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In 2019, the water-related issues are many, and as public comment periods open it’s important for Florida’s businesses to be aware of these developments and the changes being implemented. Gunster environmental and land use law attorneys Luna Phillips, Greg Munson, and Debbie Madden discuss the issues to watch in a Daily Business Review commentary piece.

Florida business community: Water issues to watch in 2019

Among the issues include:

  • Amendment 6, which reversed the long-standing law that courts and administrative law judges deferred to an agency’s interpretation of the law in the agency’s subject matter jurisdiction.
  • The federal government permitting program under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which if completed, the state of Florida would become the third state (after New Jersey and Michigan) to take over the permitting responsibilities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • “Waters of the United States” or “WOTUS” under the Clean Water Act, where the EPA is seeking to replace the 2015 Obama administration definition of WOTUS and the preceding definition before that rule, which was largely based on U.S. Supreme Court interpretations.
  • The new Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule, which would improve the lake’s ability to provide flood control, storage and water supply for all types of users and the environment to help Florida achieve a better economic and environmental future.

These developments in water law in 2019 deserve the attention of the business community, as they have the potential to change the status quo for Florida businesses who depend on water permits and water resources like Lake Okeechobee.

Read the full article: Florida business community: Water issues to watch in 2019


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