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Letters to the Editors

Storing water in aquifer helps ease shortages

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 24, 2001


Re: Legislators are playing recklessly with our water, April 20 column

Editor: The St. Petersburg Times recently printed a column criticizing an innovative state plan to provide an answer to Florida's water crisis and help restore the Everglades by making aquifer storage and recovery technology (ASR) already in use throughout our state more accessible to local water management districts.

While reading this article, I was extremely disappointed that the Times would try to scare its readership into thinking that there was anything "reckless" about the state's plan to use a proven technology to help solve Florida's severe water shortages resulting from a terrible three-year drought.

The truth of the matter is that the ASR initiative is supported by the very agencies and public officials who are responsible for protecting the public health and environment in Florida: Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health, Florida Senate, Florida House and Gov. Jeb Bush. It is ridiculous to think the people responsible for protecting the welfare of Florida's people and environment would do anything to jeopardize it.

The ASR initiative will protect public health through a series of strict requirements for permitting and additional safeguards. For instance, all water-quality requirements on the federal Safe Drinking Water Act will be met and ASR wells will not be allowed in any aquifers which are currently, or will be in the future, used for drinking water. Furthermore, each permit for an ASR well will be individually reviewed by a task force of scientific experts to ensure that it is located in appropriate geology. And an important part of the permitting will involve development of a detailed, site-specific monitoring plan. If compliance problems are found, the bill provides for an immediate closing of the facility and cleaning of the water.

Further, upon recovery, the stored water will be retreated and disinfected to meet federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards before being made available for consumption.

Another critical point to make is that the Department of Environmental Protection will include the federal Environmental Protection Agency in developing the rules to administer the ASR program, in order to make sure the program will fully reflect federal law requirements and ultimately be acceptable to EPA.

Developing a broader use for ASR technology is crucial to the success of two major programs in Florida: Everglades restoration and water supply development at the local level. Because of its extreme importance to preserving the environment and helping local communities, the people of Florida should support the ASR initiative and not be dissuaded on this issue based on the unsubstantiated claims of unqualified people.
-- Mike Fasano, State Representative District 45, Majority Leader

Charging diners by pound discriminates against them

Editor: Buffet restaurants cannot and will not discriminate because a person has a gland problem or is overweight.

A letter writer was very unsympathetic toward overweight people. He talked about the person being charged by his weight. Well, I know a lot of skinny, boney, weightless, brainless people that eat like three people and don't gain an ounce.

The letter writer said he is somewhat of an expert. Where did he get a degree on being an expert of gigantic proportioned people? There are a lot of boney, skinny, inconsiderate people out there; it sounds to me like the writer is one of them.

The solution is to listen to the law, and it says "all you can eat for $5"; that says it all.
-- Sal Russo, Hudson

Jan, better apologize to China for the spy plane

Re: Why not show some respect on Easter? April 17 letter

Editor: At first I thought the writer offended by Jan Glidewell's April 15 "Off to the Big Easy" column was apologizing; then I realized she was offended that Jan announced to the world he was not a Christian, that he chose (I think not) to do it on Easter Sunday. Wow. How come he wasn't complimented for also making it known to the world that "neither is he superstitious -- especially not when he is carrying his leather Ju-Ju bag full of amulets he collected over the years?"

Jan, I think you should apologize to the lady. Your timing was bad, as she pointed out, "probably" because most people practice Christianity Easter weekend and Sunday.I guess the rest of the year they'll be off to the "Big Easy" or recovering from the required debauchery.

Oh, and while you're in an apologetic mode, why not apologize to China about the spy plane incident? Since they sent the plane crew home for Easter Sunday, do you think they may be practicing Christianity? Nah.

Jan's column was about a tradition that grew out of a friendship with a late friend and colleague, not about his religious beliefs. Easter just happened to occur during his vacation. Or maybe the other way around. Judge not, that you be not judged.
-- Joseph A. Guarraci, Port Richey

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