Judge Hands Everglades Permitting to EPA
Last week, U.S. District Judge Alan S. Gold announced his intention to strip the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection (FDEP) of its authority to issue permits under the Clean Water Act and return that power to the U.S. EPA. See Miccosukee Tribe v. USA et al., No. 1:04-cv-21448 (S.D. Fl. Apr. 26, 2011). In response, the FDEP stated that the judge is "essentially federalizing Florida's Everglades restoration permitting process." The opinion clarifed his April 2010 opinion, in which he said the U.S. EPA, FDEP and the South Florida Water Management District had failed to enforce the Clean Water Act.