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Archive | 2010 archive

Huge Florida biomass plant up for Cabinet vote

Monday, December 6, 2010

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Conceptual rendering of American Renewables proposed plant in Gainesville A proposed woody biomass electric plant that would be one of the largest of its kind in the nation could move a step closer to reality with a Cabinet vote on Tuesday. American Renewables and the city of Gainesville are proposing the 100-megawatt biomass plant on […]

New Senate environmental chairman wants to repeal septic tank inspections

Friday, December 3, 2010

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The new chairman of the Senate’s environmental committee has introduced a bill that would repeal a new requirement that septic tanks be inspected every five years. The inspection requirement in SB 550 earlier this year was promoted by supporters as a springs protection measure. But legislators voted during the special session on Nov. 16 to […]

Agency withdraws proposed growth rule changes after veto override

Thursday, December 2, 2010

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The Florida Department of Community Affairs has withdrawn two controversial proposed rule changes because of the Legislature’s override of the governor’s veto of HB 1565. HB 1565 requires legislative approval for proposed regulations that could cost more than $200,000 a year for all businesses across the state. Supporters said the bill would prevent agencies from […]

NOAA announces Gulf of Mexico grouper fishing restrictions

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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Federal fisheries managers on Tuesday announced they are imposing temporary restrictions on recreational and commercial fishing for gag and red grouper, two of the most important fishing species in the Gulf of Mexico. Possible restrictions on grouper and snapper fishing earlier this year prompted an outcry from some state and federal elected officials. HB 553, […]

Pelham says he’s leaving Florida growth agency

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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By the Florida Tribune The embattled head of Florida’s growth management agency has made it official that he will no have role in the administration of Governor-elect Rick Scott. Tom Pelham, who has been the head of the Department of Community Affairs under two separate GOP governors, wrote a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist on […]

Florida Legislature overrides Crist vetoes on environmental bills

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

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By the Florida Tribune State lawmakers dealt with several environmental issues as they convened for a one-day special session on Tuesday. Although most of the work involved overriding vetoes by Gov. Charlie Crist, legislators also discussed whether to approve one Crist-backed initiative. Legislators approved $31 million in federal stimulus funds to provide energy rebates for […]

Florida park renamed for diver, filmmaker Wes Skiles

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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Florida park officials on Tuesday named Peacock Springs State Park near Live Oak in honor of cave-diver and filmmaker Wes Skiles, who died on July 21 while diving off the Palm Beach County Coast. Skiles was a member of the Florida Springs Task Force and spoke at a rally for springs outside of the Capitol […]

Feds unveil tougher Florida water standards

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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By the Florida TribuneThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized numeric nutrient standards for Florida on Sunday but decided to delay the implementation of the requirements for 15 months, leaving the door open for litigation. The EPA’s numeric limits — which were sparked by a lawsuit from environmental groups — have been set for nutrients including […]

Constantine: Lawmakers knew about septic tanks mandate

Monday, November 15, 2010

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By The Florida TribuneAs legislators seek to extend the implementation of new septic tank standards during the upcoming special session, outgoing Sen. Lee Constantine sent a letter to lawmakers requesting they back the standards and its timeline, just as they did during the past legislative session. Under SB 550, the new standards would require that […]

DCA chief defends planning agency

Thursday, November 11, 2010

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It didn’t get a lot of attention, but Secretary of Community Affairs Tom Pelham gave an impassioned defense of his agency this past week. DCA has constantly come under fire in the last few years, especially as Pelham has criticized legislative efforts to change the state’s growth management laws. Pelham, however, fired back at critics […]