Scott said he will ask the Legislature next year to establish a 50-50 grant program between the state and local governments to finance efforts to move homeowners away from using septic tanks and also encourage cities to build new wastewater treatment centers.
Scott said details about the grant program are still being developed. The next regular session of the Legislature begins next March.
More on algae bloom here: http://bit.ly/29hCdnU
Scott also continued to divert blame toward the federal government for failing to replace or rebuild the dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. Discharges from the big lake, designed to lower water levels and reduce the risk of nearby flooding, is a major contributor to the fouling of the St. Lucie estuary and other waterways with nutrients from farm and housing runoff that leads to the growth of algae.
Environmentalists and many citizens groups, though, also argue that Scott and the Republican-led Legislature haven’t done enough to enforce clean water standards and blunt the impact of the politically powerful agricultural industry on Lake Okeechobee.
“While the state has continued to step up and invest in important restoration projects to help South Florida waterways, it is clear that more work has to be done,” Scott said.
“It is up to all of us – the state, Florida’s local communities and the federal government – to work together on long term solutions to improve the quality of our water.”