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Florida Senators Take Slower Approach On Water Compared To House

The Indian River Lagoon. Photo courtesy Brevard County
The Indian River Lagoon. Photo courtesy Brevard County

State senators likely will take up a bill this week or next aimed at improving Florida’s ailing springs.

The legislation is very different from a House version approved during the session's first week.

The Senate bill addresses pollution and sets minimum flow standards to save springs from running dry. It's favored by environmentalists.

Ryan Smart of 1000 Friends of Florida says the bill is similar to one senators approved last session.

"So they've been working on this legislation now for at least 15 months, maybe even longer. The House passed their bill in a matter of weeks. So I think the Senate is taking a really thoughtful approach to how to restore our springs."

The House bill is broader. Environmentalists say it increases water supply without addressing conservation and weakens standards targeting pollution.

Smart says it's too early to tell whether the Senate and House can reach agreement.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.