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FCC News Brief
Florida's best environmental reporting, editorials, and op-eds
August 14, 2015
Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Fearing the state has sanctioned further harm to one of Florida’s first tourism treasures, Silver Springs, two environmental groups are seeking to overturn an aquifer pumping-permit issued to a ranch belonging to a Canadian billionaire…An appeal would stage a David vs. Goliath battle, with the grass-roots St. Johns Riverkeeper and Florida Defenders of the Environment facing off against the tax-funded district and global industrialist Frank Stronach. ‘Allowing our over-pumped aquifer and polluted waterways to be further degraded for the economic benefit of a private landowner is completely contrary to the public interest,’ said Lisa Rinaman, who serves as “Riverkeeper” for the Jacksonville-based group.” Read Environmentalists appeal to protect Silver Springs from aquifer pumping
Eric Staats reports for the Naples Daily News – “…[C]onservation and sportsmen groups on either side of the issue agree the new (panther policy) memo uses softer words but says the same thing as the memo that drew fire the first time around…some troublesome wording remains in the new memo, panther biologist Mark Lotz said…South Florida Wildlands Association Director Matthew Schwartz said…’Unless these two agencies (FWC and FWS) team up and stop habitat loss, we’re not going to have panthers…It’s all kind of semantics anyway.’” Read Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission revised panther memo doesn’t quell criticism
Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Miami Herald – “The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) last December gave approval to FPL’s plan to ask customers to finance a venture into the controversial natural gas fracking business in Oklahoma…In July, regulators gave FPL permission to enter into agreements with other gas fracking companies and charge customers up to $500 million a year, without seeking regulatory approval…But the Office of Public Counsel, which represents the public in utility rate cases, as well as the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, oppose the ruling and each filed a notice of appeal with the high court…The PSC overruled its own staff when it approved the FPL request, allowing the company to become the nation’s fist utility to use ratepayer money for what the staff called a ‘non-regulated risk.’” Read Consumer advocate asks court to reverse FPL gas fracking fee
Susan Salisbury reports for the Palm Beach Post – “For the 20thstraight year, farmers in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee have exceeded the phosphorus reduction requirements for water flowing from their farms to the Everglades, the South Florida Water Management District said Lake O farmers lauded for 20 years of beating cleanup goals.” Read
Charlie Frago reports for the Tampa Bay Times – “So far in August, the city (St. Petersburg) has dumped 16.5 million gallons of untreated, or partially treated, sewage into Boca Ciega and Tampa Bays. Recent rains expose a St . Pete wastewater system in disarray, officials conceded that dumpings could continue for at least a year because St. Petersburg’s aging and overloaded system can’t handle the rainfall. The admission comes four months after city officials closed a wastewater plant…” Read
Upcoming Environmental Events & Meetings
info here.- Attend The Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute's Wekiwa Field School in Apopka for lectures, guest speakers, fieldwork and fun regarding springs health. Find more
September-December- Help Current Problems with their annual Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup! Find more info here.
September 17, 6:30 pm - Attend the FREE Town Hall on Fracking to hear David Mica, executive director of the Florida Petroleum Council, debate Jennifer Hecker, director of natural resource policy at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, on whether fracking is good or bad for Florida. Chuck O’Neal, first vice president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, will moderate. Event will be held at the Winter Park Garden Club building: 1300 S. Denning Drive (in Mead Botanical Garden) Winter Park, FL 32789 (no RSVP required).
-26 - Attend the Florida Wildflower Symposium at Leu Gardens, Orlando for field trips, presentations, exhibits, workshops and demonstrations regarding topics including monarch butterflies, native and honey bees, landscaping with native plants, and state parks in peril. Find more info here or call (407) 622 - 1606.
– Attend the Annual Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando for 2 days of technical presentations on soil and groundwater cleanup, 75 exhibitors and a charity golf tournament before the conference. Find more info here.
October 23, 12:00 pm; info here.- Attend the 2015 Audubon Assembly in Maitland for fieldtrips (early Friday), workshops, and more regarding topics including parks, sea level rise, diversity in conservation, and Amendment 1 activism. Find more
registration - Learn from scientists and students about the Indian River Lagoon, its drainage basin, and how you can help at the ShORE (Sharing Our Research with Everyone) 2015 symposium! Find more info 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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Please send all suggestions, comments and criticism to Gladys Delgadillo atfloridaconservationcoalition@
About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 60 conservation organizations and a thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.
For more information on the FCC atwww . floridaconservationcoalition . org
Founder and Chairman, Bob Graham; Vice-Chairmen, Nathaniel Pryor Reed & Lee Constantine