United States District Judge Alan Gold makes news this month (again) with another Everglades Order: you'll recall that he issued a pretty big ruling last fall with his decision to put the federal government and not the State of Florida in the role of issuing pollution permits that impact the Everglades (read our earlier post as well as that order here).
Miami's Judge Gold has been making lots of news, in fact.
Earlier this month, he issued a federal court order that requires the Miccosukee Indian Tribe to fork over its financial records to the federal investigators that are checking into claims that the Miccosukee Indians have not reported income tax on millions of dollars in gambling profits coming to members of the Miccosukee Indian Tribe.
The Tribe's argument that it did not have to honor the IRS subpoena because it was a separate, sovereign nation was not victorious with the court.
But that wasn't the only July 2012 ruling of Judge Gold that is making national headlines.
This week, Judge Alan Gold in a rather short and sweet order (it's only three pages long) okayed the $880 million dollar phosphorus clean up plan proposed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
News pundits are reporting that Judge Gold may have just ended around 20 years of litigation with this single order.
What he's done is okay the EPA to review and approve permits in a number of different projects all targeting the problem of phosphorus pollution in the River of Grass. Which brings us back to the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians.
The Miccosukee were one of a number of parties concerned with protecting the natural resources here in Florida, and the tribe joined with the Friends of the Everglades in filing a federal lawsuit several years ago against the EPA alleging that the federal agency was violating federal law by not cleaning up the Everglades pollution problem, a byproduct of the sugar industry here.
The Friends of the Everglades have issued an opinion statement that the proposal approved by Judge Gold is not going to work. Read it here.
The Miccosukee Indian Tribe has not issued a formal statement, yet (at least not that we could find). On either newsmaking order of Judge Gold's this month. Stay tuned.