LIBERTY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Liberty County Commissioners held a special meeting to consider working with Liberty Environmental to add waste to energy technology to their Landfill Facility. County Commissioners voted to wait till their next meeting to come to a decision on the project. Liberty Environmental Officials say the waste to energy technology makes wood chips, which can be used to make various resources like biodiesel fuel and synthetic wood.
Removing signs that have been illegally placed along county roadways is eating away at precious time for Manatee County’s few code enforcement officers. A new program could soon allow residents to lend a hand. Getting residents involved in the effort to keep neighborhoods clean could save the county about $70,000 a year by allowing volunteers to remove those signs. Hillsborough County has used a similar system since 2012 — volunteers there remove about 9,000 signs per year.
Environmentalists called on Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday to step in to stop another oil drilling plan in the Everglades, one potentially much bigger than the one he halted last week with the announcement of a land buyout in western Broward County. A letter to the governor urged him to stop a Texas company’s oil exploration activities at Big Cypress National Preserve, a land of forest and swamp on the northwest border of Everglades National Park. Burnett Oil Co. holds state and federal permits to look for oil across 110 square miles of the preserve by using heavy trucks that vibrate metal plates against the ground to detect the presence of oil.
The Environmental Protection Agency is dramatically reducing the amount of U.S. waterways that get federal protection under the Clean Water Act — a move that is welcomed by many farmers, builders and mining companies but is opposed even by the agency’s own science advisers. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who announced the repeal of an earlier Obama-era water rule in September, chose to make the long-anticipated announcement Thursday in Las Vegas, at the National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show.
It’s January and the Florida Legislature is in session. That must mean it’s time for another assault on home rule. Indeed, as if on cue, three bills that would preempt local regulations — on employment standards, occupational licensing and bans on sunscreens that could harm the environment — advanced through legislative committees during the first week of the session.
Labor representatives, environmentalists, LGBTQ supporters, and others gathered in the Capitol Thursday to condemn legislative attacks on home rule that are killing progressive policies at the local level. The preemptions are designed to overrule local government bans on single-use plastics and foam containers and so-called conversion therapy; to protect trees and coral reefs; mandate worker-friendly labor laws; and promote safe gun use within local communities.
Fueled by lobbying and at least $160,000 in campaign contributions from a major pet retailer, Florida lawmakers could wipe from the books dozens of local laws that ban the sale of dogs and cats from high-volume “puppy mills.” Animal welfare groups say the bills — which bring forth regulations for animal care, documentation and socialization — are largely unenforceable since most animals come to stores from out of state. But a supporter of the rules, a South Florida franchisee of Petland, argued the proposal brings much-needed standards to the industry and would raise the bar statewide for the sale of pets.
Tampa Bay Times
TAMPA — Wide-eyed dogs locked in too-small cages, one stacked on top of the other, stuffed into semi-trucks heading to Hillsborough County pet stores. Open sores on paws and fur coats covered in feces. One by one, animal advocates bombarded Hillsborough county commissioners Thursday morning with images, statistics and horror stories about the animals who give birth to the fluffy, playful puppies in shop windows. It’s a scene that has played out in county commission meetings ever since the inception of Hillsborough’s 2017 Pet Retail Ordinance — an evolving series of sweeping reforms meant to prevent puppy mills from turning a profit in stores and one of more than 200 similar ordinances in the United States and Canada.
When I met with Gov. Ron DeSantis about taking on the role as Executive Director of DEO, he told me helping Floridians recover from Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, Irma and Michael were my No. 1 priority. I took this order seriously. My first week on the job, I moved the staff working on the Community Development Block Grant — Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program out from another division and created the Office of Disaster Recovery, having that team report directly to me.