A sense of urgency was felt leading up to yesterday’s meeting of the Senate Environmental Protection & Conservation Committee, as Audubon Advocates like you and other environmental groups worked to inform committee members about the serious problems in SB 1464 – Environmental Regulation.
Your emails and phone calls were crucial in reminding legislators how damaging this environmental permitting bill would be. In less than 24 hours, over 1,100 people contacted committee members about this bill.
As the clock dwindled down in the committee meeting, amendments starting flying as SB 1464 came up for discussion. Senator Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) emerged as a hero with a series of late-filed amendments that vastly improved this controversial bill.
One amendment from Senator Altman addressed Section 4, one of Audubon’s largest concerns. The amendment removed the section of the bill that prohibits local governments from protecting wetlands in certain drainage districts. Senator Altman also filed numerous other amendments that restored power to local governments in permitting and water supply planning.
Not to be outdone, Senator Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) removed Section 1 of the bill, a provision that would have prevented counties from enforcing wetlands and springs regulations if they were modified or readopted since 2003.
Thank you for defending Florida’s water. There is still a long way to go as we battle this bill, but know that your efforts yesterday made a tremendous difference in addressing the most harmful sections.