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Sweet deal harms the Everglades

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Dear HCN,

Rabbit Babbitt's reported comment relative to Florida's Everglades (HCN, 5/16/94) that "when sugar companies blocked us in the Congress, we went to the state legislature in Tallahassee and last week we got a law there," absurdly misleads anyone hearing it. The statute Babbitt brags about only assures our Everglades remain polluted by Big Sugar. In fact, the statute sweetens Big Sugar's deal with the Interior Department by letting it off the hook for water quality testing of feeder rivers, providing "effluent mixing zones' in water conservation areas, delaying enforcement of existing water quality standards from 2002 until 2006, and, finally, capping levies against agriculture for clean-up of the present mess. The cap actually shifts clean-up costs from corporations to many poor folks here.

Conversely, anyone believing Florida's legislature gives a hoot about the Everglades can't spell "Tallaha$$ee." That's where the good ol" boys take their tea real sweet.

B.C. Young

Hammock, Florida

The writer is coordinator of SCRAM, the Southern Coalition for Rivers, Air and Mammals.

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