WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Federal Hearings Begin On Florida Bid To Take Over Wetlands Permitting

Photo: Hayden Dunsel

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

This week Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold the first of two virtual hearings on Florida’s request to take over wetlands permitting.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been handling permitting under the Clean Water Act for decades. The permitting is aimed at preserving wetlands that protect drinking water supplies, absorb impacts from hurricanes and provide habitat for wildlife.

Environmentalists fear Florida’s much smaller state agency won’t be equipped to handle the job.

Tanya Galloni is a managing attorney for Earthjustice.

“If you devolve those decisions to the local level where there’s political pressure, then there’s really very little standing in the way. It’s about short cutting, the time of consideration in the process for consideration, the level of review. We need checks and balances.”

She says the government is moving too quickly and questions remain over how the state will handle the permitting.

“Only two states have ever taken over federal wetlands permitting, and they did it in the 80s and 90s. That was Michigan and New Jersey. So no state that’s comparable to the kind of biodiversity, the extensive waterways that we have here in Florida. Those states also spent millions and millions of dollars to create their programs. Florida is saying it could do it without asking the legislature for a single penny.”

To find out more about the hearings scheduled for Wednesday and Oct. 27, go to wlrn.org.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.

GET THE LATEST

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

TOP