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Florida congressman attacks EPA for ‘going wild,’ using ‘junk science’

Congressman Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, again slammed the federal Environmental Protection Agency in an appearance today on Fox Business. Ross has long been vocal in his opposition of the EPA-mandated “numeric nutrient criteria,” a set of standards that would govern water pollution in Florida.

Saying they are based on “junk science,” Ross argued that the criteria would have a deliterous impact on Floridians. “The EPA is going wild, and is not relying on genuine science or logic and reason in its implementation of its regulations,” Ross said. Shortly after, Ross said the EPA is hampering the fishing industry in Florida. “They [the fishing industry] can do a very good job making sure they’re policing it the way it ought to be policed because their livelihoods depend on it,” he said.

Supporters of the criteria argue that the rules would help, rather than hinder, the fishing industry. Nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen (which are present in both industry effluent and home fertilizers) lead to large scale algal blooms in state waterways, cutting off oxygen to marine supply and killing fish — a major problem for those hoping to catch them.

Attacks on the EPA are nothing new, especially attacks originating from the right. As we have noted has been noted, however, the numeric nutrient criteria were actually mandated by the Bush Administration, not President Obama.

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