2020 Voter Guide Ranking

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  • Q1
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  • Q3
  • Q4
  • Q5
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Corinna Balderramos Robinson

Florida Senate District 25 - DEM

2020 Clean Water Questionnaire Responses

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

  • Question 1 : Yes
    1) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is revising the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). The purpose is to reevaluate and define operations for the entire Lake Okeechobee system, not just the Lake. Do you agree LOSOM should be rewritten to incorporate human health, ecology and the environment as an operational priority with existing operational priorities of flood control, navigation, water supply, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and recreation?
    Candidate Comment:

    I strongly support a LOSOM revision for numerous reasons. For example, the effects from the serious algae blooms affect our human health, e.g., the airborne toxins that affect boaters and those close to the water. Some may have suffered from liver damage and/or forms of cancer. There appears to be a spike of lung cancer cases in St. Lucie and Martin counties which are non-nicotine related. I believe that when our water supply is clean that economic activity will increase along the Treasure Coast. Thus, I will fight to ensure that we work diligently with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I have worked closely with the Corps in the past, e.g., assessment of multi-million critical infrastructure plans, from 2011-2013, in Washington, D.C., and I observed their environmental work in Iraq while serving at the U.S, Embassy, 2010.

  • Question 2 : Yes
    2) State legislation, FDEP data and the Blue-Green Algae Taskforce all report agriculture as the dominant source of phosphorus and nitrogen within most impaired watersheds of Florida. Do you agree industries and property owners should be held to clearly enforceable pollution standards and penalties; including mandatory adoption and verification of best management practices, and to implement inspection programs targeting septic, agriculture and industrial wastewater?
    Candidate Comment:

    In recent years there has been little or inadequate testing and monitoring of our water. Such appears to be "loose" enforcement of practices by the FDEP. Standards are necessary to evaluate the level of pollution and identify the sources. Obviously, wastewater and hazardous run-off water should be monitored whereas hazardous industrial facilities should be heavily fined. Additionally, we should carefully monitor the septic systems of property owners to ensure they are also held to enforceable pollution standards.

  • Question 3 : Yes
    3) Water is Florida’s greatest natural resource and we should not let it go to waste. Geological water storage methods like Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR) and Deep Injection Wells (DIW) are risky in Florida’s fragile and porous bedrock. Independent experts, including the National Academy of Sciences, have called for increasing above ground water storage. Will you prioritize projects for Everglades restoration with above ground storage, filtration marshes and sending water south through the Everglades and down to Florida Bay, the headwaters of the Florida Keys, as nature intended?
    Candidate Comment:

    Our storage of water above ground appears to be best strategy for ultimately securing clean water flowing south through the Everglades down to Florida Bay. As your Senator, I will also support programs that help phosphorous and nutrient elements to settle and/or infuse phosphorous eating plant life to assist. I will research further; however, the limestone geology of Florida may likely prevent deep injection wells from being deemed effective.

  • Question 4 : Yes
    4) The Florida sugar industry steered over $60 million - not including dark money - to candidates in state and local elections between 1994 and 2016, according to the Miami Herald, which reported “on issue after issue, regulators, legislators, and governors have erred on the side of softening the impact of adverse rules and regulations on cane growers...” which increased pollution, shifted cleanup costs to taxpayers, and influenced Lake Okeechobee water management, for the benefit of private irrigation and flood control, to the detriment of the Everglades, Florida Bay and coastal estuaries and communities. Do you agree that your campaign will be sugar-free, accepting no contributions from any source with ties to the sugarcane industry?
    Candidate Comment:

    Regrettably, such continued "dark money" transactions supporting the sugar industry disrupts transparency in our election processes. I will avoid accepting any political contributions from corporate PACS or individuals who disavow our need to protect Florida's environment. Furthermore, as our Federal government backs the sugar industry with recurring subsidies, I would exercise my bully pulpit to vigorously enact much needed legislation to quell such activity.

  • Question 5 : Yes
    5) The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has identified two strategies for improving water quality: Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) and the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of excess pollutants and nutrients. The state has failed to sufficiently fund testing, standardization, staffing and consequential goals, resulting in negligible progress on water quality. Do you agree with the need to fully fund BMAP and TMDL monitoring and enforcement, establish unified standards and to pursue reporting accountability?
    Candidate Comment:

    As a PhD and educator, familiar with the need for quantitative and qualitative analysis, we must standardize, evaluate and report often to hold negligent parties liable for established violations. I deem the FDEP effort similarly as a top priority regarding the strategy of COVID-19 pandemic Phase 2 and 3 recovery operations. Human lives are our most precious resource. Having authored and published multiple plans, program, policy and five-year strategies, at the highest levels within the Department of Defense, and having drafted legislation for Congress, I will not shy away from defending complex legislation in Tallahasee. Furthermore, I will lead bold negotiation across party lines to find resolution, and I am not afraid to get my hands dirty. I absolutely support the concept of BMAP and TMDL strategies because they examine a more holistic picture of Lake O pollution and the rivers exiting to our east and west coastlines. As our existent, state legislature is failing to fund critical and measurable programs, amid a global pandemic, we must remain cognizant that future personnel cuts at FDEP may be catastrophic too.