2022 General - Voter Guide Ranking

  • Candidate
  • Q1
  • Q2
  • Q3
  • Q4
  • Q5
  • DM
  • Rating

Andres Althabe

Florida House District 113 - DEM

2022 Clean Water Questionnaire Responses

To read each question, answer and candidate comments click below.

  • Question 1 : Yes
    1) In response to blue-green algae blooms on Florida's east coast and red tide on the west coast, the State created the Blue-Green Algae and Harmful Algal Bloom/Red Tide Task Forces to study the problem and propose solutions. But only a few of the task forces' recommendations have been adopted. Do you support full implementation of all task force recommendations, including verification/testing of agricultural Best Management Practices and requiring the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to adopt EPA guidelines for blue-green algae toxins as new water quality standards in Florida?
    Candidate Comment:

    Biscayne Bay is my front yard and that of most of my district, so the blue-green algae blooms during the past few summers have been personal to me. The "red tide" has not hit southeast Florida the way it's affected Florida's west coast -- yet -- but it is even more destructive to our economy and quality of life. After the last algae bloom, I worked with three municipalities (North Bay Village, Miami Beach, and Miami), as well as the county, advocating for glyphosates bans. I also mobilized the condo board members of the non-profit I lead to implement those changes in their buildings, resulting in improvements along dozens of bay-adjacent buildings. I care deeply about this issue and will be a champion to ward off against future occurrences.

  • Question 2 : Yes
    2) The degradation of water quality throughout Florida has in turn led to a significant decline in seagrass, the primary food source for manatees. Starvation became the leading cause of manatee deaths in 2021 and continues today. Despite this, in 2022 the Florida Legislature passed measures which could actually increase nutrient pollution in our waters, and debated a seagrass "mitigation banking" bill that some experts believe could cause a further decline in seagrass. If elected, will you vote against all legislative proposals that could add to the nutrient load in our waters or which in any way could inflict further harm on our seagrasses?
    Candidate Comment:

    Yes. I became educated on this situation a few years back, when the Downtown Development Authority was debating working at the county level to weaken manatee protection enforcement, in order to pave the way for more water taxis and construction at the edge of the Bay. I pushed back, as a member of the DDA's quality-of-life committee, against weakening any environmental protections.

  • Question 3 : Yes
    3) State legislation, FDEP data and the Blue-Green Algae Task Force all report that agriculture is the dominant source of phosphorus and nitrogen within impaired watersheds in Florida. Yet the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ best management practices (BMP) program remains voluntary, BMPs have never been field verified to reduce pollution, the state does little to no testing to verify compliance and agricultural producers enrolled in BMPs are afforded the "presumption of compliance." Do you agree industries and property owners should be held to enforceable pollution standards; that BMPs should be mandatory; that the "presumption of compliance" should end and regulators should implement systemic inspection/testing programs?
  • Question 4 : Yes
    4) Currently, Florida's largest water users are allowed to extract millions of gallons of water each day without paying anything to the state for the use of our most precious natural resource. Over-pumping has harmed Florida's springs, rivers, estuaries and aquifers and cost Florida taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Do you support a reasonable fee on permitted water withdrawals to offset the damage caused by over-pumping?
    Candidate Comment:

    Everyone else pays for water. Fair is fair.

  • Question 5 : Yes
    5) Special interests in Florida spend lavishly to influence elections at the local, state and federal level. The sugar industry, phosphate mining industry and big utilities, among others, spend millions to aid candidates who then back their preferred legislation - too often, at the expense of clean water. Do you agree your campaign will accept no contributions from any source with ties to polluting industries including, but not limited to, the sugar, phosphate and utility industries?
    Candidate Comment:

    100%. I will not touch sugar, mining, or utility money.And I will note that, while being too clever to accept any contributions directly from U.S. Sugar, FPL, Duke or Florida Crystals, my Democratic primary opponent A.J. D'Amico has received lavishly from lobbyists that have those companies as major clients.