Donalds Introduces Bill To Mitigate Algal Blooms in Florida Waters, Mast Co-Sponsors

Donalds Introduces Bill To Mitigate Algal Blooms in Florida Waters, Mast Co-Sponsors

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
June 20, 2024

Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) has introduced H.R. 8779, known as The Convert Harmful Algal Blooms to Fuel Act. According to the Florida congressman, this bill directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to “develop and deploy innovative tech that will filter water and convert retrieved algae biomass into renewable biofuels.”

Furthermore, Rep. Donalds' bill would amend the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 to require the mitigation of harmful algal blooms and nutrient pollution from bodies of water including the Caloosahatchee River watershed, the St. Lucie River and estuary basin, and the Lake Okeechobee watershed.

The harmful algal blooms would be addressed by removing algae and then converting it into biofuel and “for other purposes.”

Representative Brian Mast (R-FL) co-sponsors the bill. For months, he has called for the Army Corps of Engineers to end the “toxic discharges” in the St. Lucie Estuary. Rep. Mast shared his displeasure with the Army Corps on this issue in April.

“The Corps has already dumped more than 50 billion gallons of polluted Lake Okeechobee water into the St. Lucie Estuary,” said Rep. Mast. “According to test results, these discharges have produced poisonous blue-green algae that is more than twice as toxic as is safe for human contact.”

Furthermore, the Florida congressman described this situation as “good news,” but not worthy of any appreciation for the Army Corps.

“So, while this is good news, I won’t be rushing to say thank you for stopping.  These discharges never should have been happening in the first place. Of course, there’s still bad news also - The Army Corps is now being purposely ambiguous and hiding behind government speak about what would cause them to resume discharges,” said Mast.

Finally, Mast accused the Army Corps of “ignoring a federal law.”

“Make no mistake: should they try to pull another fast one, I will be waiting,” said Mast. “After all, the Army Corps has done little to foster trust and good will within our community. Even now, they’re ignoring a federal law requiring them to develop a plan to permanently end harmful discharges to the northern estuaries. So, while we’ve won a battle with this announcement, the war for clean water continues. I will continue to fight with every ounce of energy so that we do not have another lost summer.”

This bill from Rep. Donalds is his 91st piece of legislation during the 118th Congress.

Related Posts

Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


More Related Posts