FCC News Brief - January 5, 2017



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Bob Palmer writes for the Tallahassee Democrat – “Does the 2016 report (green-lighting the Sleepy Creek cattle operation) show its work, explaining why it threw out staff’s earlier conclusions? No…Then there’s the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan…Keystone Heights’ lakes have had MFLs since the 1990s. The NFRWSP notes that they’re being re-evaluated based on ‘new science.’ With this caveat, the state’s planners simply ignore these MFLs- even though Florida law requires the plan to address all water deficits identified in existing MFLs. On what basis do the drafters…ignore the law? We’re left to guess…Then, we have the new water-quality standards for toxic chemicals…An untested approach underlies these criteria, so public health advocates were eager to understand this new science…One experienced statistician wrote to the state employee who developed the new method, asking for clarification of various technical points. A state lawyer – not a state scientist – responded that because of ongoing litigation, ‘department staff are not at liberty to discuss the details of the proposed criteria.’ So even though the state has used controversial science to justify a controversial outcome affecting the health of all Floridians, it refuses to provide basic information enabling citizens to understand whether the new approach is scientifically valid…Florida, please make a New Year’s Resolution. Resolve to show us your work, so that we the people might have some clue about why you decide to do what you do.” Read State should ‘show its work’ in science

Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “Prior to a trial last fall in Maine, Georgia said Florida’s legal team threatened the University of Florida professor Bill Pine’s career if he published papers conflicting with the state’s argument that Georgia’s water use was to blame for the downstream bay’s oyster woes. But in a response filed last week to a post-trial brief from Georgia repeating the claim, Florida said Pine had not been contacted by the state’s legal team and that a state official said he did not recall passing along such a threat as Pine said he did.” Read Florida says Georgia failed to show it threatened UF scientist in water wars case

Hannah Morse reports for the Bradenton Herald – “A joint petition for a formal administrative hearing has been filed against the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in response to the agency’s decision to grant Long Bar Pointe LLLP a mitigation bank permit.” Read Petition filed against Long Bar mitigation bank permit

The News Service of Florida reports – “The League of Women Voters of Florida will be able to take part in a regulatory case in which Gulf Power is seeking to raise base electric rates by $106.8 million.” Read League of Women Voters Allowed Into Gulf Power Rate Case

Elizabeth Djinis reports for the Herald Tribune – “Sarasota County residents hoping to use solar power in their homes could get a price break through the new Sarasota Solar Co-Op initiative.” Read Co-op aims to help consumers go solar

Sue Legg writes for The Gainesville Sun – “The Alachua County League of Women Voters is…launching a solar cooperative in 2017.” Read League launching solar cooperative

NWF Daily News reports – “Bluewater Bay has registered as a Northwest Florida community Wildlife Habitat…Each [certified wildlife habitat] provides the four basic elements that all wildlife need to thrive: food, water, cover and places to raise young…The community’s action plan includes a long-term commitment to citizen education about providing habitat for wildlife and employing sustainable gardening practices. These practices include reducing or eliminating the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizer, conserving water, planting native plants, removing invasive plants, and composting.” Read Bluewater Bay registers as Community Wildlife Habitat

Julie Eilperin reports for The Washington Post – “House Republicans…changed the way Congress calculates the cost of transferring federal lands to the states and other entities, a move that will make it easier for members of the new Congress to cede federal control of public lands…While the official GOP platform endorses the idea of transferring federal land to the states, neither President-elect Donald Trump nor rep. Ryan Zinke, his pick to head the Interior Department, embrace that approach.” Read House GOP rules change will make it easier to sell off federal land






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

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 11, 6:00 PM – Attend Ales and Wild Tails with Shark Expert Eric Hovland in Sait Petersburg. For more information, click here.

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

January 14, 3:30 PM – Attend Earth2Trump Roadshow of Resistance in St. Petersburg. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

January 15, 1:00 PM – Attend Earth2Trump Roadshow of Resistance in Saint Augustine. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

January 20, 8:00 AM – Attend the State of Biscayne Bay Restoration Workshop in Miami. For more information and to register, click here.

January 21, 10:30 AM – Attend Solar: Unlimited Energy for the Sunshine State at the Homosassa Library (4100 S. Grandmarch Ave) in Homosassa. For more information, contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or nkost@tampabay.rr.com.

January 22, 11:00 AM – Attend the Red Hills Fire Festival in Tallahassee. The festival will include wagon rides, wildlife, live prescribed fire, equipment demonstrations, fire talks with experts, kids activities, food trucks, and live music. For more information, contact Brian Wiebler at (850) 363 – 1079 or 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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We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest environmental news from around the state. Our hope is that you will use this information to more effectively and frequently contact your elected representatives, and add your voice to the growing chorus of Floridians concerned about the condition of our environment and the recent direction of environmental policies.

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About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.   

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