This is a power grab by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection with the motive of serving industry at the expense of our environment, deemed expendable and subservient to money.
By-passing the Army Corps of Engineers lets them get away with more, and more quickly. Besides, the DEP doesn’t have the staff to assume this, and this is one more example of the dangerous trend of Tallahassee taking on more and more power.
Read the complete article here at WMFE.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
Federal Hearings Begin On Florida Bid To Take Over Wetlands Permitting
This week Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold the first of two virtual hearings on Florida’s request to take over wetlands permitting.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been handling permitting under the Clean Water Act for decades. The permitting is aimed at preserving wetlands that protect drinking water supplies, absorb impacts from hurricanes and provide habitat for wildlife.
Environmentalists fear Florida’s much smaller state agency won’t be equipped to handle the job.
Tanya Galloni is a managing attorney for Earthjustice.
“If you devolve those decisions to the local level where there’s political pressure, then there’s really very little standing in the way. It’s about short cutting, the time of consideration in the process for consideration, the level of review. We need checks and balances.”
She says the government is moving too quickly and questions remain over how the state will handle the permitting….
To find out more about the hearings scheduled for Wednesday and Oct. 27, go to wlrn.org.