Legislation

District staff urges denial of controversial ranch water request

State officials are recommending denial of a requested water use permit for a cattle ranch in Marion County whose application in 2011 prompted a political campaign on behalf of Florida’s springs. The St. Johns River Water Management District staff says the application by Sleepy Creek Lands for 1.12 million in new pumping, combined with exiting …

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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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Coley targets another section of last year’s water quality bill

Rep. Marti Coley has filed another bill to repeal a section of the SB 550 the water quality bill that passed the Legislature in 2010. SB 550 included a requirement that septic tanks statewide to be inspected every five years and it banned the spreading of septic tank waste on land in 2016. The Legislature …

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Environmental groups digging in for tough legislative session

Environmental groups, which have become accustomed to playing defense in the Legislature for many years, are digging in for what could be an even tougher fight this year. The legislative session starts on Tuesday, March 8. There are bills filed to streamline environmental permitting, repeal a statewide septic tank inspection requirement and prohibit local governments …

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House water panel hears differing views on environmental protection

This reservoir in DeSoto County was built with some state water supply funding. Conservation and development of new water supplies must be part of Florida’s future to attract industry and create jobs, panelists on Thursday told the House Select Committee on Water Policy. But there were differing views on how much the environment should be …

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Septic tanks inspection delay becomes law without signature

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday allowed a bill to become law that delays a statewide inspection requirement for septic tanks. The inspection requirement was in SB 550, which then-Gov. Charlie Crist signed in June with support that included the Sierra Club Florida and the Florida Home Builders Association. Supporters said the requirement would protect public …

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