Venice City Council favors statewide stormwater rule
VENICE — The Venice City Council voted to support several statewide efforts to improve the environment Tuesday, including consideration of a resolution to support implementation of the statewide stormwater treatment rule that was abandoned in 2011, septic tank inspections and a proposed ban on smoking at the beach.
The city must still craft and adopt a resolution to support the stormwater rule which, in part, would require stormwater treatment systems to be at least 80 percent effective in reducing phosphorus and nutrients in stormwater, compared with the currently typical effectiveness of 40 to 45 percent.
That would mirror a resolution of support adopted by the city of North Port on Dec. 11 and transmitted to the governor for consideration.
North Port City Manager Peter Lear asked Venice to follow his city’s action in a Dec. 18 letter to Venice Mayor John Holic, but discussion of the item was pushed back until Tuesday, because of other quasi-judicial hearings.
Earlier in the meeting, several members of Hands Along the Water, made a similar plea during public comment.
They were joined by North Port City Commissioner Jill Luke, who made that same appeal.
Luke called enforcement of the statewide stormwater treatment rule, “the lowest hanging fruit that we have, in order to do something for red tide, algae blooms and everything else.”
Members of Hands Along the Water, the grassroots environmental group that formed in August in response to the persistent red tide bloom, delivered variations of the same message.