From The Bradenton Tmes:
Conservation: Fighting the Good Fight Keeps Getting HarderDennis Maley•Sunday, Mar 19, 2017
Last week, the 5th District Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in an appeal filed by a group of local environmentalists to a permit issued by our local water management board. The permit would allow the destruction of wetlands on Perico Island in order to facilitate politically-connected developer Pat Neal's desire to build homes on the land.
The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage, Suncoast Waterkeeper, Manasota 88, Sierra Club and TBT Publisher Joe McClash are asking the court to reverse a Southwest Florida Water Management District order that awarded Neal a controversial permit to destroy mangroves and build on the coastal wetlands of this critical area that lies in the bay waters between Anna Maria Island and the mainland of northwest Manatee County.
Carlos Beruff. But it should have never even gotten that far. The City of Bradenton clearly violated its own rules in giving approval for the development request, as well as state guidelines on wetlands. The city basically ignored the conservation groups that pointed this out and, in addition to the Swiftmud appeal, there is a pending suit by Suncoast Waterkeeper that challenges the city's approval. Despite the disputes and the fact that the ACOE has yet to weigh in, Neal has begun clearing on the site. Read more...
DEP employee suspended in 2012 speaks about her experience — and the future"...when you run into a conflict, what do I follow, the boss or follow the rules?"
An administrative law judge in 2012 disagreed with DEP after it issued a notice of intent to permit the Highlands Ranch wetlands mitigation bank in Clay County.
Bersok had written a memo objecting to a draft proposed permit and argued that fewer development credits were deserved.
Shortly thereafter, she was suspended with pay but later was cleared of work violations by a department investigation. Read more . . .