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environment

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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Joe Negron’s signature Lake Okeechobee project headed to governor’s desk

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The Senate voted Tuesday to send a trimmed-down version of SB 10, Senate President Joe Negron’s Lake Okeechobee restoration plan, to Gov. Rick Scott. The 33-0 vote followed approval by the House earlier in the day. Under amendments adopted in the House, and accepted in the Senate, bonding authority to acquire land and construct reservoirs would shrink from $1.2 billion to $800 million, bill sponsor Rob Bradley explained. The complete price tag for the project is $1.5 billion. The project…

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Environment and natural resources conferees go light on details

in Statewide by

If you can read a spreadsheet, you might be able to figure out the offer the House made Friday morning on the agriculture, environment, and natural resources budget. If you can’t — well, lead House conferee Ben Albritton wasn’t willing to explain it to you. Albritton distributed a spreadsheet listing the House position, but declined to discuss it. Even when asked by Rep. Loranne Ausley. Sen. Rob Bradley, chairing the hearing, conferred with Albritton — inaudibly, to the audience — then announced:…

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Donald Trump steps up effort to dispute and distract on Russia

in 2017/Top Headlines by

After weeks on the defensive, President Donald Trump has stepped up his efforts to dispute, downplay and distract from revelations stemming from the investigations into the Kremlin’s interference in last year’s election and possible Russian ties to his campaign associates. The White House says the real story is not about Russia — it’s about how Obama administration officials allegedly leaked and mishandled classified material about Americans. Trump and his aides have accused former officials of inappropriately disclosing — or “unmasking”…

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Joe Henderson: Concern for the environment really depends on which party is in charge

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The words “green space” can have a different meaning depending on the person involved. Democrats generally believe green space to mean protected grasslands, pristine parks, waterways, and regulations to keep companies from belching pollutants into the atmosphere. Republicans generally appear to believe green space is a metaphor for money that can be made by paving over any empty spot of land they see. I know that’s a generalization. There are plenty of conservatives who will argue strongly for environmental protection.…

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St. Pete removes warning signs, continues to test water

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After recent tests on water in and around Coffee Pot Bayou came back normal, crews from St. Petersburg’s public works department have removed the warning signs from around the shoreline. The warning signs had been placed around Coffee Pot Bayou as tests were being conducted following the discovery of numerous sick and dying brown pelicans. “The water quality is not in question in Coffee Pot Bayou,” said John Palenchar, interim water resources director. “And we are working with all concerned…

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Environmental groups sue Gulfport over sewage overflows

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Three environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit this week alleging the city of Gulfport is in violation of the Clean Water Act for discharging raw sewage and other pollutants into Clam Bayou and Tampa and Boca Ciega bays without a permit. They are asking, among other things, that the judge levy civil fines against Gulfport of up to $37,500 per day per violation for violations occurring from Jan. 12, 2009, to Nov. 2, 2015. They’re also asking for civil penalties…

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