FDEP

DEP says no “critical” funding would force state parks to close

By BRUCE¬†RITCHIE Florida would be forced to close state parks without approval of a new state budget that provides for at least¬†“critical” spending, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. DEP on Monday issued a list of critical funding needs as requested last week by Gov. Rick Scott in advance of a June 1-20 …

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Is saying hi to a reporter taboo for government employees?

By Bruce Ritchie Floridaenvironments.com I didn’t see Connie Bersok at the Tallahassee airport art reception last April, but she sure saw me. And she made a beeline out of there. I know only because she told Florida Department of Environmental Protection investigators that during a recorded interview under oath on June 1. Bersok is a …

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State environmental chief questions land-buying program

Some environmental groups may be in agreement with Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard that the state’s land-buying list needs closer scrutiny. Vinyard last week announced that $700 million was being cut from budgets of the state’s five water management districts. More than $200 million of the cuts were from the districts’ land …

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Florida environmental commission is a shell of its former self

Gov. Rick Scott last month reappointed Cari Roth to the state Environmental Regulation Commission. But if recent history is an indicator, she shouldn’t find the position to be too time-consuming. The ERC sets standards and rules for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Most issues that go before the commission deal with air pollution, water …

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Session could have been worse but it was still bad, environmentalists say

The Florida legislative session went off track early Saturday, taking several bills with it that were supported by business and industry groups and opposed by environmentalists. But environmentalists were not in a celebratory mood as the Legislature passed bills gutting state growth management and placing the burden of proof on those who file legal challenges …

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Bennett says he now wants to shift burden of proof to challengers

A provision that was stripped out of a House permit streamlining bill last week after environmentalists denounced it was back Wednesday as a proposed amendment to a Senate rulemaking bill. The amendment to SB 1382 would place the burden of proof on those who challenge state environmental permits. The amendment by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, …

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Scott would reorganize DCA, DEP under proposed budget

Gov. Rick Scott is warning his supporters that unnamed “special interests” will his attack his 2011-12 budget recommendations and the cuts they include for growth and environmental programs. Scott proposes substantially reducing the number of state planners who oversee local growth management decisions and would move them to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. He …

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Another top Florida DEP official is on the way out

The resignation of another top staffer has been accepted at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, creating another high-level vacancy under new DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard. Janet Llewellyn, director of the Division of Water Resource Management, was told Friday that her resignation had been accepted, according to sources outside of the agency. Resignations were requested …

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Cabinet confirms Vinyard to DEP post; Eight top vacancies remain

New Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard, a former shipyard executive, was confirmed by the Cabinet Wednesday. Vinyard thanked Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet for the opportunity to serve the state. He takes over a department that lost eight senior staff members last month when the Scott administration accepted their resignations. Vinyard, …

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