2022 General - Voter Guide Ranking

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Jan Schneider

United States House District 16 - DEM

2022 Clean Water Questionnaire Responses

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

  • Question 1 : Yes
    1) In late 2020 the state of Florida became one of three states to assume the wetland dredge and fill permitting authority previously held by federal authorities. The move, enabled by a rule change late in the Trump administration, was challenged in court by conservationists who said it put 6 million acres of Florida wetlands at risk. Subsequently a federal judge ruled the rule change could cause “serious environmental harm” and the federal Environmental Protection Agency has objected to numerous permits granted by the FDEP. Do you believe wetland permitting authority should be returned to the federal government, and wetlands protections should be expanded and prioritized?
    Candidate Comment:

    Along with others in the Florida environmental community, I was and continue to be opposed to the State of Florida assumption package under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act submitted in late 2020. Many of us were afraid that claiming such authority was a thinly-veiled attempt to cater to developers and sanction development with little regard for ecological damage. Environmental Protection Agency objections to Florida Department of Environmental Protection permits appear to be confirming such fears. The case brought by conservation groups represented by Earthjustice challenging approval of the chance, Center for Biological Diversity v. Wheeler, Case 1:21-cv-00119-RDM (D.D.C, filed Jan. 14, 2021), is still pending.

  • Question 2 : Yes
    2) Manatee deaths in Florida have captured headlines around the world, with more than 1,100 sea cows dying last year. Many died of starvation driven primarily by the loss of seagrass, a key source of food and habitat that's been decimated by decades of pollution. Any solution must be multifaceted and include significant new spending - but also tougher rules and enforcement. Do you support compelling the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force the state of Florida to upgrade water quality standards to meet the Clean Water Act criteria and thereby make Florida’s waters safe and clean for manatees, as well as people?
    Candidate Comment:

    Of course, I strongly support compelling the Environmental Protection agency to force Florida to meet Clean Water Act quality standards, rules and regulations. Three conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, have already sued the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to protect manatees from pollution in Florida waters. The case is Save the Manatee Club v. EPA, Case 6:22-cv-00868-CEM-LHP (M.D. Fla., filed May 10, 2022).Also, besides lack of seagrass, manatees appear also to be increasingly poisoned by red tide. What seagrass remains can contain red tide toxins. In addition, these aquatic mammals can also breathe in airborne toxins when they go to the surface for air. Congress and other bodies need to protect manatees from a variety of increasing hazards.

  • Question 3 : Yes
    3) When it comes to Everglades restoration, water storage is key. Storage methods like Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR) deep-injection wells pose risks in Florida’s porous bedrock, where contaminants like arsenic can leach into the water, and move water too slowly to be an effective means of flood control. Independent experts, including the National Academy of Sciences, have called for increasing above ground water storage. Will you prioritize funding for Everglades restoration projects with above ground storage and filtration marshes that send water south through the Everglades and down to Florida Bay, the headwaters of the Florida Keys, as nature intended?
    Candidate Comment:

    Twenty years ago, the National Academy of Sciences identified various areas of concern with Aquifer Storage and Recovery deep-injection wells. After all this time, those concerns with ASR have not been alleviated. In the circumstances, it is essential to protection of the aquifer and other interests to prioritize above-ground storage and filtration marshes.

  • Question 4 : Yes
    *4) Special interests like Florida's powerful sugar industry spend lavishly to influence elections, with "Big Sugar," the phosphate mining industry and big utilities, among others, spending hundreds of millions of dollars 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:

    As a long-time environmentalist, I will not be part of systemic corruption in support of polluters. When young, I worked for the United Nations Environment program, among other things representing UNEP at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. I have written literally dozens of articles on environmental protection and ocean and other water pollution.Please do add me to the “No Big Sugar Money Pledge.” In contrast, opponent Vern Buchanan (R-FL16) has taken over $168,748 from the sugar cane and sugar beets industry over the course of his congressional career, according to OpenSecrets.

  • Question 5 : Yes
    5) Big Sugar’s clout in Washington D.C. is subsidized by taxpayers. Price supports and import controls in the federal farm bill pad the industry’s profits, inflating U.S. sugar prices an estimated 69 percent above the global price, and providing $1.2 billion worth of support to sugar growers and processors. That means consumers pay more at the grocery store - and allows the industry to spend freely on political campaigns to protect their privilege. The federal Sugar Program is up for renewal in the 2023 Farm Bill. If elected, will you support the growing bipartisan effort to reform and ultimately end sugar price supports?
    Candidate Comment:

    The sugar import quota system and other measures ensure minimum price levels for sugar that are typically significantly higher than those found on international markets. As the question points out, these measures increase not only consumer prices but also political corruption. Yes, I will support the effort to reform and end sugar price supports.In addition to the above, Big Sugar is a major cause of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom in Lake Okeechobee and red tide (Karenia brevis) off Florida coasts. While benefitting so much from taxpayer funding, the industry continues to cause massive water pollution.Finally, with respect to all of the above questions, I was among the founders and later a Vice President of Protect Our Waters, Inc. The views herein are, however, my own, and they should not necessarily be attributed to POW, Inc. or anyone else associated therewith.