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Make polluters pay

August 10, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

The 1.5 million people in Southwest Florida and many more on the east coast are a dumping ground for polluters! I hear that the algae is even seen now as far north as Tampa. There are millions directly affected by the algae!

While we are suffering in this area, those who are sending their pollution our way have no problems. For example, septic tanks are a major source of this pollution. Septic tanks need maintenance every three years or they begin to seep major pollutants into the ground that ends up in the rivers and Lake Okeechobee. They are saving a few hundred dollars every few years by essentially sending their defecation to us through the watershed. I suspect 95 percent or more don't maintain their septic tanks.

Another example is the sugar industry whose fertilizer and plants waste drains into lake and watershed. How much are they saving by being irresponsible and causing harm to their neighbors? Their profitable business is costing millions if not billions in lost business to those who live in southwest and southeast Florida.

Same thing for the dairy farmers! They generate a large amount of waste. They must be ignoring the damage they cause while they enjoy their profits.

This algae cost the loss of wild life; contaminates the water so it cannot be used for recreation and harms the largest source of income for many in Florida, the tourist business.

Isn't it about time that the legislators, governor, and agriculture commissioner in Tallahassee and Congress in Washington to provide some protection for millions of people who are suffering because of relatively few? What are politicians for if they don't protect the quality of life of millions in Florida? Where have they been for the last 30 years?

There are laws against pollution. There are many rules that cause fines if we violate them. How can the above polluters who are generating huge quantities of toxic waste be let off scott free from pollution and expense? They need to be held accountable with fines and capital cost to clean up THEIR mess.

The pain generators need to receive some pain.

John Benedict

Cape Coral



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