"A pair of environmental groups are complaining to federal officials that the shipyard executive Gov. Rick Scott picked to lead the Department of Environment Protection cannot oversee a program that regulates how much industrial pollution can be dumped into the state’s waters.
The reason: Herschel Vinyard’s previous employer, a Jacksonville shipyard, held just such a pollution permit.
They say putting him in charge of the program to control it and other polluters is against the law.
At issue is something called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. In Florida, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows the DEP to issue the permits.
But federal law says anyone overseeing the permits cannot have received a 'significant portion of his income directly or indirectly from permit holders or applicants for a permit.'
Craig Pittman reports for the St. Petersburg Times February 23, 2011.