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Legislation must provide schedules, funding for springs, scientist says

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Environmental scientist Robert L. Knight says he agrees with utility and industry groups that contend Florida already has the regulatory tools it needs to protect its springs.

But unlike those groups that are concerned about draft springs legislation, Knight says the measure would help springs by providing mandates, schedules and funding for agencies to follow in dealing with over-pumping and water quality.

Knight, president of the nonprofit Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, also says the $55 million requested by Gov. Rick Scott for springs needs a careful evaluation by a re-established Florida Springs Task Force.

"Throwing $55 million at the problem without a careful evaluation of the best way to spend that money is a waste of money in my opinion," Knight said. He also is president of the Wetlands Solutions Inc. environmental consulting firm in Gainesville.