FCC News Brief - December 17, 2018

Read Tons of South Florida sewage finds its way into St. Johns River to ‘devastating effect’ - “Over the past decade nearly 90,000 tons of sewage sludge have been trucked up from South Florida and dumped into the St. Johns River watershed and conservationists say it’s having a devastating effect. In 2007 the Florida legislature gave the waters of South Florida special protections, essentially banning the land disposal of sewage sludge, the byproduct of wastewater treatment facilities, in the Lake Okeechobee watershed. The legislation was a response to the nutrient pollution that was seriously degrading the lake’s water quality. Since that ban, more than 89,000 tons of sewage sludge have been dumped into the St. Johns River watershed and, according to Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, “that’s having a devastating effect on the headwaters of the St. Johns and will also have downstream impacts as it flows our way.” That sewage sludge is being dumped in agricultural land near the headwaters of the St. Johns River. According to Rinaman, that practice is being pitched as an opportunity to provide free fertilizer. “The idea is to provide free fertilizer to farmers, but what we’re seeing is it’s a cheap disposal opportunity for utilities and the volumes are just overwhelming the soil and, in effect, the waterways.”...” Brendan Rivers reports for WJCT.

Read Four Corners offers possible glimpse of Florida’s congested future - “...This is Four Corners — where Orange, Osceola, Polk and Lake counties meet at the center of the state. This is also home to Interstate 4, Florida’s busiest cross-state highway, and to Walt Disney World, the most popular tourist attraction on the planet. This area of unbridled growth and development offers a possible glimpse at Florida’s future. Fifty years ago, only scrub pines and palmettos were here. That’s when Walt Disney started scouting out locations for his new theme park. In those days, visitors looked from atop the Florida Citrus Tower in Clermont, just to the north, as citrus groves carpeted the hills along U.S. 27...Fast forward 50 years to today, and Four Corners has become one of Florida’s traffic chokepoints — for both humans and wildlife. The area sits not only astride the main thoroughfare between the Tampa Bay area and Orlando — the state’s second- and third-most populous regions — but also in the middle of one of the remaining so-called green corridors used by wildlife migrating between the Everglades and the Kissimmee River, just to the south, as well as to the largely preserved Green Swamp to the northwest...The rest of Florida may one day look a lot like Four Corners does today. A 2016 report by 1,000 Friends of Florida, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, outlined what the state will look like in 50 years if we continue to devour “empty” land. By 2060, another 15 million people — nearly the population of the state today — are expected to move to the Sunshine State. Central Florida alone stands to more than double in population, from about 7 million in 2010 to an estimated 16 million people in 2060…” Steve Newborn reports for WUSF News.

Read Will Robinson looks to restore septic inspections - “...“I heard about nothing else more than red tide during the course of my campaign,” Robinson said. “Even at my victory party, a supporter said to me, ‘Will, do something. Big or small, do something about red tide.’ This may fall into the former category. Septic tank leakage this year was frequently cited among the sources of nutrients feeding both the blue-green algae in Lake Okeechobee and the red tide blooms on the east and west coast. Now, Robinson has filed his first piece of legislation (HB 85) with the aim at curtailing nutrients seeping from the coast to the sea. “A critical issues I heard about was faulty septic tanks, which have in my view contributed excess nutrients into the waterways,” he said...And Robinson for his part also promised in the campaign in Florida House District 71 to hold polluters to account and fund land acquisition program Florida Forever. But plenty of investigations in recent years have shown poor septic tanks bear some blame. Robinson’s legislation looks to restore inspection requirements lifted in 2012. It would also introduce new requirements in real estate transactions for buyers to be informed they were buying homes on septic and to learn the septic requirements. That part of the bill won House passage in previous sessions but never made it through the Senate. State Sen. Kathleen Passidomo at a campaign event in October acknowledged supporting the lifting of restrictions during hard economic times but said Florida will need to reconsider septic rules once again. She said at the time there would need to be some type of uniform, statewide approach to septic use to address the issue. “This cannot be a South Florida thing or a Southwest Florida thing,” she said. Robinson said septic requirements would help not only bodied impacted by red tide but other waterways around Florida…” Jacob Ogles reports for Florida Politics.

Read Environmentalists push Governor-Elect Desantis to acknowledge climate change - “Governor-elect Ron Desantis’s environmental transition team is focusing on water quality and supply. But when climate change didn’t come up in the team’s discussions, advocates for environmental protection took action. Prior to winning the Governors’ race Ron Desantis promised to restore the Everglades, and preserve the state’s beaches. On December 10th his environmental transition team met for the first time to discuss water quality and supply. The main focus: Everglades Restoration, after Red Tide cause a state of emergency in seven counties...During his campaign Desantis took a tour of the Everglades. Afterward he told reporters, “the sea rise may be because of human activity and the changing climate, you know maybe it’s not I don’t know but what I do know is as I see the sea rising I see the increased flooding in south Florida. So I think you’d be a fool not to consider that an issue that we need to address…” Blaise Gainey reports for WFSU.

Read Proposed ‘fracking’ ban re-emerges in Senate - “After failed attempts to pass such a bill in the past, a Senate Democrat filed a proposal Thursday that would ban the controversial oil- and natural-gas drilling process known as “fracking.” Orlando Democratic Sen. Linda Stewart filed the proposal (SB 146) for consideration during the 2019 Legislative Session, which will start in March. Environmental groups and some lawmakers have long wanted to block potential fracking in Florida, but bills have died. Last year, former Republican Sen. Dana Young filed a bill (SB 462) to ban fracking. It passed two Senate panels before dying the Appropriations Committee...Fracking is not currently practiced in Florida but has been the topic of intense debate in the Florida Legislature and in local governments. Earlier this year, Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis told The Food & Water Action Fund that he supports a ban on oil and gas fracking in Florida. His affirmation made for unanimous support for a ban among all seven major gubernatorial candidates…” From the News Service of Florida.

Read Historic decade-old Everglades deal dies quietly - “A decade-old billion-dollar deal in which the state would have bought out the nation’s largest sugar cane producer and restored the Everglades’ historic flow is dead. The South Florida Water Management District voted quietly to terminate a remaining option of the 2008 agreement in which the state would have bought out U.S. Sugar Corp. Central Florida water management district board member Dan O’Keefe says the decision to terminate the deal was authorized by a 2016 legislative measure to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. The reservoir aims to prevent toxic algae blooms by restoring the Everglades’ historic flow. The decade-old deal had the same intent but it was scaled back during the recession. The Everglades historically began in Central Florida and flowed south from the state’s largest lake. Today the region south of the lake is Florida’s agricultural heartland, and sugar is the primary crop.In other news, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Brian Mast are calling on the Trump administration to help speed up construction of the reservoir…” Amy Green reports for WMFE.

Read The oil industry’s covert campaign to rewrite American car emissions rules - “ When the Trump administration laid out a plan this year that would eventually allow cars to emit more pollution, automakers, the obvious winners from the proposal, balked. The changes, they said, went too far even for them. But it turns out that there was a hidden beneficiary of the plan that was pushing for the changes all along: the nation’s oil industry. In Congress, on Facebook and in statehouses nationwide, Marathon Petroleum, the country’s largest refiner, worked with powerful oil-industry groups and a conservative policy network financed by the billionaire industrialist Charles G. Koch to run a stealth campaign to roll back car emissions standards, a New York Times investigation has found. The campaign’s main argument for significantly easing fuel efficiency standards — that the United States is so awash in oil it no longer needs to worry about energy conservation — lashed with decades of federal energy and environmental policy…” Hiroko Tabuchi reports for the New York Times.

Read Fishermen banding together with scientists to fight red tide- “Red tide was so destructive this year, that former seafood market owner, Eddie Barnhill, had to change careers. “The fish business won’t support me anymore,” he said. “There’s not enough fish coming in so I’m converting over to an ice business now just to survive.” As the owner of Pine Island Seafood Market and a commercial fisherman, Casey Streeter also saw the devastation firsthand. “I had a charter where my customer said well what can one man do? And that impacted me to think well what can one man do…one man can start a movement,” Streeter said. Streeter is now behind the Florida Commercial Watermen’s Conservation, a new nonprofit organization where local fishermen are teaming up with scientists to further red tide research from the front lines. “We traverse the inshores, the offshores the nearshores, we’ll be able to come and bridge these gaps, these funding gaps, these timing and scheduling gaps that our scientists have now to better understand these things that are happening,” Streeter said…” Gina Tomlinson reports for WINK News.


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December 17, 2018 – 2:00PM-5:00PM– Alachua County Legislative Delegation – (Gainesville) – Attend the Alachua County Delegation meeting at Santa Fe College NW Campus (Fine Arts Hall, 3000 NW 83rd St. Gainesville, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To be placed on agenda, email Adriana Mitchell, Mitchell.adriana@flsenate.gov .

December 17, 2018 – 12:00PM-5:00PM– Volusia County Legislative Delegation– (Daytona Beach) – Attend the Volusia County Delegation meeting at Daytona Beach City Hall (301 S Ridgewood Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

December 17, 2018 – 5:00PM– Leon County Legislative Delegation– (Tallahassee) – Attend the Leon County Delegation meeting at 5th Floor Commission Chambers, (301 S Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

December 17, 2018 – 1:00PM-2:00PM– Pasco County Legislative Delegation– (Land O’Lakes) – Attend the Pasco County Delegation meeting at the Pasco County School Board District Campus (7227 Land O'Lakes Blvd, Building #3, Land O'Lakes, FL 34638). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To be placed on the agenda, email harrison.patty@flsenate.gov by noon Wednesday December 12, 2018.

December 18, 2018 – 4:00PM-6:00PM– Clay County Legislative Delegation– (Green Cove Springs) – Attend the Clay County Delegation meeting at the Clay County Commission Chamber, (4th Floor, 447 Houston St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To be placed on the agenda, contact Tammy Still, (tammy.still@myfloridahouse.gov ).

December 18, 2018 – 1:00PM-2:00PM– Pinellas County Legislative Delegation– (Seminole) – Attend the Pinellas County Delegation meeting at the St. Petersburg College-Seminole Campus (9200 113th Street, Seminole, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  

December 18, 2018 – 5:30PM-7:00PM– Okaloosa County Legislative Delegation– (Niceville) – Attend the Okaloosa County Delegation meeting at the Northwest Florida State College, Room SSC (302 100 College Blvd E Niceville, Florida). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! If you would like to be placed on the agenda for the delegation meeting, please contact Samantha Sullivan, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ponder, at 850.833.3713 or by email at Samantha.Sullivan@myfloridahouse.gov,

December 18, 2018 – 9:30AM-4:00PM– Broward County Legislative Delegation– (Fort Lauderdale) – Attend the Broward County Delegation meeting at 115 South Andrews Avenue Room 430, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To be placed on the agenda, complete this Speaker Form.

December 19, 2018 – 5:30PM-7:00PM– Escambia County Legislative Delegation– (Pensacola) – Attend the Escambia County Delegation meeting at the Pensacola State Colleges, Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio, (1000 College Boulevard, Pensacola FL ). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the meeting agenda, individuals should contact Senator Doug Broxson’s office at (850) 595-1036, or email: brown.kevin@flsenate.gov 

December 19, 2018 – 5:30PM-7:00PM– Santa Rosa County Legislative Delegation– (Milton) – Attend the Santa Rosa County Delegation meeting at the Santa Rosa County Commission Chambers (6495 Caroline St, #C Milton, FL 32570). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

December 19, 2018 – 9:00AM– Manatee County Legislative Delegation– (Bradenton) – Attend the Manatee County Delegation meeting at the Manatee County Commission Chambers, (1112 W Manatee Ave, Bradenton, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To be included on the agenda, please contact Meagan Hebel at meagan.hebel@myfloridahouse.gov no later than noon Thursday December 13, 2018.

December 20, 2018 – 5:30PM– Calhoun County Legislative Delegation– (Blountstown) – Attend the Calhoun County Delegation meeting at the Calhoun County Commission Board Room, (20859 Central Ave, Blountstown, FL 32424). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

December 20, 2018 – 9:00AM– Walton County Legislative Delegation– (DeFuniak Springs) – Attend the Walton County Delegation meeting at the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (76 N 6th St DeFuniak Springs, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

December 20, 2018 – 10:30AM– Holmes County Legislative Delegation– (Bonifay) – Attend the Holmes County Delegation meeting at the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners (107 E Virginia Ave Bonifay, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

December 20, 2018 – 11:45AM– Washington County Legislative Delegation– (Chipley) – Attend the Washington County Delegation meeting at the Washington County Board of County Commissioners (1331 South Blvd Chipley, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

December 20, 2018 –2:15PM– Jackson County Legislative Delegation– (Marianna) – Attend the Jackson County Delegation meeting at the Jackson County School Board 2903 Jefferson St Marianna, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

December 20, 2018 –5:00– Bay County Legislative Delegation– (Panama City) – Attend the Bay County Delegation meeting at the Bay County Government Building (840 W 11th St Panama City, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! To request an appearance form to be placed on the agenda or submit handouts for the Walton, Holmes, Washington and/or Jackson County Legislation Delegation meetings, please email gainer.george@flsenate.gov or gainey.andrea@flsenate.gov or contact Senator Gainers district office at (850) 747-5454 no later than 4 p.m., Friday, December 14th.

January 3, 2018 – 4:00PM– Nassau County Legislative Delegation– (Yulee) – Attend the Suwannee County Delegation meeting at James Page Government Complex, (96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! For more information, contact Representative Cord Byrd’s legislative Assistant Katherine Woodby at Katherine.Woodby@myfloridahouse.gov.

January 14, 2019 – 9:00AM-11:00AM– Suwannee County Legislative Delegation– (Live Oak) – Attend the Suwannee County Delegation meeting at Live Oak City Hall (101 White Ave SE, Live Oak, FL 32064). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

January 14, 2019 1:00-3:00PM– Columbia County Legislative Delegation– (Lake City) – Attend the Columbia County Delegation meeting at the Florida Gateway College Administrative Building 1 Board Room (149 SE College Place, Lake City, FL, parking near Library). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! For more information, email Tonya Shays at shays.tonya@flsenate.gov .

January 14, 2019 4:00-6:00PM – Baker County Legislative Delegation– (Macclenny) – Attend the Baker County Delegation meeting at the Macclenny City Hall, Commission Room (118 E Macclenny Ave, Macclenny FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! For more information, email Tonya Shays at shays.tonya@flsenate.gov .

January 15, 2019 – 9:00AM– Martin County Legislative Delegation– (Stuart) – Attend the Martin County Delegation meeting at Indian River State College Chastain Campus, Wolf Technology Center (2400 E Salerno Road, Stuart FL 34997). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!

January 15, 2019 – 5:00PM-9:00PM– Brevard County Legislative Delegation– (Palm Bay City) – Attend the Brevard County Delegation meeting at Palm Bay City Council Chambers (120 Malabar Road, Palm Bay City, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  Deadline to appear is noon January 7, email Anna Budko, Anna.Budko@myfloridahouse.gov.

January 15, 2019 – 9:30AM-4:00PM– Broward County Legislative Delegation– (Fort Lauderdale) – Attend the Broward County Delegation meeting at 115 South Andrews Avenue Room 430, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To be placed on the agenda, complete this Speaker Form. Topics for this meeting include the environment and growth management.

January 16, 2019 – 1:00PM– Dixie County Legislative Delegation– (Cross City) – Attend the Dixie County Delegation meeting at Dixie County Commission Chamber, County Courthouse, (214 NE Hwy 351, Cross City, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! 

January 16, 2019 – 9:00AM-12:00PM– Indian River County Legislative Delegation– (Vero Beach) – Attend the Indian River County Delegation meeting at Indian River County Administration Complex, (1801 27th St, Building A, Vero Beach, FL 32960). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To participate in the delegation meeting, a request form and corresponding materials must be delivered to Sen. Mayfield's office no later than January 9. To receive a request form, email Margaret Mitchell at Mitchell.Margaret@flsenate.gov .

January 16, 2019 10:00-11:30AM – Lafayette County Legislative Delegation– (St. Mayo) – Attend the Lafayette County Delegation meeting at County Commission Chamber, Lafayette County Courthouse (120 W Main St, Mayo, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! For more information, email Tonya Shays at shays.tonya@flsenate.gov .

January 16, 2019 – 4:00PM– Gilchrist County Legislative Delegation– (Trenton) – Attend the Gilchrist County Delegation meeting at County Commission Meeting Facility, (210 S. Main Street, Trenton, FL). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! 

January 17, 2019 – 9:00AM-12:00PM– St. Lucie County Legislative Delegation– (Fort Pierce) – Attend the St. Lucie County Delegation meeting at the Indian River State College – Ft. Pierce Campus Knight Center for Emerging Technologies Indian River State College (3209 Virginia Ave, Building V Fort Pierce, FL 34981). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources! 

January 19, 2019 - 10:00am-12:00pm - Rising Sea Levels- Are we losing our coastal cities? (Deerfield) - The Deerfield Progressive Forum will host Dr. Colin Polsky, Director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies and Professor of Geosciences at Florida Atlantic University, for a discussion of sea level rise and its impacts on Florida. For 39 years progressives in South Florida have been enlightened by a series of weekly talks presented by nationally distinguished speakers on provocative current issues. Lively discussion follows each talk. The Deerfield Progressive Forum meets every Saturday morning from December through March from 10:00 AM-noon in Century Village, Deerfield Beach. For more information, visit their site here.

January 22, 2019 - 12:00pm-1:30pm - Free 2019 Florida Legislative Preview Webinar - The 60-day 2019 Florida Legislative Session starts on March 5 and is scheduled to end on May 3 of 2019.  The actions taken during the session likely will have significant public policy impacts for planning, conservation, transportation, community design and other issues of concern to many Floridians with myriad impacts for concerned citizens, professionals, local elected officials and others.  1000 Friends President Paul Owens, Policy and Planning Director Thomas Hawkins, and Board Member Emeritus and Past Chairman Lester Abberger will discuss key growth management, design, conservation and related bills including budget recommendations that may be up for consideration during the 2019 Florida Legislative Session and will discuss how this could impact state and local governance and planning in Florida. This event has been approved for 1.5 AICP CM LEGAL CREDITS for planners (#9162191) and .15 CEUs for Florida Environmental Health Professionals. 1000 Friends has applied for professional certification credits for Certified Floodplain Managers, Florida attorneys, and Florida DBPR Landscape Architecture but cannot guarantee credits will be approved.  Register at www.1000friendsofflorida.org/webinar/.

January 28, 2019 – 2:00PM-5:00PM– Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation– (Boynton Beach)– Attend the Palm Beach County Delegation meeting at Lakeside Medical Center, (39200 Hooker Highway, Belle Glade). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To participate in the delegation meeting, complete this form and return by mail or email to Christine Shaw, Cshaw1@pbcgov.org.

January 28, 2019 – 2:30PM-6:00PM– Orange County Legislative Delegation– (Orlando)– Attend the Orange County Delegation meeting at the Orange County Administration Center, Commission Chambers (201 South Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801). You are encouraged to speak on behalf of Florida’s land, wildlife and water resources!  To participate in the delegation meeting, email LD@ocfl.net to request an appearance form.

March 27, 2019 - 12:00pm-1:30pm - Free 2019 Florida Legislative Update Webinar - This free webinar is scheduled for a little more than three weeks into the 2019 Florida Legislative Session. The actions taken during the session likely will have significant public policy impacts for planning, conservation, transportation, community design and other issues of concern to many Floridians with myriad impacts for concerned citizens, professionals, local elected officials and others. 1000 Friends President Paul Owens, Policy and Planning Director Thomas Hawkins, and Board Member Emeritus and Past Chairman Lester Abberger will discuss key growth management, design, conservation and related bills including budget recommendations that are being considered during the 2019 Florida Legislative Session and other legislation that may surface as the session progresses. This event has been approved for 1.5 AICP CM LEGAL CREDITS for planners (#9162194). 1000 Friends has applied for professional certification credits for Certified Floodplain Managers, Florida attorneys, Florida Environmental Health Professionals, and Florida DBPR Landscape Architecture but cannot guarantee credits will be approved. Register at www.1000friendsofflorida.org/webinar/.

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.

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