FCC News Brief - December 28, 2016

North Florida Land Trust shares – “Jim McCarthy, Executive Director of North Florida Land Trust, has been appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Environmental Regulation Commission.” Read North Florida Land Trust Executive Director Appointed to the Environmental Regulation Commission

The Ocala Star Banner Editorial Board writes – “State officials have made a mockery of ethical government, first with the water management district voting last month to return Miklos as chairman for a record fourth term, followed by the farcical opinion by the ethics commission that nothing was amiss. Alas, the more you tolerate such behavior, the more of it you will get.” Read Turning a blind eye to ethics

Zach Murdock reports for the Herald Tribune – “Four area environmental groups announced…that they plan to sue [the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] over approvals of more than 50,000 acres for phosphate mining across central Florida. The groups contend the operations ‘irretrievably damage habitat for imperiled species, threaten water quality and forever change Florida’s landscape’ in and around critical watersheds that are a major source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of Southwest Florida residents…The notice claims a series of violations to the Endangered Species act in both agencies’ environmental reviews of mining impacts over the past three years within the Central Florida Phosphate District – an area with tens of thousands of acres of active and proposed mines spanning…six counties…It also claims the agencies erred in approving a permit for the South Pasture Extension Mine, an expansion of an existing Mosaic Fertilizer…” Read Area environmental groups target mining permits

TC Palm shares – “The South Florida Water Management District issued an Environmental Resource Permit and a sovereignty submerged lands easement for the Crosstown Parkway Extension Project…With issuance of the permit and easement, Port St. Lucie has the green light for construction to begin…” Read Port St. Lucie officials say city free to start work on Crosstown Parkway Extension, bridge

Edward Helmore reports for The Guardian – “Kitson’s plan was to make Babcock sustainable…Still, the development in land in southwest Florida is controversial. Babcock lies close to one of the last habitats of Florida’s dwindling panther population…[I]t is feared that additional habitat loss from development of land around Babcock, and injury to the animals from traffic and illegal hunting, will further reduce the viability of the population…Schwartz (of the South Florida Wildlands Association) says the town…is going smack into what the Fish and Wildlife Service identified as a possible expansion area. ‘That’s tragic not only for the panther, but for black bears, eastern indigo snakes, red-cockaded woodpeckers and a whole range of species living under its umbrella.’…When Babcock opens…it will be greeted as a new model town.” Read The solar-powered town: a dream for the environment – or a wildlife nightmare?

Susan Salisbury reports for the Palm Beach Post – “Florida Power & Light Co. said…it plans to formally retire the Cedar Bay Generating Plant, a…coal-fired facility in Jacksonville on Dec. 31. Juno Beach-based FPL purchased the plant…with the intention of phasing it out of service…FPL is cleaner today than the 2030 carbon emissions rate goal for Florida outlined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, company officials said…FPL relies on natural gas for about 65 percent of the fuel it uses to power its plants.” Read FPL to retire Cedar Bay coal-fired plant in Jacksonville Dec. 31

Mary Wood, Charles W. Woodward, & Michael C. Blumm write for Salon - “If there is a mechanism to force the Trump administration to put the brakes on dirty energy policy, a lawsuit brought by 21 young people against the Obama administration may hold the key…[T]he most viable way (for President Obama to address climate change) might be to offer a partial settlement of [this] case before going to trial. One form of settlement could be an enforceable consent decree consisting of interim steps to halt further fossil-fuel mining and infrastructure development. Such a settlement would help secure Obama’s measures to close the Arctic to drilling and halt coal leasing on federal lands.” Read America’s youth are suing the government over climate change, and President Obama needs to react

Greg Angel reports for CBS 12 – “President Obama has signed off on a bill authorizing $2 billion in spending to help Everglades restoration efforts.” Read President signs funding for Everglades Restoration




From Our Readers


The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.



Prevent the Loss of One of Florida’s Most Popular National Wildlife Refuges

Tell Congress to Stop Sabal Trail

Stop New Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida

Stop the Division of Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA 2016

Now or Neverglades Declaration

Ask the SFWMD to deny the permit for the Crosstown Parkway that cuts through TWO State Preserves

Save the Econlockhatchee River!

Ask County Commissions to Pass Bear-Friendly Trash Ordinances

Stop the Port Canaveral Rail Extension Project

Ask the USACE to reject Harbor Sound application to fill wetlands

Paynes Prairie in danger

Save the Biggest Wetland Mitigation Bank in the U . S . A . from Development

Deny Beruff’s Mitigation Bank Permit

Help Florida Become a “Pay for Shade” state



Job Openings

CEJ Staff Attorney



Upcoming Environmental Events

December 29 – Participate in statewide protests against the Sabal Trail Pipeline. For more information, click here or contact organizer Colleen Gariton at (352) 339- 1748.

January 3, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs. January’s lecture is on Springs Biology. For more information, click here.

January 11, 12:45 – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library Community Room. John Wilchyski will talk about the Butterfly Works farm and Maia McGuire, from the University of Florida, will discuss micro-plastics. Maia will bring microscopes so the audience can see what is in their drinking water. For more information, and to RSVP, contact resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

January 13 –  Attend the 26th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference in Fort Myers. For more information and to register, click here.

January 28, 9:30 AM - Attend the 1st Nature's Spirit Conference hosted by the Pagan Environmental Alliance and the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches to discuss how science, belief in nature, and activism can tap into greater community involvement. For more information, click here.

January 29, 10:00 AM – Attend Southwest Florida Veg Fest in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.

February 7, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs. February’s lecture is on Springs Stresses: Groundwater Pumping, Fertilizers, Wastewater Disposal, & Recreation. For more information, click here.

February 9-11 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference: Land Conservation: The Worth of the Earth at the University of Florida. For more information, click here.

February 15, 12:00 pm – Participate in 1000 Friends of Florida’s FREE webinar: Implementing Water 2070: Water Conservation Planning for Florida Communities. Dr. Pierce Jones, Director of the University of Florida’s Program for Resource Efficient Communities, will discuss water conservation planning for Florida’s communities based on a series of studies he’s conducted on behalf of the Toho Water Authority, Envision Alachua (Plum Creek), and other local governments, developers, and water authorities. For more information and to register, click here.





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