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Business groups fight federal 'tax' on clean water

Especially in this economy, everything is labeled a "tax" if you don't want it. Add this one to the list: The Environmental Protection Agency's plans to uphold clean water laws and limit how much nutrient pollution is allowed in Florida's waterways.

A group of big business and anti-tax interests, joined by former state DEP secretaries Virginia Wetherell and Colleen Castille, warned the yet-unannounced regulations would amount to a "federal water tax" that would hurt the economy. They are calling on the state's congressional delegation to stop the EPA from imposing restrictions -- which they argue (with questionable math) -- would cost Florida utilities $50 billion with consumer footing the bill.

For more, read this piece when the EPA intervened to end a lawsuit filed by environmental groups in 2008. In the meantime, marvel at this great Web site name the group launched: www.donttaxflorida.com. Surprisingly, it wasn't taken until PR guru Ron Sachs bought it Nov. 10.


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The claim that it will cost $50 billion to upgrade Florida’s sewage treatment plants is ridiculous. The cost of upgrading all the sewer pants in the entire U.S., (including federal grants, state contributions, and leveraged bonds) between 1988 and 2007 was $58 billion. (EPA statistics http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/cwnims/pdf/invus.pdf)

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