FCC News Brief - October 13, 2017

Tom Palmer reports for The Ledger – “Recreating habitat is always a challenge. The easy part is restoring native trees such as longleaf pine or turkey oaks. What is more difficult is re-establishing the complex variety of plant and animal life that constitute a natural habitat and not merely a plant collection… The site where we worked was scheduled for development and the site’s owner… had agreed to let us work here to salvage what we can… Unlike endangered animal species, endangered plant species are not protected from being bulldozed by state and federal wildlife regulations such as the Endangered Species Act… [Florida Native Plant Society] conservation chair said the organization is seeking financial donations to pay for flags to mark plants to be rescued, equipment to get to more remote sites and to dig up larger plants to preserve the entire rootballs, care for rescued plants before they are taken to restoration sites and transportation of rescued plants.” Read Recreating a habitat challenging

Robert Knight writes for The Gainesville Sun – “The Florida Springs Institute has repeatedly requested, without success, an opportunity to assist the Department of Environmental Protection in assessing and ranking springs restoration projects. Governors Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist’s administrations relied on the Florida Springs Task Force, a group of 28 governmental and non-governmental experts, to prioritize and allocate about $2.5 million for springs research and protection each year for 10 years. One would expect our current fiscally concerned governor to be even more careful with allocating and spending far more public money… In 2014,… [a] super-majority of Florida’s voters supported the use of about [1/3] of real estate doc stamp revenue, roughly $500 million each year for 20 years, to purchase and preserve environmentally sensitive lands and water. Over the past four years only $40 million of the state’s springs funding has been designated for land acquisition and springs habitat restoration… [M]ore than 50 percent of the springs restoration funding to date has been allocated to public and private utilities to upgrade wastewater treatment plants and connect… single-family septic tank/drainfield systems to central wastewater treatment. One must wonder why our elected officials continue to allow installations of about 7,000 new septic systems per year in Florida with the knowledge that their removal is costing the public an average of $20,000 each. While effective domestic and municipal sewage treatment and disposal play a significant role in preventing aquifer and springs pollution, these upgrades should be paid for by the ratepayers who are the source of the pollution.” Read Springs spending spree doesn’t fix problem

Susan Salisbury reports for the Palm Beach Post – “South Florida cities have been injecting treated wastewater from sewage treatment plants 3,000 feet deep into a series of caverns beneath the drinking water supply for decades. Now the same idea has been resurrected as a potential solution to harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges… More than 70 environmental, conservation and marine-related groups such as the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Friends of the Everglades, the South Florida Audubon Society, Anglers for Conservation and Food & Water Watch oppose the wells. In a letter to… Gov. Rick Scott this week, they said the wells do not fit with the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Robert Verrastro, lead hydrogeologist for the water district, said… that ‘the wells would only be used when the level of the lake is getting to the point where we have to discharge to tide.’… Once water is injected into the Boulder Zone, it cannot be retrieved… In May, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers… removed the consideration of deep injection wells from the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project, saying further analysis was needed… ‘We urge you to ensure that public state tax dollars are invested in Everglades restoration projects that are fully vetted,… do not jeopardize our public drinking water supply and do not waste the state’s precious fresh water resources,’ Sierra Club officials said.” Read Water district to consider injecting Lake O water deep underground

Maggy Hurchalla writes for the TC Palm – “[H]alfway through last spring’s Legislative session, U.S. Sugar and its allies agreed to support Negron’s Senate Bill 10. They said it was OK because, actually, we didn’t need to buy any land because we could use the existing A-2 flow basin site for the EAA reservoir. Hydrologists were unanimous in saying the A-2 site wouldn’t work. It is scheduled to become a stormwater treatment area. If you put a reservoir on that site, it won’t have the capacity to clean up the water that needs to go south. The final version of Negron’s SB 10 was written to give the A-2 a chance. When the models are run and show it won’t work, we will buy the necessary land… Negron has one more year as president of the Senate… If it turns out we need to buy land, and that doesn’t get authorized during the 2018 session of the Florida Legislature, we lose and all the rest of South Florida loses. It’s a bad time to be shouting from the rooftops if a solution actually is in the works. But if the district would announce a timeline for completion of the modeling and Negron could hold a legislative oversight hearing to review progress, we might all breathe easier.” Read Where are promised models for Everglades reservoir?

Rene Marsh and Gregory Wallace report for CNN – “The Environmental Protection Agency has identified its priorities, and climate change is not one of them. In fact, the phrase “climate change” does not appear in the agency’s draft four-year strategic plan, a 38-page document quietly released for public comment last week… ‘Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time and it doesn’t even appear in the strategic plan for this agency – that’s sunning,’ Cleetus (lead economist and climate policy manager with the Union of Concerned Scientists) said. ‘This wasn’t an oversight, this is a deliberate strategy by this administration.’ The strategic plan document also includes nods to industry – such as a goal to ‘issue permits more quickly.’ ‘Will permits for industry be rushed through at the expense of public health?’ asked Cleetus… Another key in the plan is re-focusing regulatory power in the states… EPA said it will accept feedback on the plan from the public until the end of October.” Read EPA makes ‘climate change’ vanish from four-year plan

David Leonhardt writes for The New York Times – “The Trump administration’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan – and promote coal use- is clearly bad for the planet’s far-off future, because it will aggravate climate change. But I think the most effective strategy for the opponents of repeal is to focus on the here and now… Coal plants release a stew of pollutants, including mercury (which damages children’s brains) and particulate matter (which includes bits of unburned coal small enough for people to inhale). These bits of coal cause asthma, strokes, lung damage and heart attacks. Worldwide, particulate matter is the seventh-largest cause of avoidable deaths.” Read Here, Breathe this Coal

Richard L. Revesz and Jack LIenke write for The New York Times – “The Trump administration has mangled the costs and benefits of one of the most significant climate regulations of the Obama years in an effort to justify its repeal… In a leaked series of new analyses, the agency claims that jettisoning the Clean Power Plan… will save electric power producers up to $33 billion annually by 2030. But just two years ago, the agency estimated that the plan’s emissions goals could be achieved at less than a fifth of that price… The reality is that since the E.P.A. conducted the analysis that accompanied the 2015 plan, the costs of zero-carbon wind and solar energy have fallen substantially, as have price forecasts for lower-carbon natural gas. Accordingly, any new E.P.A. analysis of the Clean Power Plan’s costs should have found – as at least three outside assessments, including one by the American Petroleum Institute, have – that the rule’s pollution targets can be achieved even more cheaply than the agency initially thought… In the end, all of these methodological contortions are meant to obscure a very basic truth: that any “savings” achieved by rescinding the Clean Power Plan will come at an incredibly high cost to public health and welfare. If the Trump administration is willing to make that trade, it should at least have the courage to admit it.” Read The E.P.A.’s smoke and Mirrors on Climate

Peter Holley reports for The Washington Post – “[W]hen future auto historians look back, they may pinpoint 2017 as the year electric vehicles went from a promising progressive fad to an industry-wide inevitability. The tipping point, experts say, follows three developments… 1. China’s flexing… 2. The debut of Tesla’s Model 3… 3. Major automakers announce plans for an “all-electric future.” General Motors finished 2016 as the world’s third-largest automaker, meaning its decision to create 20 new electric vehicles by 2023 is bound to have an impact on the global marketplace. Volvo, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Ford have also announced EV plans in recent months… Earlier this year, John Abbott, Shell Oil’s business director, revealed that the energy giant is already adapting. ‘We have a number of countries where we’re looking at having battery charging facilities,’ he told the Financial Times. ‘If you are sitting charging your vehicle, you will want to have a coffee or something to eat.’ Until charging times drop dramatically and superchargers become widespread, wait times for EV charging at gas stations could turn those stations into “hospitality-type venues,” according to Guido Jouret, the ABB’s chief digital officer, who noted that many gas stations make more money selling soda and food than they do selling gas… One of the primary reasons that auto owners visit a mechanic is for an oil change, which raises a question: What happens when vehicles no longer rely on oil?... ‘Basically these things don’t break,’ said Tony Seba, a clean energy expert... ‘’They have 20 moving parts, as opposed to 2,000 in the internal combustion engine, and even those 20 are electromagnetic, which means they don’t touch and don’t break down and, therefore, are far cheaper to maintain.’… We tend to think of EVs as consumers of electricity, but some experts believe they’ll be more like ‘mobile energy storage units,’ as Forbes recently noted. Widespread adoption… may allow vehicles to transfer energy back to the grid when costs and demand are high and charge the battery when demand has waned.” Read Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine

 

 

 

From Our Readers

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Upcoming Environmental Events    

October 16, 9:30 am – Attend the Suwannee County Delegation meeting at City Hall (101 White Ave SE) in Live Oak. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 9:30 am – Attend the Orange County Delegation meeting on the 1st Floor of the Orange County Administration Center (201 South Rosalind Ave.) in Orlando. Testimony from citizens and community entities will begin at 2:30 PM. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 2:00 pm – Attend the Columbia County Delegation meeting at the Administration Room of Florida Gateway College (149 SE College PL) in Lake City. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 2:30 pm – Attend the Hernando County Delegation meeting at the Hernando County Commission Chambers (20 N. Main St., Room 263) in Brookesville. Contact Dorothy Dilworth beforehand and let her know you’d like to speak at the meeting. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 5:00 pm – Attend the Taylor County Delegation meeting at 224 South Jefferson Street in Perry. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 16, 5:30 pm – Attend the Santa Rosa County Delegation meeting at Pesacola State College South Santa Rosa Center (5075 Gulf Breeze Parkway) in Gulf Breeze. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 17, 9:00 am – Attend the Palm Beach County Delegation meeting at the Solid Waste Authority Auditorium (7501 N. Jog Road) in West Palm Beach. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 17, 6:00 pm – Attend the Madison County Delegation meeting at 229 SW Pinckney St., Suite 107 in Madison. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 9:00 am – Attend the Lee County Delegation meeting in the Nursing Building (Room AA-177) of Florida Southwestern State College at 8099 College Parkway in Fort Myers. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 9:00 am – Attend the Broward County Delegation meeting at the Sunrise Civic Center (10610 West Oakland Park, Blvd) in Sunrise. You are encouraged to sign up to speak by October 15th by clicking here. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 12:00 pm – Attend 1000 Friends of Florida’s webinar: Implementing Florida 2070: Successful Local Conservation Ballot Measures in Florida. The Trust for Public Land’s Will Abberger and Pegeen Hanrahan will share proven strategies to assist Florida communities with the design and passage of local ballot measures to generate new public funds for parks and land conservation. For more information and to register, click here. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 1:00 pm – Attend the Sumter County Delegation meeting in the conference room of The Villages Sumter County Service Center (7375 Powell Rd) in Wildwood. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 4:00 pm – Attend the Clay County Delegation meeting on the 4th Floor of the Administration Building at 477 Houston Street in Green Cover Springs. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 18, 6:30 pm – The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, and the League of Women Voters of Orange County, Florida invite you to join us for an informational program on restoring the Wekiva River and Springs. Speakers include Dr. Robert Knight of FSI, Margaret Stewart of CEJ, and a panel discussion featuring local and state leaders on water initiatives for the upcoming 2018 legislative session. This event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 with light refreshments served. For more information, and to register, click here.

October 19, 9:00 am – Attend the Martin County Delegation meeting at Indian River State College Wolf High – Technology Center (2400 E. Salerno Road) in Stuart. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 9:00 am – Attend the Collier County Delegation meeting at North Collier Regional Park (15000 Livingston Rd.) in Naples. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 9:00 am – Attend the Charlotte County Delegation meeting at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association (2001 Shreve St.) in Punta Gorda. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 9:00 am – Attend the Manatee County Delegation meeting at the Manatee County Board of County Commission Chambers (1112 Manatee Ave W) in Bradenton. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 1:00 pm – Attend the Marion County Delegation meeting in the Klein Center at the College of Central Florida Auditorium (3001 SW College Rd) in Ocala. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 2:00 pm – Attend the St. Lucie County Delegation meeting at Indian River State College Kight Center for Emerging Technologies (3209 Virginia Avenue) in Fort Pierce. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 19, 6:30 pm – Attend “Natural Treasures of the Florida Panhandle,” a presentation by Bruce Means, Coastal Plains Institute, at The King Life Sciences Building, FSU, in Tallahassee.

October 20, 9:00 am – Attend the St. Johns County Delegation meeting at the St. Johns County Auditorium in the County Administration Building (500 San Sebastian View) in St. Augustine. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 20, 10:00 am – Attend the Hendry County Delegation meeting at LaBelle City Hall (481 W. Hickpochee Ave.) in LaBelle. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 20, 4:00 pm – Attend the Flagler County Delegation meeting at the City of Palm Coast Council Chamber (160 Lake Ave) in Palm Coast. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 21, 1:00 pm – Attend a Legislative Training Workshop hosted by the Sierra Club-Suwannee-St. John’s Group, the League of Women Voters of Citrus County, and the Nature Coast Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee at the Dunnellon Public Library (20351 Robinson Road) in Dunnellon. Attendance is free, limited to the first 50 people to register. Panelists for Q&A include: Florida Senator Charlie Dean, Bob Palmer, PhD, former Staff Director of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives; Brain Coleman, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners; Dave Cullen, Sierra Club lobbyist; Walter Green, Dunnellon Mayor; Whitey Markle, Chair of Sierra Club Suwannee St-Johns group; and Nathan Whitt, former Dunnellon Mayor. For more information, contact Kathryn Taubert at kataubert@gmail.com.

October 28, 11:30 am – Join the Silver Springs Alliance for a scavenger hunt as you paddle this iconic waterway in Silver Springs.  Channel the spirits of Florida's river past by dressing up in a costume that reflects Florida's cultural heritage: Spanish conquistadors, pioneers, steamboat travelers, or movie characters from the Spring's film legacy!  Be creative and win a prize in our costume contest! All ages are welcome! Proceeds from this event will support the Silver Springs Alliance’s efforts to protect Silver Springs and River. For more information and to register, click here.

October 30, 4:00 pm – Attend the Nassau County Delegation meeting at the Nassau County Commission Chamber (96135 Nassau Place, Suite 1) in Yulee. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

October 30, 5:30 pm – Attend the Leon County Delegation meeting at the Leon County Board of County Commission Chambers (5th Floor of the Leon County Courthouse at 301 S Monroe St) in Tallahassee. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

 

Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick e-mail and we will include it for you.

 

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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Please send all suggestions, comments, and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo at floridaconservationcoalition@gmail.com.

 

About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 80 conservation-minded organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.  

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