Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Tag archive

HB 7003

Bruce Ritchie: Environmentalists think lack of legislation could be a good thing

in Top Headlines by

As I was sitting in the press gallery looking down into the darkened Senate chambers on the last day of the 2015 Legislative session, I was reminded of how the environment usually seems to lose amid debate and controversy. The O.J. Simpson trial. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Michael Jackson’s death. A police shooting in Ferguson, Mo. When these incidents happen, discussion and debate about environmental issues gets pushed off the evening news and forced into the back pages of…

Keep Reading

Water, fracking bills die as Senate meets without House

in Top Headlines by

A House bill establishing comprehensive water policy was amended and passed by the Senate on Wednesday but was dead because the House had adjourned on Tuesday. And House bills dealing with hydraulic fracturing were not voted on in the Senate because their Senate sponsor said they lacked the two-thirds vote needed. The 2015 legislative session continued in an unusual atmosphere on Wednesday with the Senate taking up bills after the House adjourned amid a budget impasse over healthcare spending. A…

Keep Reading

Senate bill clears final committee stop despite concerns from counties, environmentalists

in Top Headlines by

A Senate water bill passed its final committee stop on Tuesday despite continuing concerns raised by counties and environmentalists. SB 918 replaces a Lake Okeechobee pollution permitting program with more reliance on water cleanup plans, sets deadlines for establishing minimum flow levels for springs, sets timelines for springs cleanup plans and creates a statewide advisory council to recommend funding for water projects. Sen. Charlie Dean, a Republican from Inverness who is bill sponsor, said SB 918 is close to matching…

Keep Reading

Springs bill in Senate disappoints some environmentalists

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Last year a comprehensive water bill that passed the Senate included a major focus on Florida’s springs and reducing threats from groundwater pollution and over-pumping. Florida’s springs during the past 30 years have turned green with algae because of nitrogen in groundwater from various sources including septic tanks, fertilizer and sewage treatment plants. Fixing the problems cost lots of money, and preventing further pollution requires regulations that are unpopular with rural landowners. The 2014 Senate bill, SB 1576, established springs…

Keep Reading

House speaker says water bills closer, advisory council could be sticking point

in Top Headlines by

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli said Wednesday that the Senate is getting closer to the House on a comprehensive water bill but some differences remain. SB 918 was rewritten in a committee on Wednesday in response to requests by business groups and environmentalists, both of whom had raised concerns. Both sides still have issues, with environmentalists still more critical of the Senate and House bills than business groups. The Senate bill would establish springs protection zones, provide consistency in pollution regulations dealing…

Keep Reading

Senate water bill clears committee with environmentalists and industry groups concerned

in Top Headlines by

Counties, agriculture, industry groups and environmentalists all were raising concerns Tuesday as a Senate committee passed its first version of a water bill. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner have said passing water legislation is a top priority in the 2015 legislative session. The House bill, opposed by environmentalists, passed the chamber 106-9 on March 5. The Senate bill, SB 918, was amended Tuesday to include portions of the House bill, HB 7003, recognizing in state law…

Keep Reading

Senators press agencies for waterway cleanup plans in legislation

in Top Headlines by

Senators on a panel that pored over a House water bill on Wednesday said they’re going to want a detailed plan for cleaning up waterways in whatever legislation passes the Senate. HB 7003 recognizes the Central Florida Water Initiative in state law while eliminating a South Florida Water Management District farm permitting program for Lake Okeechobee in favor of agricultural “best management practices.” It requires the setting of minimum flows for springs simultaneously with setting recovery goals, which environmentalists say…

Keep Reading

Go to Top