Miami, Florida – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection did not appeal Wednesday’s ruling by a state appellate court on behalf of a landowner in Broward County, which wants to search for oil in the Everglades.
The agency had until Wednesday to file an appeal to the decision of February 5 issued by the Court of Appeals of the First District of Florida, based in Tallahassee, in favor of Kanter Real Estate LCC to drill an exploratory well in the Everglades Reserve.
The Department of Environmental Protection, which has the final say on exploration permits, had denied the company permission in 2017, but ultimately did not appeal the court’s ruling, a decision that has earned the rejection of environmentalists and the Democratic Party. from Florida.
“From now on, DeSantis will be known now as the governor who allowed the expansion of oil drilling in the Everglades,” Terrie Rizzo, president of the Florida Democratic Party, said in a statement. danger “the drinking water of millions of Floridians”.
“(DeSantis) has destroyed any credibility he has on environmental issues and has made it clear that he feels more comfortable with the interests of fossil fuels than with protecting our air and water,” added the head of the Democrats in Florida.
The Everglades are a gigantic wetland declared a natural reserve in South Florida, which depends on the water consumed in a large area of the state and the life of more than 20 animal species that are threatened or in danger of extinction.
Kanter Real Estate LLC represents the family of entrepreneur and banker Joseph Kanter, owner of 8,100 hectares in the Everglades, west of Miramar (Broward County).
His plan is to drill a well up to 3.6 kilometers deep, in an area of 2.4 hectares of his property, to check if there is oil as indicated by his studies.
The state Department of Environmental Protection indicated that the land where the well would be made is within the Everglades, a reserve “sensitive” from the point of view of the environment, where it is not allowed to drill for oil since 1967.
However, the judges of the appellate court, to which Kanter Real Estate appealed, considered that the aforementioned department wrongly ruled out the reasons given by the judge of the administrative jurisdiction E. Gary Early to recommend the granting of the permit, according to court documents.
Early said that the environment of the drilling site was degraded and isolated from surface or groundwater sources.
Before the expiration of the deadline to appeal the decision of February 5, 72 civic, religious, environmental and governmental organizations signed a letter addressed to DeSantis, in which they asked to protect the Everglades from the drilling project.
The new governor of Florida, who took office on January 8, has made the protection of the state’s water resources one of its flags and in late January recommended the allocation of a budget line of more than 625 million dollars for that purpose , including the restoration of the Everglades Reserve.
This Wednesday, during a luncheon with the Economic Club of Florida, he highlighted that this item is part of a total amount of 2,500 million dollars for a plan to restore the Everglades for the next four years. (EFEUSA) .-