Department of Environmental Protection

WRLN

Two years after Volkswagen agreed to settle an emissions cheating scandal that paid millions to states where the dirty vehicles were sold, Florida is ready to decide how to spend its $166 million.

MIAMI HERALD ARCHIVES

Reducing harmful nutrients in state waters, through moves such as more monitoring and staffing, is an expected short-term goal of a new task force set up by Gov. Ron DeSantis to look at toxic algae fouling Florida waterways.

But with a brief timeline for the five-member Blue Green Algae Task Force to reach its initial findings, don’t expect proposals for massive state rule changes related to farming practices or moving away from septic systems.

Photo by Amy Green

A ban in Florida on the words “climate change” appears to be ending.

The DeSantis administration is showing new leadership where state government has been absent in the past.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has wasted no time since taking office in January establishing the environment as a priority.

Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department

Plans to end a decades-old practice of flushing treated sewage offshore in Miami-Dade County got an assist from the federal government Friday with the award of a nearly $100 million low-interest loan.

Eric Perez and his wife, Mari, live with their five children in the Wenatchee Valley in central Washington state. Their house is just feet from an orchard. A couple of years ago, the kids were having an Easter egg hunt in the yard when they smelled something "plasticky," Perez remembers — like "rotten eggs."

Perez says they realized the orchard must have been sprayed while the family was away for their Easter lunch.

Perez says they got stomachaches, started throwing up and having trouble breathing and got diarrhea and scratchy throats.

Next Steps Eyed In Fight Against Water Woes

Jan 23, 2019
STEPHEN SPLANE / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Local governments have spent $17.3 million the state provided to combat outbreaks of red tide and toxic blue-green algae, which have caused massive fish kills and fouled waters in coastal areas for more than a year.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A coalition of southeast Florida counties is leading the state in responding to vulnerabilities caused by climate change and sea-level rise, according to state environmental leaders.

On Thursday, officials and planners who represent Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties met at the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit to discuss progress on issues linked to climate change. Noah Valenstein, the secretary of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, thanked the more than 300 people gathered.

St. Petersburg leaders have settled a lawsuit filed by environmental groups in 2016 after the city released millions of gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay. 

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

Scott Pruitt will no longer lead the Environmental Protection Agency, President Trump announced Thursday afternoon via Twitter.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt," Trump tweeted. "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this," Trump also wrote.

Scientists think they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by tweaking the food that cows eat. A recent experiment from the University of California, Davis suggests that adding seaweed to cattle feed can dramatically decrease their emissions of the potent gas methane.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, already battling roughly a dozen ethics investigations, allegedly asked a top aide to obtain a used mattress from President Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel.

Millan Hupp, Pruitt's director of scheduling and advance, told House investigators last month that she couldn't track down the mattress, and didn't know if Pruitt ultimately got one.

A spokeswoman for the Trump International Hotel had no comment on any aspect of the story.

Huffington Post

 

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote in favor of a bill cutting the EPA's budget by 7 percent. The Environmental Defense Fund and its partner advocacy organization, EDF Action, are denouncing the move.

 

Kate Stein / WLRN

A recent Florida Department of Environmental Protection hearing has raised questions about the process the state agency uses to advertise public meetings.

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Local transmission of Zika by mosquitoes has been confirmed in Miami-Dade and Broward County. What does this mean for South Florida residents?

The Environmental Regulation Commission recently voted for new standards for more than 80 different toxic chemicals, some of them carcinogens, and just how much of each we’re going to allow in our water supply. Environmental groups claim we are putting Floridian’s health in danger. We’ll take a closer look at exactly what it is we’re putting in our water.

Listen Below:

Miami Herald

Florida Power & Light has until June 24 to provide a plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection to stop the saltwater plume that originates in the cooling canals at its Turkey Point nuclear power plant in South Miami-Dade.

On Monday, state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami-Dade,  told the South Florida Regional Planning Commission that it was important for people from throughout the region to weigh in and make sure the fix gets done right. 

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