2020 Voter Guide Ranking

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  • Q1
  • Q2
  • Q3
  • Q4
  • Q5
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Laura Novosad

Florida House District 80 - 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:

    Yes, Yes, Yes. It is about time they included these 3 issues. For too long the Army Corps of Engineers has catered only to protecting big agriculture and the fishing industries. This practice ignored the elevated levels of nitrogen and phosphorus building up in the water. Extensive use of herbicides has been utilized to eliminated vegetation that could help to reduce elevated levels of nutrients. The increase of toxic algae blooms has contributed to many negative effects including respiratory illnesses, killed off tons of fish and water animals, and damaged our local economy dropping of home prices and decreased tourism. With these new operational objectives in place Florida will have cleaner water and a healthier population.

  • 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:

    Those who are responsible for pollutants need to be help to the same regulations applied to all polluters. The current study from Florida Gulf Coast University has linked the toxic blue-green algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee to agriculture runoff with direct connection with toxic algae blooms and fertilizers used in agriculture. This new data supports past studies and now the science is conclusive. Best management practices should be implemented and mandated with enforcement. Even the complete removal of agriculture from a location will not halt the legacy nutrients from leaching from these sources for decades to come, even if they become developed with homes or other urban/suburban development. Industries based on externalization of costs need to be addressed throughout our economy. This is a cornerstone of both water quality issues and climate change issues.

  • 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:

    I have a great love for the River of Grass, and we must protect it and preserve it for the future. In recent years we have seen reduced amounts of water going into our conservation lands. Geological Water storage makes no logical sense and will pollute our water storage that much of the state relies on for drinking water. Water need to filter from the top down, through grass marshes, and we must send the water south into the Everglades. Fresh water influence will bring everything back. Fix the Everglades and fix our water.

  • 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:

    I will not accept money from the Sugar industry. I commit to making wise decisions divorced from campaign contribution influence.

  • 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:

    Florida implementation of the TMDL/BMAP concept/process is flawed on so many levels. It is a contraption designed to generation the appearance of progress without delivering progress. Decades of delays and lack of funding has allowed the problems to grow. BMAPs slow the rate at which the problems grow, but that is probably all they accomplish. We need real solutions based in science and research to make measured progress. Things need to change!