2020 Voter Guide Ranking

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Edgar “EJ” Bernier

Florida House District 83 - 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?
    Yes
    Candidate Comment:

    For years agriculture especially sugar has been calling the shots. It’s time that health and wildlife is incorporated into the decisions made about our waterways.

  • 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?
    Yes
    Candidate Comment:

    I support the findings of the blue-green algae task force and SB 712 greatly underperforms when addressing the findings of the task force. Bottom line is until we limit the amount of nutrient pollution entering our waterways, All of our work will be for not. We must remember that the health of our economy depends on the health of our unique ecosystem.

  • 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?
    Yes
    Candidate Comment:

    Yes, I will prioritize above groundwater storage, Everglades restoration, and filtration marshes. Sending the water south through the “river of grass” into Florida bay is essential to the health of our environment. .

  • 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?
    Yes
    Candidate Comment:

    I have not taken money from sugar, and I never will. I also will not take money from organizations like the “phosphate political action committee”. I truly believe the influence of these special interests is the reason SB712 became toothless.

  • 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?
    Yes
    Candidate Comment:

    I support fully funding BMAP and TMDL monitoring and enforcement. It’s the state’s responsibility to make sure these standards are followed. We are lacking strong state leadership in our Florida legislature. I want to be that champion for our environment and my record will reflect that.