|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||August 18, 2006|
Sara Fain, NPCA Biscayne Restoration Program Analyst, 305-546-6689
Cynthia Guerra, Tropical Audubon Society Executive Director, 305-505-8240
Richard Grosso, Everglades Law Center Executive Director, 954-614-7620
Judge's Ruling Doesn't Get Army Corps Off the Hook
Conservation Groups Say Corps Must Still Decide to Protect Florida's Wetlands
Judge Adalberto Jordan, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida ruled in the case of NPCA and TAS v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Atlantic Civil, Inc. A press statement by the Everglades Law Center, National Parks Conservation Association, and the Tropical Audubon Society follows:
“The Judge’s ruling was largely procedural, finding the legal challenge premature for technical reasons. The real decision now rests with the Army Corps of Engineers, which must decide, in the next nine days, whether the destruction of unprotected coastal wetlands can continue.
Atlantic Civil, Inc. and its partner, Lennar Homes, Inc. are pulling a bait and switch by using an agricultural permit to instead build a small city in Everglades wetlands. They admit that they plan to deprive the Corps’ of permitting jurisdiction by doing this clever end-run around the agency’s permitting process. Fortunately, the Corps has the opportunity to stop them. The Corps could refuse to extend the existing agricultural permit, which expires in nine days, and require Atlantic Civil and Lennar to apply for a permit to build the city that they are planning to build.
The public depends on the Corps to protect sensitive wetlands. The Corps must safeguard the public trust by not allowing Atlantic Civil and Lennar to subvert the Clean Water Act.”
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