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Robert Williams

Agency urged to take more time with Rick Scott’s pollution spill rule

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Business interests and local governments urged the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Monday to slow the rush toward an emergency pollution spill warning regulation being pushed by Gov. Rick Scott. Still, a department representative said during a hearing before an administrative officer that public comments would remain open only until 5 p.m. Wednesday, after which officials would begin preparing the final regulation. “We certainly will take the comments that were previously provided, as well as those today, and the department…

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Senate committee passes bill restructuring public land acquisition and management

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A bill revamping the state’s process of public land acquisition and management passed its first Senate committee Tuesday. LobbyTools reports that SB 1290, filed by Trilby Republican Sen. Wilton Simpson is nearly identical to House equivalent, HB 1075, filed by Lehigh Acres Republican Rep. Matt Caldwell. Orlando Democratic Sen. Darren Soto submitted an amendment to strip language that would allow “an expansion of use of land acquisition dollars, Amendment 1 dollars, on water projects.” Although opposing a similar bill last year, Eric Draper of Audubon…

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