Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top Florida Environmental News - April 28, 2011


Call your representative to vote NO on the anti-environmental "Monster Bill," HB 991

Sierra Club Legislative Alert
Call your Representative TODAY to vote NO on
HB 991 Environmental Permitting by Rep. Patronis scheduled for a floor vote tomorrow (Friday, April 29)

This bill is a developer’s grab bag of bad ideas that will:
  • Deprive citizens of due process when they try to challenge permits that will hurt the environment
  • Shift the burden of proof to citizens in challenges rather than leaving it with the applicant who currently has the burden of showing they are in compliance with all permit requirements
  • Preempt localities from regulating the environmental impact of mining activity (one of the most disruptive land uses imaginable)
  • Exempt phosphate mines from the development of regional impact process.  There is no question that phosphate mines have regional effects from their sheer size to the downstream consequences, and small counties do not have the ability or incentive to consider impacts on their neighbors. 
  • Reduce the information agencies are allowed to request when processing permit applications
  • Expedite wetlands permits for an inland port
  • Put into statute that groundwater can be contaminated down to the base of the aquifer all the way out to the property line  
 (For more details, scroll to the bottom of this page)

HB 991 was supposed to go through two more committees (Appropriations and State Affairs) but House leaders avoided this requirement and put this bad bill on the fast track to passage.  Tell your Representative that trashing the environment won’t create jobs but cost them.  Our state relies on our landscape and our natural resources to support communities and attract business.  Urge them (politely) to vote ‘NO’ on this bad bill.

Please call your member first.  You can find them by checking for the House District number on the back of your voter registration card.  Then call the rest of the members of your county delegation.

You can find all the members representing your county by using “find” on your Edit menu or use Ctr +F to bring up the dialogue box, then either click in the “Highlight all items found in: Main Document” or use the  Alt + t shortcut.  Finally type the name of your county in the “Find what” box and click “Find All.”  This will highlight each instance of the county in the document.  Close the “find” dialogue box and click the yellow highlighter icon on your toolbar and each of the highlighted counties will remain highlighted so you can identify them easily.

Florida House 2011 (check the back of your voter card for your Representative’s District)
Representative                               District       Local Phone          Email Address                                              Local Delegations
Rep. Joseph Abruzzo                    85                (850) 488-4791      Palm Beach
Rep. Janet Adkins                          12                (850) 488-6920           Baker, Bradford Clay, Duval, Nassau, Union
Rep. Larry Ahern                           51                (850) 488-6197             Pinellas
Rep. Ben Albritton                         66                (850) 488-9465          Hardee, Highlands, Polk
Rep. Frank Artiles                          119              (850) 488-9550            Miami-Dade
Rep. Gary Aubuchon                    74                (850) 488-7433     Charlotte, Lee
Rep. Dennis Baxley                        24                (850) 488-0335        Marion
Rep. Leonard Bembry                    10                (850) 488-7870     Alachua Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Levy, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla
Rep. Lori Berman                            86                (850) 488-1662             Palm Beach
Rep. Mack Bernard                        84                (850) 488-8632         Palm Beach
Rep. Michael Bileca                       117              (850) 488-6506        Miami-Dade
Rep. Jim Boyd                                 68                (850) 488-4086                 Hillsborough,  Manatee
Rep. Jeffrey ''Jeff'' Brandes           52                (850) 488-5719           Pinellas
Rep. Jason T. Brodeur                   33                (850) 488-0468        Orange, Seminole, Volusia
Rep. Doug Broxson                       1                  (850) 488-8188        Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa
Rep. Dwight M. Bullard (D)          118              (850) 488-5430       Miami-Dade
Rep. Rachel Burgin                        56                (850) 488-9910         Hillsborough
Rep. Matt Caldwell                        73                (850) 488-1541         Lee
Rep. Daphne Campbell                  108              (850) 488-4233  Miami-Dade
Rep. Dean Cannon                         35                (850) 488-2742         Orange
Rep. Charles Chuck"" Chestnut  23                (850) 488-5794   Alachua, Marion
Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed      92                (850) 488-0880  Broward
Rep. Jeff Clemens                           89                (850) 488-0260           Palm Beach
Rep. Marti Coley                            7                  (850) 488-2873             Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Wakulla, Walton
Rep. Richard Corcoran                  45                (850) 488-8528   Pasco, Pinellas
Rep. Fredrick W. ''Fred'' Costello 26                (850) 488-9873          Flagler, Volusia
Rep. Steve Crisafulli                      32                (850) 488-4669       Brevard, Orange
Rep. Janet Cruz                               58                (850) 488-9460               Hillsborough
Rep. Daniel Davis                          13                (850) 488-5102           Clay, Duval
Rep. Jose Felix Diaz                       115              (850) 488-3616                 Miami-Dade
Rep. Chris Dorworth                      34                (850) 488-5843      Orange, Seminole
Rep. Brad Drake                             5                  (850) 488-4726              Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Walton, Washington
Rep. Eric Eisnaugle                        40                (850) 488-9770        Orange
Rep. Clay Ford                                3                  (850) 488-0895                 Escambia, Santa Rosa
Rep. Erik Fresen                             111              (850) 488-4092              Miami-Dade
Rep. Jim Frishe                               54                (850) 488-9960           Pinellas
Rep. Reggie Fullwood                   15                (850) 488-7417     Duval
Rep. Matt Gaetz (M)                      4                  (850) 488-1170              Okaloosa, Santa Rosa
Rep. Luis R. Garcia, Jr. (L)             107              (850) 488-9930              Miami-Dade
Rep. Joe Gibbons                           105              (850) 488-0145           Broward
Rep. Rich Glorioso                         62                (850) 488-0807          Hillsborough, Pasco
Rep. Eddy  Gonzalez                      102              (850) 488-1683       Broward, Miami-Dade
Rep. Tom Goodson                        29                (850) 488-3006         Brevard, Indian River
Rep. James ''J.W.'' Grant                47                (850) 488-0275            Hillsborough
Rep. Denise Grimsley                    77                (850) 488-3457     Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands
Rep. Bill Hager                                87                (850) 488-2234                Broward, Palm Beach
Rep. Gayle Harrell                          81                (850) 488-8749           Martin St. Lucie
Rep. Shawn Harrison                     60                (850) 488-3087     Hillsborough, Pasco
Rep. Doug Holder                          70                (850) 488-1171           Sarasota
Rep. Ed Hooper                              50                (850) 488-1540              Pinellas
Rep. Mike Horner                           79                (850) 488-8992            Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Polk
Rep. Matt Hudson                         101              (850) 488-1028          Broward, Collier
Rep. Dorothy Hukill                       28                (850) 488-6653       Volusia
Rep. Clay Ingram                            2                  (850) 488-8278            Escambia
Rep. Evan Jenne                             100              (850) 488-0245             Broward
Rep. Mia Jones (M)                       14                (850) 488-6893                Duval
Rep. John Patrick Julien                104              (850) 488-7088              Miami-Dade
Rep. Martin Kiar                             97                (850) 487-1588              Broward
Rep. Paige Kreegel                         72                (850) 488-9175         Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee
Rep. Rick Kriseman                        53                (850) 488-9337         Pinellas
Rep. John Legg                              46                (850) 488-5522                Pasco
Rep. Ana Rivas Logan                  114              (850) 488-2831               Miami-Dade
Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera           113              (850) 488-4202     Miami-Dade
Rep. Debbie Mayfield                   80                (850) 488-0952    Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie
Rep. Charles McBurney                16                (850) 488-4171 Duval
Rep. Seth McKeel                          63                (850) 488-9890            Hillsborough, Polk
Rep. Larry Metz                              25                (850) 488-0348               Lake, Seminole, Volusia
Rep. George R. Moraitis, Jr.          91                (850) 488-0635     Broward, Palm Beach
Rep. Peter Nehr                              48                (850) 488-5580              Pasco, Pinellas
Rep. Bryan Nelson                         38                (850) 488-2023         Orange
Rep. Jeanette M. Nuñez                112              (850) 488-7897       Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade
Rep. Marlene O'Toole                   42                (850) 488-5991      Lake, Marion, Sumter
Rep. Mark Pafford                          88                (850) 488-0175          Palm Beach
Rep. Kathleen C. Passidomo        76                (850) 488-4487     Collier
Rep. Jimmy T. Patronis                  6                  (850) 488-9696      Bay, Franklin, Gulf
Rep. Steven M. ''Steve'' Perman   78                (850) 488-5588         Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie
Rep. W. Keith Perry                       22                (850) 488-0887             Alachua, Levy, Marion
Rep. Ray Pilon                                69                (850) 488-7754                 Manatee, Sarasota
Rep. Scott Plakon                           37                (850) 488-2231          Orange, Seminole
Rep. Elizabeth W. Porter               11                (850) 488-9835     Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Suwannee
Rep. Ari Porth                                 96                (850) 488-2124                 Broward
Rep. Steve Precourt                       41                (850) 488-0256       Lake, Orange, Osceola
Rep. Bill Proctor                             20                (850) 488-2977             Clay, Flagler, St. Johns
Rep. Scott Randolph                     36                (850) 488-0660      Orange
Rep. Lake Ray                                 17                (850) 488-4388                   Duval
Rep. Betty Reed                             59                (850) 488-5432              Hillsborough
Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda                 9                              (850) 488-0965                                                                                              Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon
Rep. Ronald ''Doc'' Renuart          18                (850) 488-0001       Duval, St. Johns
Rep. Kenneth L.  Roberson          71                (850) 488-0060         Charlotte, Lee, Sarasota
Rep. Hazelle ''Hazel'' Rogers         94                (850) 488-8234        Broward
Rep. Patrick Rooney, Jr.                83                (850) 488-0322             Palm Beach
Rep. Darryl Rouson                       55                (850) 488-0925        Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota
Rep. Franklin Sands                       98                (850) 488-0590       Broward
Rep. Ron Saunders                        120              (850) 488-9965         Miami-Dade, Monroe
Rep. Robert Schenck                     44                (850) 488-6641      Hernando, Pasco, Sumter
Rep. Elaine Schwartz                     99                (850) 488-0465     Broward
Rep. Irving ''Irv'' Slosberg             90                (850) 488-1302      Broward, Palm Beach
Rep. Jimmie T. Smith (J)                43                (850) 488-0805           Citrus, Hernando, Levy
Rep. William Snyder                      82                (850) 488-8832       Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie
Rep. Darren Soto                            49                (850) 488-9240            Orange, Osceola
Rep. Cynthia A. Stafford              109              (850) 488-0625    Miami-Dade
Rep. Kelli Stargel                            64                (850) 488-2270            Polk
Rep. Richard L. Steinberg             106              (850) 488-0690  Miami-Dade
Rep. W. Gregory ''Greg'' Steube   67                (850) 488-6341           Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota
Rep. Dwayne Taylor                      27                (850) 488-0580       Volusia
Rep. Geraldine Thompson            39                (850) 488-0760     Orange
Rep. Perry E. Thurston, Jr.            93                (850) 488-1084       Broward
Rep. John Tobia                             31                (850) 488-2528              Brevard
Rep. Carlos Trujillo                        116              (850) 488-5047         Miami-Dade
Rep. Charles E. Van Zant              21                (850) 488-0665     Bradford, Clay, Lake, Marion, Putnam, Volusia
Rep. James W. Jim"" Waldman   95                (850) 488-3164           Broward
Rep. Barbara Watson                    103              (850) 488-0766     Broward, Miami-Dade
Rep. Will W. Weatherford            61                (850) 488-5744    Hillsborough, Pasco
Rep. Michael B.  Weinstein          19                (850) 488-1304      Clay, Duval, St. Johns
Rep. Alan B. Williams (A)            8                  (850) 488-1798          Gadsden, Leon
Rep. Trudi Williams (T)                 75                (850) 488-2047         Collier, Lee
Rep. John Wood                            65                (850) 488-2721             Polk
Rep. Ritch Workman                     30                (850) 488-9720       Brevard
Rep. Dana D. Young                      57                (850) 488-2770           Hillsborough

What's inside the bill?

A bill that changes 34 different sections of environmental laws may soon be voted in the Florida House of Representatives. The bill is comprised of scores of special interests. The bill limits local regulation of mining, affirms that groundwater can be contaminated by landfills, allows increased development in wetlands, reduces regulation of beach armoring projects, and excuses owners of underground tanks from protecting groundwater from leaking fuel, while greatly diminishing the rights of citizens to challenge environmentally harmful projects.  
Undermines Peoples’ Rights to Challenge Environmental Permits (Section 1),
The bill stacks the deck against citizens who challenge permits, even if harmed by the permitted activity.  Current law requires the applicant and the agency to defend the issuance of permits and is very specific in the order of presentation of evidence and arguments in hearings. The bill shifts the complete burden on those persons challenging permits and therefore reduces the rights of citizens to protect themselves.
Damage to the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve (Section 8)
The bill threatens the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, which is a uniquely beautiful and protected area that is threatened by a relaxation in permitting.  Municipal applicants want to bypass state laws that would prevent dredging and filling of sensitive waterfront land to allow a new development.
Limits Local Regulation of Stormwater & Wetlands Protection (Section 18)
The bill forces local governments to give up stormwater and wetlands protection programs if they have not received state delegation. This limits the ability of communities to protect and provide for their own resources when state rules fall short.
Limits Local Governments from Regulating Mines (Section 21)
Local governments know best when mining operations need oversight and their own watchful eye. Under this bill, all counties and cities would be preempted from regulating aggregate mining operations except in the Miami-Dade County Lake Belt Area.  Citizens often turn to their local officials to protect water resources.
Citizens Lose More Say Over Landfills (Section 29)
Solid waste permits, such as landfills, are typically permitted for 5-10 year periods and often draw a lot of community involvement in the permitting process. This bill would extend the life of these permits to 20 years which means fewer opportunities for citizen involvement in the permitting process.
Allows Underground Storage Tanks More Time to Pollute (Section 34)
Underground storage tanks have had 20 years to upgrade underground tanks to protect groundwater. This bill would extend the deadline to December 31, 2012…a full two years after the original date for compliance thereby increasing the likelihood of contaminants leaking into the state’s drinking water. Enough’s enough! Change out those tanks

Obama Administration Affirms Comprehensive Commitment to Clean Water


April 27, 2011

Obama Administration Affirms Comprehensive Commitment to Clean Water

WASHINGTON – Recognizing the importance of clean water and healthy watersheds to our economy, environment and communities, the Obama Administration released a national clean water framework today that showcases its comprehensive commitment to protecting the health of America’s waters. The framework emphasizes the importance of partnerships and coordination with states, local communities, stakeholders, and the public to protect public health and water quality, and promote the nation’s energy and economic security.

For nearly 40 years, the Clean Water Act, along with other important Federal measures, has been a cornerstone of our effort to ensure that Americans have clean and healthy waters.  The Administration’s framework outlines a series of actions underway and planned across Federal agencies to ensure the integrity of the waters Americans rely on every day for drinking, swimming, and fishing, and that support farming, recreation, tourism and economic growth.   It includes draft Federal guidance to clarify which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act nationwide; innovative partnerships and programs to improve water quality and water efficiency; and initiatives to revitalize communities and economies by restoring rivers and critical watersheds.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tell the Legislature: Protect the Everglades!

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear Friend,

The Legislature is considering slashing funding for Everglades Restoration. 
Tell them to protect the Everglades.
Everglades Cypress Sunset
Take Action!
The state legislature is proposing to cut Everglades restoration funding to just 8% of its 2007 funding level.  Florida's Everglades are more than a national park or a tourist attraction. They're a vital piece of Florida's infrastructure. The Everglades provide fresh water for more than six million people. Maintaining and restoring the Everglades has been a priority for our state and many governors of both parties. Even our business leaders believe that the state should maintain its investment in the Everglades.  Can you write the budget conference committee and tell them to increase the proposed funding levels for Everglades Restoration?

We depend on the Everglades to generate jobs, tourism dollars, and provide the drinking water for millions of people. We can't afford to stop investing in this vital piece of infrastructure. Send a message to the conference committee members and tell them to invest in our Everglades.
Our state legislators need to hear from you. They need to hear that we care about the Everglades and that we want them protected.  Send a message to the budget conference committee and tell them to protect our Everglades.

Thank you for all you do for the environment.


Jonathan Ullman
Sierra Club
P.S. You can share this message with your social networks by using the social network buttons below.

Share this page on FacebookShare this page on TwitterShare this page with other services

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Judge slams Gov. Scott, vows to turn over state water quality enforcement to EPA

Florida Governor Rick Scott
In a 117 page ruling today, Federal judge Alan Gold blasted Governor Rick Scott for resisting water quality standards set by the EPA and said he intends to strip the state of its clean water enforcement duties and return them to the federal government.

“The primary purpose of this latest Order is to put into the hands of the EPA all the resources necessary to enforce its action plan and to implement its full power under the congressional Clean Water Act,” wrote Gold.

U.S District Judge Alan Gold
“It is time now for this next significant step to occur. The EPA has represented that it wants to act. It must be given the opportunity to do so,” he added.

“It is now, and has been for a while, time to take concrete and substantial progress toward preserving the Everglades before this national treasure is permanently destroyed to the extent of irreparable destruction,” Gold said.

Gold’s ruling is part of a 2004 lawsuit filed by Friends of the Everglades and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians.

-- Jon Ullman, Sierra Club South Florida/Everglades Senior Organizer

Related Post: