"Judge Revokes Florida Wetlands Permitting Authority"

"The ruling is a victory for environmental advocates who argued the Trump-era decision impeded consideration of threatened ecosystems and wildlife."

"The Trump administration failed to account for risks to endangered species when it allowed Florida to take over a federal permitting program for wetlands, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Randolph Moss, an Obama appointee on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, overturned EPA’s 2020 decision to give Florida oversight of dredge-and-fill permits in a 97-page ruling. Moss also revoked an assessment issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service, concluding that it did not comply with the Endangered Species Act.

The ruling is a victory for environmental advocates in Florida, who’ve argued that the Sunshine State was not able to appropriately consider threatened ecosystems and wildlife when doling out permits for homes and other projects that affect wetlands. Groups that sued EPA over the wetlands takeover decision included the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Conservancy of Southwest Florida."

Miranda Willson reports for E&E News February 16, 2024.

Source: E&E News, 02/20/2024