U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers whether they would continue discharging water from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie if the water tests above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard of what is considered safe for humans.
The EPA has stated that water containing microcystin over eight parts per billion is unsafe for human contact. According to the EPA, potential risks to human health including liver failure, kidney damage, pneumonia, and even death.”
“While I understand the Army Corps goal is to make preventative discharges now in an effort to avoid discharges during the summer, continuing these releases indefinitely – even if the water is toxic – will put lives at risk,” Rep. Mast said. “The Army Corps has proven that if left to their own devices, they will continue to poison our communities. No Floridian should tolerate being poisoned by their government. The moment that water turns toxic, the Army Corps must stop the discharges immediately.”
Since March 6, 2021, the Army Corps has been discharging water from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie. During a recent call with the media, the Army Corps said that releases to the St. Lucie would be continuing “indefinitely.”
The Army Corps’ discharges from Lake Okeechobee damage the coastal environment and have frequently tested above the toxicity limit that the EPA considers safe for human contact. As a result, the Army Corps was forced to acknowledge in Congressional testimony that they had knowingly discharged toxic water from Lake Okeechobee into our community. Nonetheless, the discharges have continued.
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.