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Rubio Statement on Obama Administration’s Denial of Disaster Declaration Appeal
Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement today after the Obama Administration denied the state of Florida’s request for a federal disaster declaration in response to the toxic algal blooms in the state’s waterways:
“The Administration has chosen yet again to turn a blind eye to the livelihoods of Floridians who are affected by this toxic algae. Even though the end to this disaster is not in sight, the President is telling our state we are on our own. I will continue to do everything I can to protect our waterways and ecosystem, and the businesses and property owners who have suffered financial losses due to the discharges from Lake Okeechobee.”
Background regarding Rubio’s work on Lake Okeechobee discharges:
- Last week, Rubio and 15 Republican Members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida urged President Obama to reconsider his Administration’s denial of Governor Rick Scott’s request for a federal disaster declaration in response to the toxic algal blooms in the state’s waterways.
- Rubio supported the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy/Water Appropriations bill that included $49.5 million for Herbert Hoover Dike seepage control.
- On July 18, Rubio visited Stuart and Fort Myers to observe the damage done by Lake Okeechobee discharges and pushed for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP).
- On July 7, Rubio wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to approve Governor Scott’s request for a federal emergency declaration.
- On July 6, Rubio spoke on the Senate floor to highlight the algal bloom plaguing Florida’s Treasure Coast.
- On July 1, Rubio visited Florida’s Treasure Coast to witness firsthand the algal bloom catastrophe.
- On June 30, one day after Rubio wrote a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers calling for immediate action, they decided to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee.
- On June 29, Rubio wrote a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers calling for immediate action to stop the Lake Okeechobee discharges.
- Because of Rubio’s advocacy efforts, the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) was included in S.2848, the 2016 Water Resources Development Act, which passed in the Senate’s Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee in late April. Passing in committee is the farthest along in the legislative process that the CEPP has been since it was first proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
- View a timeline of Rubio’s action regarding CEPP and other water management projects here.