On December 17, 2020, two years after the Florida legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill serving as an initial step to promote the transfer of permitting authority from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the state of Florida, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted the Sunshine State’s request and approved a plan transferring federal authority to the state to issue permits for projects affecting the state’s wetlands. Florida will be only the third state in the United States to be granted such broad permitting …Continue Reading
On Dec. 9, 2019, Florida State Senator Joe Gruters introduced Florida Senate Bill 1190 for consideration in the 2020 legislative session that began on Jan. 13, 2020. The legislative intent of this bill is to “protect people from the health hazards of Legionella, a waterborne bacterium that is known to originate in improperly sanitized cooling towers.”
Legionella causes Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia that is contracted when susceptible individuals inhale water droplets or mist containing elevated levels of thebacteria. Even for those persons exposed …Continue Reading
Earlier this year, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) approved a permit for construction of the state’s first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal at the site of a former chemical plant along the Delaware River in southern New Jersey. Environmental groups have now challenged the issuance of that permit, bringing additional public scrutiny and attention to this large-scale and controversial energy initiative.
The liquefaction process of natural gas consists of lowering its temperature to approximately negative 260 degrees Fahrenheit. It is then …Continue Reading
Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal recently struck down a 2016 Coral Gables’ law that prohibited the sale and use of food-related polystyrene containers (i.e., Styrofoam) by food service providers and stores. This decision reverses a trial court decision granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of the city and finding that the three state laws in question were unconstitutional.
In its decision, written by Judge Norma S. Lindsey, the Florida Third District Court of Appeal held that the ordinance was preempted by …Continue Reading
On January 1, 2019, the District of Columbia and the State of California became the latest jurisdictions to ban restaurants from offering their customers a plastic straw and other single-use plastics, including coffee stirrers. Seattle and Vancouver have similar straw bans in place and regulations are now proposed or pending in New York City, Miami Beach, Fort Myers, and Monmouth Beach, among others. The straw ban movement has expanded beyond the U.S. and Canada; the United Kingdom proposed a ban on selling plastic straws, stirrers …Continue Reading
Environmental remediation work is about to pick up steam in Florida. In his first major policy act, recently inaugurated Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a broad executive order last Thursday aimed at tackling numerous water and environmental issues confronting the state. DeSantis, who was inaugurated on January 8, took office facing a number of environmental crises, including unprecedented levels of the red tide bacteria that killed wildlife and closed beaches along the Gulf of Mexico last year; toxic blue-green algae that has choked the St. …Continue Reading
While the recovery efforts are still unfolding, scientists and environmental experts believe the environmental toll from Hurricane Irma in Florida may not be as harsh as the problems caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The two storms have resulted in hazards that are very different, leading to varied responses to the destruction left by both storms.
Wind damage is the primary concern after Hurricane Irma, rather than the widespread flooding seen after Hurricane Harvey. In addition, the areas of Florida that are experiencing flooding likely …Continue Reading