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U.S. Rep. Brian Mast fights water releases from Lake Okeechobee

New legislation would stop potentially toxic water releases from lake
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Posted at 11:36 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 19:38:53-04

STUART, Fla. — A new push was announced on Wednesday to prohibit potentially toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast called out the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during a news conference in Stuart, saying the agency continues to release toxic chemicals from Lake O into bodies of water.

Mast said these practices have proven to be harmful to both the environment and the public's health.

On Wednesday, Mast introduced legislation that would stop those discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.

According to Mast's office, the legislation would make it illegal for the Army Corps of Engineers to release water containing algal blooms with a level of toxicity above the Environmental Protection Agency’s human health standard of 8 parts per billion microcystin.

Rep. Mast said he hopes to get the bill passed as part of the Water Resources and Development Act in 2022.