Monday, September 1, 2014
SATIRE: Bottled Water Blamed For Florida Sinkholes
Florida Bans Zephyrhills Bottled Water
Allegations over recent statewide sinkholes leads to ban of in-state bottled water company products.
Tim Russet Potato
Florida residents and visitors who prefer their water bottled will have to settle for out-of-state brands. That's because the Sunshine State has banned the sale of Zephyrhills bottled water.
The bill banning Zephyrhills products passed through the Florida House and Senate earlier this week and is being sent to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
Once passed, the law will prohibit the sale of all water bottled by Zephyrhills within the state of Florida. No other bottled water brands will be affected.
Zephyrhills, which sources its water in-state from Crystal Springs, was targeted by Florida lawmakers due to allegations that its water-collection methods have contributed to sinkholes within the state.
Florida has been the location of three major sinkholes within the past year. More than 300 sinkholes have formed since 2010, making Florida the state with the most sinkholes within the nation.
Because Zephyrhills collects water from the Florida aquifer, many lawmakers have speculated that the company's water-collection methods have sped up the erosion of limestone underneath the state's topsoil, allowing sinkholes to more easily form.
The bottled water company denies any responsibility for the recent sinkholes, as representatives have insisted that their company takes special precautions "to help ensure the health of the surrounding ecosystem."
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has conducted no scientific studies nor found any evidence proving a correlation between Zephyrhills’ water-pumping activities and sinkholes.
Nevertheless, lawmakers have decided to move forward with passing the law “just to be safe.”
This law will be the first legal action the state plans to implement against Zephyrhills. Once the law is passed, state lawmakers seek to obtain an injunction from the state's Supreme Court to cease the company's operations within the state.
Florida is not the only state to target bottled water for environmental reasons. Recently, in California, San Francisco banned the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property.
The rationale for the San Francisco ban was that plastic water bottles contributed to global warming, despite the fact that, as with the Florida ban, there was little to no scientific evidence proving such a correlation.
Gov. Rick Scott has expressed favor for his state's water bottle ban, claiming that the state should always err on the side of caution when it comes to environmental issues regardless of scientific evidence.
“Politicians like myself make and pass laws all the time without any knowledge of what we are legislating,” Scott said. “If politicians who know nothing about computers can legislate the internet, or those who know nothing about science can legislate science, or those who know nothing about economics can make economic decisions, then surely politicians like myself who know nothing about the environment can make decisions about it.”
If San Fransisco can ban water bottles over fears of climate change, then what could possibly stop Florida from banning water bottles over recent sinkholes? It makes just as much sense! Story idea was inspired by Jonathan Loesche of the Bogosity Podcast.