floridians come first.”
If enacted, The State Waters Partnership Act would ensure that Florida maintains the primary role for establishing and implementing water quality standards for its waters by compelling the Administrator of the EPA to formally accept the state rule that passed both the Florida House and Senate unanimously this month. The bill is supported by the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), Florida Farm Bureau Federation, Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida League of Cities.