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Rubio Welcomes EPA Assistance to Battle Florida Citrus Greening, Continues Fight for Disaster Relief

Jan 18, 2018 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-issued an exemption allowing for the use of antimicrobials on diseased citrus trees:
“I applaud the EPA’s decision to once again allow the use of antimicrobials on diseased citrus trees. Our iconic citrus industry has long battled greening, and especially following the devastation of Hurricane Irma, this announcement is greatly appreciated. However, Florida agriculture is still in desperate need of disaster relief to help replace lost trees, rehabilitate flooded groves, and assist beleaguered farmers. I continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to secure this much-needed support for Florida farmers. Failure to do so would increase our dependence on unreliable foreign imports of orange juice and other products to feed our country. That is unacceptable, and I remain committed to ensuring that Florida agriculture remains a strong economic engine throughout our state.”
Rubio’s Efforts Urging the EPA for Florida Exemption
·         In 2015, Rubio requested the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant the Florida Department of Agriculture’s request for an exemption to use antimicrobials on citrus trees affected by greening.
·         The EPA subsequently approved the request in 2016, allowing Florida’s citrus farmers to apply antimicrobials. 
Disaster Relief Efforts for Florida’s Citrus Industry
·         In November, Rubio stated that the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) proposed disaster supplemental was unacceptable for Florida farmers.
·         In October, Rubio led nearly all members of the Florida congressional delegation in urging the leaders of the Senate and House appropriations committees to provide additional resources for hurricane recovery efforts in Florida.
·         In September, Rubio hosted a discussion on recovery efforts with Florida agricultural leaders, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, in Hendry County.
·         Additionally in September, Rubio visited Collier, Lee, Polk and Palm Beach Counties after Hurricane Irma, while staff hosted hurricane recovery assistance centers in the Florida Keys, Miami, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Fort Myers,  Naples and Immokalee