Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Top Florida Environmental News - May 4, 2011


Contents:
Energy, Waste & Green Transit
Growth Management
Habitat & Wildlife 
Water


Energy, Waste & Green Transit

Delray station adds energy to electric car craze
Sun-Sentinel
Mills, an electrical engineer at Tyco in Boca Raton, said he'll be taking advantage of the three brand-new, electric-car-charging stations in the Banker's Row parking lot. He is planning trips to downtown Delray Beach to visit restaurants on his lunch ...


Turkey Point nuclear plant worries some residents
Sun-Sentinel
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday answered questions posed by the public about the safety of the Florida Power & Light Co.'s Turkey Point nuclear power plant. The meeting at Homestead City Hall was part of the plant's annual review ...


Sen. Rob Portman says easing access to drilling would yield immediate reduce ...
PolitiFact
Pretend that environmentalists dropped all objections to drilling for oil on the Outer Continental Shelf -- that area that lies offshore between states' jurisdictions and the end of United States oceanic boundaries. Also pretend that the public decided ...


Temple Terrace's walker-friendly emphasis reaps national recognition
Tampa Tribune
By JOYCE MCKENZIE
Last week the US Department of Transportation-Federal Highway Administration honored Temple Terrace as one of only 19 cities in the nation – and the only one in Florida – to be designated a Walk-Friendly ...

PEDAL POWER: City of Destin embraces National Bike Month
Destin Log and Walton Log
The city of Destin embraces this effort to promote alternative modes of transportation and is already on the way to making bicycle and walking paths more available throughout the city. The Destin City Council presented a proclamation in support of ...


City gets OK to move forward with 3 energy grant projects
Sun-Sentinel
The final project is the installation of solar heating at Fire State No. 5 on High Ridge Road, which is estimated to cost $32000 and save up to 80 percent of the cost to heat water. "We are going to take out two existing gas water heaters and tower ...


Master of horror Stephen King likes his Chevy Volt and Sarasota
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
On the roof of the building, a 10-kilowatt array of solar electric panels was generating much of the power for the garage, including the charging stations. "I just love it because every time you do it, it is like saying to the oil cartel, 'Here, ...




Growth Management

Senate to revisit growth management
Tampa Tribune
In an unusual move last week, negotiators slid a House growth management plan into a budget conforming bill, meaning lawmakers could have approved the sweeping proposal with no debate in the Senate and a simple "yes" vote on the state budget. ...


Ruling in growth-management case overturned
Miami Daily Business Review
A Tallahassee-based appeals court has overturned a ruling that led Florida lawmakers this spring to rewrite a growth-management law that had been declared unconstitutional. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of ...


Former Safari Wild ranch making a comeback in Polk
Tampa Tribune
Planning commissioners will meet today to discuss making room in the county's land-use and comprehensive plans for agri-tourism businesses and the county staff has recommended adopting the amendments. If approved, the county opens the door for ranches ...


Assault on environment led by the ill-informed, shortsighted
Orlando Sentinel
The agency had thrived under governors ranging from Bob Graham to Jeb Bush, with all of them touting DCA as a guard for both residents and the land. But Dorworth thought DCA was a problem. He claimed the agency constantly blocked wonderful and sensible ...


Carrollwood-Northdale plan receives state approval
Tampa Tribune
If there are no appeals, the plan will become part of the county's overall comprehensive plan. The plan focused on improving North Dale Mabry Highway by creating walking paths for pedestrians, clustered activity centers and light rail to help improve ...


Put burden on public? No
Palm Beach Post
We hear, though, that the original provision could return as part of a Senate bill that is sponsored by one of the Legislature's biggest critics of growth management. As with the growth management bill, the justification is that Florida takes too long ...


Legislation unlinks enclosure inspections, permits
KeysNet
County Growth Management Director Christine Hurley said it's a "struggle" having the inspection program linked to building permits because of the unlicensed contractor work it brings -- people don't apply for permits because they don't want their homes ... 


Keys look for effect of gutted growth laws
KeysNet
The measure guts the state's development oversight process, which was strengthened 26 years ago in an effort to control the rampant sprawl of strip malls and suburbs that left roads and schools overcrowded, plowed under wetlands and strained water ...
 


Habitat & Wildlife

Glades repair still on track
Tampabay.com
WEST PALM BEACH — Despite dire warnings from environmentalists that Everglades restoration is doomed if drastic cuts to the state budget are approved, federal agencies say they have the money to keep the programs going and are ready to step up and ...


Nicklaus group still hoping to build golf course in Jonathan Dickinson State Park
TCPalm
By Jim Turner MARTIN COUNTY — Backers of a signature Jack Nicklaus designed golf course proposed for Jonathan Dickinson State Park are hoping for a mulligan. Robert Whitley, a Palm Beach Gardens developer working with the legendary golfer's company, ...


Landowners line up lots to offer to Lee
The News-Press
Staff in Lee's lands division will start negotiations with 24 landowners looking to sell land to Lee's Conservation 20/20 program. Commissioners said Tuesday during their weekly meeting they hope more sellers competing for $20 million in the program's ...


Lake Okeechobee drops below 11 feet as drought persists
Sun-Sentinel
Hitting 10.5 feet would dry out most of the lake's marshes, which is where the endangered Everglades snail kite hunts for food. Dropping to 10.5 feet could also interrupt the gravity flows of water to drainage canals south of the lake that sugar cane ...


Scott satisfied with Florida budget compromise giving him a sixth of tax cuts ...
Palm Beach Post
Environmentalists warn the reduction could threaten Everglades clean-up efforts by depleting available dollars. And lawmakers Tuesday agreed to raise state funding for Everglades work from $10 million to $29 million, although that is still down from ...


Uncontained fire scorches heart of Big Cypress
Sun-Sentinel (blog)
A female panther with kittens has been identified in the area of the fire, and it's unknown yet whether they were able to escape. Fire is a natural part of the preserve's ecology and the wildlife have evolved to deal with it, officials said. ...


4 Florida panther kittens killed in wildfire
Miami Herald
Four Florida panther kittens have died in wildfire in Big Cypress National Preserve. Officials at the park found the kittens' remains Tuesday...


Proposal would put limits on gag grouper through 2015
Tampa Tribune
Between the oil spill and the closed waters and the regulations being so severe … it's been really tough." Scientists say gag grouper has been declining even before the oil spill, with a red tide event in 2005 wiping out 18 percent of the population, ...



Water

Florida Independent
By Virginia Chamlee | 05.04.11 | 11:22 am The St. Johns River Water Management District will soon consider a permit from Jacksonville-based utility company JEA that would allow the company to withdraw groundwater, which environmentalists are saying ...


War on the environment
Tbo.com
Among other things, the bill curtails local regulation of mining, weakens wetlands protections and undermines rules designed to protect groundwater from landfill pollution. The bill would have been even more egregious if sponsor Rep. ...


Lakes Alliance asks public help opposing JEA plan
Clay Today Online
The St. Johns Water Management District has to its credit finally recognized that area lakes are in need of protection and that Lake Geneva does not currently meet all of its Minimum Flow Level's (MFL's) based on historic water level data. ...



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