Environment News State & National News

NW Florida lawmakers love manure

February 6, 2012

When the fertilizer industry needs someone to co-sponsor a bill to keep it from being regulated, they only have to look to the Northwest Florida delegation for support. Last year, Rep. Clay Ingram took up their cause and blocked local governments from regulating sales and usage.

This year Sen. Don Gaetz and his son, Rep. Matt Gaetz, are sponsoring bills (Senate Bill 604 and House Bill 421) that would exempt lawn care professionals from having to follow local ordinances that ban use of nitrogen and phosphorous during the summer months. Nutrient-laden fertilizer runoff contributes to algae blooms, which harms water quality and kills marine life.

Daddy and Baby Gaetz are big conservatives that want state and federal government out of our lives, but apparently they don’t want local governments to control and protect their own environments.

Oh, I forgot to mention Phosphate Mining is a big industry in parts of Florida and does a lot of lobbying in Tallahassee. The Florida Phosphate Committee of Continuous Existence, which has a half million dollars war chest, made $500 campaign contributions to Matt Gaetz and Clay Ingram in December.

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