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Water-Related News

Lawmakers want rules and remedies for chemical in Seminole County tap water

Two local lawmakers are announcing a bipartisan effort today to regulate a toxic industrial chemical that has tainted the drinking water of thousands of people in Seminole County for years and possibly decades.

There are no mandatory limits or other drinking water regulations for the chemical, 1,4-dioxane, whose dangers were little discussed until a series of reports in the Orlando Sentinel last year. Local authorities say the absence of regulations has left them floundering with little assistance for solutions, unsure of the need for transparency to the public and potentially saddled with huge costs.

State Sen. Linda Stewart, a veteran Democrat from Orlando, will try to remedy that with a bill to be publicly announced Monday in advance of Tuesday’s start of the 2024 Florida legislative session.

According to Stewart’s office, the bill will be paired with similar legislation to be filed by Rep. Rachel Saunders Plakon of Lake Mary, a Republican first elected to her seat in 2022.

With a wide range of proposed steps, the bill chiefly would require the state “Department of Environmental Protection to adopt and implement rules for a statewide maximum contaminant level for 1,4-dioxane.”