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Senate Committee Moves Ahead With Reservior Bill

Determined to build a 2.4 billion dollar reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee, Senate Republicans are turning up the heat on opponents.

The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee voted to order water managers to begin buying thousands of acres of prime farmland in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

Senator Rob Bradley of Flemming Island says his bill is needed to deal with catastrophic toxic algae blooms.

“Algae blooms are not merely an unsightly nuisance to residents and tourists, they bring real health risks to humans and wildlife and result in severe economic damages to local businesses.”

Sugar growers, vegetable farmers and local officials warned the move wouldn’t work and put scores of people out of work. Bradley promised to add offsets for job loss.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.