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AIF H2O coalition: Florida leaders embracing water policy bill

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The Associated Industries of Florida’s affiliated H2O Coalition reaffirmed its support Thursday of a new comprehensive water policy bill that would make industry standards, rather than state-set regulations, the norm in efforts to reduce harmful runoff and increase water quality.

The pro-business group marshaled a slate of endorsements for the bill from business, government, and environmental leaders who favor HB 7005 by Rep. Matt Caldwell, currently working its way through committee with approval from both chambers.

AIF President & CEO Tom Feeney said the bill exampled an “unprecedented commitment to the stewardship of our natural resources.”

Temperince Morgan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy of Florida, also praised the legislative effort.

“We appreciate the Legislature including provisions to ensure that projects which produce water for the environment and for people are planned for concurrently,” said Morgan. “These changes will benefit Florida’s natural systems and provide water for Florida’s present and future economic growth and development.”

Other Tallahassee advocates registered their support as well, including Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association chief Carol Dover, Broward County Vice Mayor and Florida Association of Counties President Barbara Sharief, and Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick.

“This reform package is the most significant piece of water legislation to be considered by the Florida Legislature in the past forty years,” said Henry Dean, former head of the South Florida Water Management District in his endorsement. “The bill increases protections for springs, holds water users to a higher standard, and looks to the future by ensuring Florida is prepared to handle future growth.”

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