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Lawsuit filed over Florida’s wetlands delegation

Several environment organizations have filed suit challenging the EPA’s relinquishment of control over wetlands in Florida. Many have criticized the manner in which Florida has historically regulated wetlands alleging that the regulation has been shotty resulting in the destruction of many protected wetlands. Control was relinquished by the federal government during the last month of the prior administration.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted Florida sole authority to issue wetlands permits , greatly increasing Florida’s responsibility for development affecting waterways.

Florida has been just the third state to receive delegation of wetlands control authority. New Jersey was one of the first states, and has been regulating its own freshwater wetlands since the 1980s. Some of New Jersey‘s wetland regulations are actually more stringent than those imposed by the federal government.

While some environmental groups have been critical of the manner in which New Jersey has regulated wetlands from time to time, no suit has been filed trying to remove that authority from the state. But in the case of Florida, the lawsuit filed by numerous environmental organizations does just that. We will have to wait and see just how far this challenge to Florida’s control goes.

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