During the same week that history was made as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve gave the first press conference ever offered by the Fed (ever), a federal district judge in Miami opened the doors for the federal government to take over the reins of water oversight in Florida - particularly the Everglades - and did so in direct opposition to the economic realities of Florida's financial situation and the goals of Florida Governor Rick Scott to lessen the amount of regulation that the state government is currently required to maintain.
Federal Judge Gold Fears for Everglades - Replaces Fed With State
In an order issued Tuesday by Alan Gold, presiding over the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the judge was presented factually with the matter concerning the River of Glass and the amount of phosphorus flowing through it.
His ruling, an opinion over 75 pages long, arguably extends itself to the entirety of the Florida Everglades and squares the federal government off against the state in a power struggle over control of Florida's waters and wetlands. Specifically, the waters of Florida - including but not limited to the Everglades.
By doing so, Judge Gold dissed the arguments of the South Florida Water Management District. SFWMD is the state agency that has the job of cleaning up and restoring the Everglades - and it was this agency that pled with Gold that the plan proposed by the EPA is simply too expensive given the current economy.
The South Florida Water Management District cannot find the money to finance the EPA plan with its $1.5 billion proposed expansion of reservoirs and marshes into a correlated web of waterways that would absorb phosphorus coming into Florida waters from sugar farms, residential lawns, etc. The District filed its arguments before Judge Gold, to no avail.
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