Florida GOP Lawmakers Focus On Climate Change

Oct 15, 2019

Florida lawmakers Monday dug into issues involving climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, phrases mostly kept under wraps by state Republican leaders before last year’s elections. 

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson is insisting his department followed the book when it adopted highly controversial new water quality standards.

Suzanne Young

St. Petersburg faces $820,000 in fines from the Department of Environmental Protection for releasing over 200 million of gallons of sewage during summer storms.

Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Graham says the Department of Environmental Protection’s early response to the Mosaic sinkhole was inadequate.  The outgoing lawmaker is raising concerns as she considers a 2018 gubernatorial bid.

A lawyer for the state Florida Department of Environmental Protection says he was unfairly fired, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Chris Byrd says it’s because he wasn’t towing the line set by deputy secretary Jeff Littlejohn -- whom he accuses of selectively enforcing rules and regulations.  

Florida Current

Attorney Christopher T. Byrd says he was removed from his position as Department of Environmental Protection attorney because he worked hard to enforce DEP laws and gave legal advice that opposed the policy goals of the deputy secretary for regulatory programs, Jeff Littlejohn. Another DEP attorney was fired and two others were requested to resign as well, the Florida Current reports. 

Florida Current

An administrative law judge is backing a wetlands expert who was suspended after she objected to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s plan to issue a permit for the Highlands Ranch project, the Florida Current reports.  


Tampa Bay Times

Three years ago, state officials wanted to acquire a piece of “environmentally sensitive” land along the Peace River, but the $14-million price tag was too high. Now the state has a chance to grab the land for free and turn it into a state park. Yet the current regime at DEP has turned down the offer, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Tampa Bay Times environmental reporter Craig Pittman, who has dogged the Dept. of Environmental Protection as it shed experienced hands and closed offices, now reports that a former developer has been masterminding the shake-up.