DEP Secretary Steverson Resigns
The following letter is self-explanatory (apologies for some automatic editing and formatting changes):
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000
Jonathan P. Steverson
The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor of Florida The Capitol, Plaza Level 05
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Dear Governor Scott:
Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection effective February 3, 2017.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve you and the people of the great state of Florida in this role for the last two years. In this time, the Department has worked tirelessly to meet our vision of creating strong community partnerships, safeguarding Florida’s natural resources and enhancing its ecosystems. Your leadership and laser focus on actually completing projects that improve the environment and people’s quality of life provided the foundation and motivation for the Department’s success in those endeavors.
Your efforts have also led to historic levels of funding for Everglades restoration and springs protection, including ensuring a dedicated source of funding for these critical waterbodies. The Department will continue to ensure those dollars are spent effectively and efficiently to achieve the greatest environmental benefit.
Two years ago, Department leadership set a strategic goal of partnering with communities and businesses to protect natural resources and promote economic growth. Our focus on this goal can be seen throughout the agency, predominantly with the recent creation of the Division of Water Restoration Assistance. The Department now boasts a Division that focuses solely on meeting the needs of our communities by helping them obtain the many grant opportunities you’ve worked hard to make available to them.
Another area of the agency that has seen significant improvement, thanks to your support, is in the long-term planning, restoration and maintenance of our natural resources.
We’ve invested record funding in the management and restoration of the nearly 800,000 acres entrusted to us through Florida’s renowned state park system, and we owe it to future generations to show them “the Real Florida.’
Finally, I would like to personally thank you for your commitment to fighting for the families of Northwest Florida who depend on the Apalachicola River and Bay for their livelihood. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the extraordinary original action you initiated in the U.S. Supreme Court. Through this bold action, you clearly demonstrated that the state of Florida will staunchly protect our environment and our people.
It has truly been an honor to serve as Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, working under your leadership and alongside nearly 3,000 dedicated employees to safeguard Florida’s natural resources for future generations.
If I can ever be of service to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.
cc: Kim McDougal
The following article by John Rosica is from the saintpetersblog and can be found here.
Jon Steverson resigns as DEP secretary
Jim Rosica1 day ago
Jon Steverson, the Secretary of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Rick Scott, has resigned.
His departure was confirmed Friday night by McKinley Lewis, Scott’s deputy communications director, who provided a copy of the resignation letter.
Steverson is set to join the legal-lobbying firm Foley & Lardner, sources tell FloridaPolitics.com. Herschel Vineyard, who also served as a DEP Secretary, is a part of Foley’s governmental relations team.
Steverson, whose last day will be Feb. 3, did not mention reasons for his leaving in the letter.
“I want to thank Jon Steverson for his hard work,” Scott said in a statement. “Jon has devoted his career to protecting Florida’s pristine environment and I am proud of the tremendous and historic strides we have made toward safeguarding Florida’s natural resources during his time at DEP.
“Under his leadership, we have invested in Florida’s natural lands and completed projects which will ensure protection of our springs, restoration of the Everglades and the continued enhancement of our award-winning state parks for years to come.”
Lewis said the Governor’s Office will have “further announcements on this next week.”
Among the leading candidates to replace Steverson are Karl Rasmussen, a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Governor’s Office, and Ryan Matthews, the Deputy Secretary of Regulatory Programs at DEP.
Steverson raised hackles for, among other things, suggesting that the state allow timber harvesting and cattle grazing to help state parks boost their income.
More recently, his department did not immediately notify the public that a huge sinkhole formed under a fertilizer plant and sent contaminated water and fertilizer into Florida’s main drinking water aquifer.
He began as interim DEP Secretary in December 2014. The Florida Senate declined to confirm him and other agency heads in 2015, though he finally won confirmation January of last year.
Steverson was previously executive director of the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Before that, he was DEP’s Special Counsel on Policy and Legislative Affairs and an acting Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration, according to his bio.
Steverson also served in the Executive Office of the Governor in 2005-09 in several positions, including Environmental Policy Coordinator.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this post.