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Department of Environmental Protection

Environmental lawsuit over ‘Amendment 1’ funding set for trial

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A Tallahassee judge has set a trial week in a lawsuit over the state’s environmental funding under a constitutional amendment passed almost three years ago. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson scheduled a weeklong bench trial for next July 23-27, with a pretrial conference set for June 15, court records show. Discovery in the case was ordered finished by May 25.

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DEP seeks $50M for Florida Forever

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A request is on the desk of Gov. Rick Scott to replenish the state’s most prominent land-preservation fund. The Department of Environmental Protection‘s wish list for the 2018-2019 fiscal year—presented to Scott last week as the governor’s office crafts budget recommendations for the Legislature—includes $50 million for the Florida Forever program.

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Personnel note: Jonathan Kilman joins Hispanic Chamber board

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Foley & Lardner lobbyist and partner Jonathan Kilman has been appointed to the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce‘s Board of Governors and the its newly-formed Strategy Committee, the group announced Wednesday. “We did our homework and Jonathan is regarded as a widely respected and visionary leader who understands the intersection of business and policy in Florida,” said Julio Fuentes, President and CEO of the Chamber, in a statement. “FSHCC is proud to welcome Jonathan’s leadership.”

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Personnel note: Peebles & Smith becomes Peebles, Smith & Matthews with hire of Ryan Matthews

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Peebles & Smith is now Peebles Smith & Matthews. The firm announced Monday that Ryan Matthews, who most recently served as the interim secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, has joined as a principal.

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DEP doles out nearly $3 million in water grants

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently awarded nearly $3 million for six stormwater projects to communities across Florida, it announced in a Friday news release. “Funded through annual appropriations from the Florida Legislature, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) grants support projects designed to improve water quality in  impaired springs, rivers, lakes and estuaries, which need help meeting Florida’s stringent water-quality standards,” the release said. “The department is eager to partner with communities to improve water quality in coastal estuaries,” said Drew…

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Rick Scott signs pollution notification bill into law

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Companies will now be required to promptly notify the Department of Environmental Protection of a pollution incident under a bill signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The so-called spill bill (SB 1018) requires companies to submit a notice of a reportable pollution release to the Department of Environmental Protection within 24 hours of the release. That notice must contain a detailed description of the installation, substance and circumstance of the spill. “I am proud to sign this legislation today to strengthen…

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Noah Valenstein hired as DEP’s new secretary

in Statewide by

Noah Valenstein got the job as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday, after a unanimous vote by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet. He will take the helm on June 5, with a salary of $150,000 per year, Scott said. “Noah has 15 years of environmental policy experience and I’m confident will continue to be a strong leader and advocate for preserving the future of our state’s beautiful and pristine environment,” Scott said. Valenstein, now the executive director…

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