2020 Voter Guide Ranking

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Pam Keith

United States House District 18 - 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 believe that for years, the priority of water management has been providing water for irrigation of agricultural land, at the expense of fresh water needs of the Everglades, and the need to keep unclean lake water out of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. Lake discharge schedules, and infrastructure projects should be based first on protecting human health, and secondly on preserving delicate and precious ecological environments.

  • 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:

    I do not know the current status of regulation of Round Up and other glyphosate-based herbicides. However, I do know that this compound is a major contributor to the algae problem and must be addressed.

  • 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:

    An important priority is finally enforcing Amendment 1, and actually purchasing sufficient land to build a reservoir that is wide and shallow, and can actually filter sediment and pollutants out of lake water, rather than the current reservoir design, which, at 23 feet deep, does not actually serve the purpose of water filtration. It simply holds water, most likely for irrigation purposes.

  • 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:

    This is not my first time running. I have a track record on this issue. I have never accepted money from big sugar or any sugar industry executives.

  • Question 5 : Yes
    5) Pertaining to water quality, 2018 and 2019 illustrate how rainfall and operational management of Lake Okeechobee can result in completely different outcomes for the citizens of Florida. Will you work to compel the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow for more operational flexibility and develop policies to keep the level of Lake Okeechobee lower, with a goal of 11’ feet by June 1st, in advance of each wet season, while ensuring minimum flows to the Caloosahatchee, maximum flows to the Everglades and Florida Bay and no discharges to the St. Lucie estuary?