Section 404 of the Clean Water Act requires permits for any discharge of dredge and fill into Waters of the U.S., including streams, rivers, canals, and wetlands. Many of these waterways and water bodies throughout the State of Florida are ecologically and economically important, thus requiring the highest level of review and scrutiny under the Clean Water Act. However, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is attempting to take over, or "assume," this regulatory authority and potentially curtail this high level of careful examination.
(Source: USDA and Natural Resources Conservation (NRC)).
Miami Waterkeeper and Waterkeepers FL have recently expressed our concerns in a letter sent to FDEP, emphasizing that this process requires the highest level of review that only the federal government can guarantee. We are requesting a series of public hearings, allowing the public to intervene in this controversial shift in authority.