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Archive | Government

Author seeks to slow damage to Florida’s water management system

Friday, September 23, 2011

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Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection appear to be exercising more control over the state’s five water management districts, calling for statewide consistency while providing “one clear and consistent message.” But Tom Swihart, author of “Florida’s Water: A Fragile Resource in a Vulnerable State,” says Florida wouldn’t have been able to […]

State environmental chief questions land-buying program

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

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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 […]

Author hopes nature stories will turn around Florida politics

Thursday, July 21, 2011

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The environment didn’t cause the recession so it shouldn’t become victim of the current political climate. So says Florida nature writer Bill Belleville, author of “Salvaging the Real Florida: Lost and Found in the State of Dreams.” He hopes his new book will help people develop their own environmental ethic that may turn the political […]

Gov. Scott’s late parks announcement not a sneak attack, aide says

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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Scott told reporters after visiting DEP in February that he enjoys visiting state parks and they should be protected. After a week of controversy involving Florida Park Service proposals to put recreational vehicle campgrounds in four state parks, Gov. Rick Scott announced last Friday he was pulling the plug on at least the proposal at […]

Florida environmental commission is a shell of its former self

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

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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 […]

Nation’s largest land-buying program appears doomed by veto

Monday, June 20, 2011

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With the stroke of a pen last month, Gov. Rick Scott turned Florida from a conservation land-buyer to a land seller. Florida had the largest land-buying program in the nation with more than 2 million acres purchased since 1990. The Florida Forever program received $300 million a year until state revenues started slipping in 2009, […]

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

Saturday, May 7, 2011

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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 […]

Final day of session: Energy dead but growth overhaul, septic bills very much alive

Thursday, May 5, 2011

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Growth management, fertilizer and septic tanks are some of the environmental issues awaiting action by the Legislature on Friday, its final scheduled day of the regular session. Renewable energy, permitting and growth management were the big three issues heading into the session. There also was an outcry from some rural residents against last year’s requirement […]

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

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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, […]

Permitting bill sails through House with amendments

Saturday, April 30, 2011

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Joking that he had taken out “the nasty stuff” opposed by environmentalists, Rep. Jimmy Patronis said Friday his environmental permitting bill still is good for Florida’s businesses. The House quickly amended HB 991 on Friday and gave it final approval without questions or debate. The bill would streamline the state permitting process to reduce lawsuits […]