Friends of the Everglades joined Earthjustice and a number of other local, state, and national organizations in signing onto comments opposing the transfer of federal wetland permitting to the state department of environmental protection.

Florida’s developers have been pushing for this handover to the state for decades. The environmental community stands steadfastly against the state’s request to assume administration of a Clean Water Act Section 404 program because this would jeopardize vital natural resources at a time of unprecedented population growth combined with striking environmental degradation.

Of particular concern, Florida proposes to take on the consequential responsibility of a Section 404 program without devoting an additional cent of resources to the undertaking. The proposal comes at a time when the State has consistently failed to meet its existing obligations regarding environmental protection, and when it faces severe budget shortfalls as a result of dramatic revenue losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida’s application must be denied.

CLICK HERE to read the full comments submitted by Earthjustice to the Oceans, Wetlands, and Streams Protection Branch of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.