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Fri May 31, 2013, 06:21 AM

Gov. Rick Scott signs into law wide-ranging bill opposed by scores of environmentalists

Posted on Thursday, 05.30.13

Gov. Rick Scott signs into law wide-ranging bill opposed by scores of environmentalists

By Craig Pittman
Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott has signed HB 999, a bill so detested by a host of environmental groups that they brought in former Sen. Bob Graham to try in vain to stop it.

Scott’s action Thursday disappointed environmental advocates, but did not surprise them, said Estus Whitfield of the Florida Conservation Coalition. He predicted it might hurt Scott at the ballot box when he seeks re-election in 2014.

~snip~

The bill that Scott signed into law contains more than a dozen provisions, including:

• Blocking the Florida Wildlife Federation from suing to overturn a controversial decision by Scott and the Cabinet to grant 30-year leases to 31,000 acres of the state’s Everglades property to two major sugar companies.

• Preventing water management districts from cutting back groundwater pumping by any entity that builds a desalination plant to increase its potential water supply. “I don’t think we should be tying the hands of the water management districts to better promote conservation of water,” Graham said.

• Speeding up the permitting for natural gas pipelines that originate in other states, such as the new 700-mile one from Alabama that’s being planned by Florida Power & Light.

• Forbidding cities from asking an applicant more than three times for additional information before approving development permits.

More:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/30/3425079/gov-rick-scott-signs-into-law.html#storylink=cpy

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