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News Section: State Government

Developers Say They Need Wetland Permits Faster

Published Saturday, May 31, 2014 12:03 am

BRADENTON – The Southwest Florida Water Management District says it wants to make it faster for developers to get permits to destroy wetlands. SWFWMD officials, including local-developer Carlos Beruff, made the case at a meeting Tuesday.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that the board said it would like to take over some or all of the federal permitting process, in addition to the state permits for wetland/destruction mitigation that it already issues.

Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is designated by the Clean Water Act as the agency in charge of federal permitting for wetlands. The Corps has consistently approved nearly 100 percent of the permit applications in Florida, but Beruff and company think they take too long for developers and could be pushed through faster if SWFWMD was in charge.

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For me, political corruption exists when an individual or small group of like-minded persons find indirect means to achieve goals that cannot be met in open public forums. Clearly, from the comments posted already, the only solution is to elect those whose views can stand public scrutiny.
Posted by Nancy R Dean on June 1, 2014

About 2 years ago during a workshop regarding the re-writing of the Wetland Policy,I heard Carlos Beruff claim that he created over 900 acres of wetlands. He mentioned this in connection with the VA Expressway Extension. Those so-called wetlands were all retention ponds which were required to provide drainage in the area.

Here he is, or by now was, President of SWFWMD and he can?t tell a retention pond from a wetland. This is disgraceful but what do you expect from a builder who looks to destroy wetlands all the time.
Posted by Barbara Angelucci on May 31, 2014

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