Florida Congressman Continues To Fight Discharges From Lake Okeechobee


A Florida congressman is upset that discharges are back underway from Lake Okeechobee.

Republican Representative Brian Mast has been pushing to stop these water releases into Treasure Coast waterways for years.

"It drives me crazy whenever the (U.S. Army) Corps of Engineers thinks that they can dump water out into our community through this system that they designed, that literally poisons our community."

The District 18 Congressman says that's not hyperbole.

"(The) EPA has called it poison. (The U.S. Army) Corps of Engineers has acknowledged that they're toxic waters."

The water releases have led to toxic blue-green algae blooms in the St. Lucie River and other Florida waterways in the past.

The discharges began this week because Lake Okeechobee is above 16 feet and there are still several weeks of hurricane season left.

Mast says what he calls a "silver lining" is that only 800 cubic feet per second of water from the current releases is coming from the lake, but he doesn't want any discharges.

The water releases are done because a project to shore up the Herbert Hoover dyke which surrounds Lake Okeechobee won't be finished until the year 2022.