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(TampaBay.com (St. Petersburg Tim)   State's top wetlands expert suspended by Dept. of Environmental Protection for denying permit to developer, following the rules   (tampabay.com) divider line 74
    More: Florida, DEP, Radical Environmentalism, Highlands Ranch, Clay County, North Florida, Carlyle Group, wetlands, Florida Chamber of Commerce  
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2554 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 May 2012 at 9:31 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-28 07:39:28 AM  
Typical Republican pro-business attitude. Screw the rules, logic, and environment. If it makes money, it must be good.
 
2012-05-28 09:34:41 AM  
Slow news day when Fark is greenlighting shiat like this.
 
2012-05-28 09:37:52 AM  
And when that development floods, it will be partly the government's responsibilty to pay for damages.

Dumbarses.
 
2012-05-28 09:38:43 AM  

AirForceVet: Typical Republican pro-business attitude. Screw the rules, logic, and environment. If it makes money, it must be good.


Better I make money on it now, than someone else make money on it in the future.
 
2012-05-28 09:44:48 AM  
The problem, according to a May 9 memo from Department of Environmental Protection wetlands expert Connie Bersok, is that the owners want the DEP to give them lots of wetland credits for land that isn't wet.

Sounds like they're following the more widespread "rule" by the EPA that "wetlands don't have to be wet, they just have to be wet occasionally, or near something that's wet, or be in sight of a wetland if you're in a plane."

There have been more than enough cases where someone wanted to build on ground that was several feet above the "wetlands" level, was dry for 90% of the year, and was only "wet" when it rained a lot. They used limit the definition to things like "swamp" or "bog," but once they started calling them "wetlands," the definitions got a lot more vague, and actual water doesn't seem to be that critical for the definition any more...
 
2012-05-28 09:45:37 AM  

KiplingKat872: And when that development floods, it will be partly the government's responsibilty to pay for damages.

Dumbarses.


And when the government does have to step in to repair debelopments built in places where they should not be by stupudly greedy capitalists (or to build a water treatment plant to replace the purification provided by the wetlands), those same capitalists will scream, "ZOMG! SOCHILIZUM!!!"
 
2012-05-28 09:47:57 AM  

cirby: The problem, according to a May 9 memo from Department of Environmental Protection wetlands expert Connie Bersok, is that the owners want the DEP to give them lots of wetland credits for land that isn't wet.

Sounds like they're following the more widespread "rule" by the EPA that "wetlands don't have to be wet, they just have to be wet occasionally, or near something that's wet, or be in sight of a wetland if you're in a plane."

There have been more than enough cases where someone wanted to build on ground that was several feet above the "wetlands" level, was dry for 90% of the year, and was only "wet" when it rained a lot. They used limit the definition to things like "swamp" or "bog," but once they started calling them "wetlands," the definitions got a lot more vague, and actual water doesn't seem to be that critical for the definition any more...


Those areas that are near wetlands but not "wet" as you term it are still a part of the wetland habitat and are important to animals that only live there.
 
2012-05-28 09:48:12 AM  
Look at it this way: in a couple of decades, most of Florida will be back underwater anyway, regardless of how they permit for construction in wetlands. Nothing to worry about.
 
2012-05-28 09:48:43 AM  
government for the rich
 
2012-05-28 09:52:32 AM  
The whole system sounds like a shell game to claim wetlands still exist and are protected while developing the state as fast as they can.
 
2012-05-28 09:52:33 AM  
ongbok:
Those areas that are near wetlands but not "wet" as you term it are still a part of the wetland habitat and are important to animals that only live there.

How near?

Following your definition, the administrators and business people in the article are right, and the woman who was suspended was breaking the rules.

Thanks for pointing out that the woman was wrong, and was suspended for a good reason.
 
2012-05-28 09:53:06 AM  
The project: turning a North Florida pine plantation into a business that attempts to make up for wetlands that are wiped out by new roads and development.

Anyone who's ever walked through a pine forest would have great difficulty imagining how to turn it into a swamp.
 
2012-05-28 09:54:37 AM  

AirForceVet: Typical Republican pro-business attitude. Screw the rules, logic, and environment. If it makes money, it must be good.


I'd be willing to bet its more pro-donor than pro-business.
 
2012-05-28 09:54:37 AM  

cirby: Sounds like they're following the more widespread "rule" by the EPA that "wetlands don't have to be wet, they just have to be wet occasionally, or near something that's wet, or be in sight of a wetland if you're in a plane."


I worked as an environmental scientist for an engineering firm several years ago here in Florida, that was often contracted out to "delineate" wetlands like this. You would be amazed at how many pleasant grassy lawns next to sidewalks next to roads suddenly became "wetlands." If you can find a couple of grassy little flowers there that also grow in damp soil, GOOD ENOUGH!

/don't do that anymore
//drove me to drink even more
 
2012-05-28 09:55:30 AM  
they really need to make a law making it okay to kick corrupt government workers in the teeth.
 
2012-05-28 10:02:41 AM  
Why are we griping about this? The more stuff they build in that state, the greater the chance of the state just breaking off and sinking into the ocean, Atlantis style.
 
2012-05-28 10:03:20 AM  
Paging Carl Hiassen, please show us your troll face.
www.nypost.com
 
2012-05-28 10:04:29 AM  

Confabulat: cirby: Sounds like they're following the more widespread "rule" by the EPA that "wetlands don't have to be wet, they just have to be wet occasionally, or near something that's wet, or be in sight of a wetland if you're in a plane."

I worked as an environmental scientist for an engineering firm several years ago here in Florida, that was often contracted out to "delineate" wetlands like this. You would be amazed at how many pleasant grassy lawns next to sidewalks next to roads suddenly became "wetlands." If you can find a couple of grassy little flowers there that also grow in damp soil, GOOD ENOUGH!

/don't do that anymore
//drove me to drink even more


So basically this business owner was trying to get this money making pine tree plantation qualified as a wetland to get credit for perserving wetlands, which he would then sell that credit to a developer who would build over real wetlands, but because they had the credit they could claim to be preserving them?

And the pine tree plantation is obviously not a wetland, so it wasn't exchanging apples for apples, but wax fruit for apples.
 
2012-05-28 10:11:00 AM  
But then the DEP's Littlejohn - the son of Florida Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Chuck Littlejohn, who has negotiated with the DEP on wetland issues - issued a memo ordering a change in the way credits were calculated. The first draft, Littlejohn said, was written for him by Eric T. Olsen, the attorney for Highlands Ranch, "who shared a list of concerns with me early on."

Holy fark.
 
2012-05-28 10:11:11 AM  
DrD'isInfotainment totally beat me to the punch. This is a Hiaasen situation from the word go. Hate to see when reality imitates... satire?
 
2012-05-28 10:13:03 AM  

KiplingKat872: The whole system sounds like a shell game to claim wetlands still exist and are protected while developing the state as fast as they can.


Seriously. Wasn't this an episode of American Dad or South Park or something? Character sells a bunch of carbon credits but only plants a fraction of the trees necessary to justify the credit purchases?
 
2012-05-28 10:13:36 AM  
So, 3 Florida DEP wetlands specialists have "tussled" with Highlands Ranch and all 3 have lost their jobs with the Florida DEP.

Also, did anyone else note that the money behind Highlands Ranch was coming from..."The Carlyle Group".

James Baker and the Bush Family, John Major. Connections, indeed.
 
2012-05-28 10:14:00 AM  
"a private equity firm named the Carlyle Group," That's all the info I need.
 
2012-05-28 10:14:22 AM  

KiplingKat872: Confabulat: cirby: Sounds like they're following the more widespread "rule" by the EPA that "wetlands don't have to be wet, they just have to be wet occasionally, or near something that's wet, or be in sight of a wetland if you're in a plane."

I worked as an environmental scientist for an engineering firm several years ago here in Florida, that was often contracted out to "delineate" wetlands like this. You would be amazed at how many pleasant grassy lawns next to sidewalks next to roads suddenly became "wetlands." If you can find a couple of grassy little flowers there that also grow in damp soil, GOOD ENOUGH!

/don't do that anymore
//drove me to drink even more

So basically this business owner was trying to get this money making pine tree plantation qualified as a wetland to get credit for perserving wetlands, which he would then sell that credit to a developer who would build over real wetlands, but because they had the credit they could claim to be preserving them?

And the pine tree plantation is obviously not a wetland, so it wasn't exchanging apples for apples, but wax fruit for apples.


Pretty much I'm assuming without knowing the details. Remember, a 10-square-mile pine tree plantation probably has irrigation/drainage ditches cut across their length and width at regular intervals. I used to do it in old orange groves and the ditches were about every 100 feet and ran for thousands and thousands of feet. All of that is counted as a linear wetland (and the borders) with added up in a large grove accounts for a hell of a lot of acreage. Yet they're still just drainage ditches in a deserted orange grove.
 
2012-05-28 10:16:23 AM  
Confabulat

KiplingKat872: Confabulat: cirby: Sounds like they're following the more widespread "rule" by the EPA that "wetlands don't have to be wet, they just have to be wet occasionally, or near something that's wet, or be in sight of a wetland if you're in a plane."

I worked as an environmental scientist for an engineering firm several years ago here in Florida, that was often contracted out to "delineate" wetlands like this. You would be amazed at how many pleasant grassy lawns next to sidewalks next to roads suddenly became "wetlands." If you can find a couple of grassy little flowers there that also grow in damp soil, GOOD ENOUGH!

/don't do that anymore
//drove me to drink even more

So basically this business owner was trying to get this money making pine tree plantation qualified as a wetland to get credit for perserving wetlands, which he would then sell that credit to a developer who would build over real wetlands, but because they had the credit they could claim to be preserving them?

And the pine tree plantation is obviously not a wetland, so it wasn't exchanging apples for apples, but wax fruit for apples.

Pretty much I'm assuming without knowing the details. Remember, a 10-square-mile pine tree plantation probably has irrigation/drainage ditches cut across their length and width at regular intervals. I used to do it in old orange groves and the ditches were about every 100 feet and ran for thousands and thousands of feet. All of that is counted as a linear wetland (and the borders) with added up in a large grove accounts for a hell of a lot of acreage. Yet they're still just drainage ditches in a deserted orange grove.


You probably shouldn't assume then.
 
2012-05-28 10:16:30 AM  

X-boxershorts: So, 3 Florida DEP wetlands specialists have "tussled" with Highlands Ranch and all 3 have lost their jobs with the Florida DEP.

Also, did anyone else note that the money behind Highlands Ranch was coming from..."The Carlyle Group".

James Baker and the Bush Family, John Major. Connections, indeed.


Yeah, I also noted that Highlands Ranch's attorney literally wrote the rules on how the credits are calculated. This is beyond ridiculous.
 
2012-05-28 10:18:36 AM  

karnal: You probably shouldn't assume then.


Well how about I say I have experience in this field, and from that experience, that is what I expect has occurred.

Does this make it better for you? Or do you just want to sound smart while contributing nothing?
 
2012-05-28 10:22:28 AM  
Ha I get it! "ASSUME" means you make an "ASS" out of "U" and "ME!"

OMG THAT'S FUNNY!

/my sixth-grade science teacher sure thought so
 
2012-05-28 10:23:52 AM  

KiplingKat872: So basically this business owner was trying to get this money making pine tree plantation qualified as a wetland to get credit for perserving wetlands, which he would then sell that credit to a developer who would build over real wetlands, but because they had the credit they could claim to be preserving them?


Yes. Like that. To a developer, protecting a wetland is worth nothing, but getting that designation that YOUR land is a wetland is worth a lot, even if it's not really a wetland. Brilliant!

And just because the definition of "wetlands" is murky doesn't mean it's complete crap. Let's say I have a lovely lake in the woods somewhere, pristine and undeveloped. I decide to make some money and have some condos built. I "protect" my lake by saying that you can't built anything on or over the lake, but anything up to the water is OK. Then I build condos wall-to-wall all around the lake, not putting too many restrictions on them, so they dump their sewage into the lake, and park on the beach, and their dogs and cats kill all the native species. Technically, the LAKE is still protected, even though it is probably completely destroyed.

So that's why a "wetland" might not only be a wetland, but a lot of land surrounding it.
 
2012-05-28 10:28:54 AM  
Confabulat

Ha I get it! "ASSUME" means you make an "ASS" out of "U" and "ME!"

OMG THAT'S FUNNY!

/my sixth-grade science teacher sure thought so



Hmmm - yeah...you probably shouldn't even talk anymore.
 
2012-05-28 10:36:43 AM  
The Corps of Engineers defines wetlands with three criteria.

-Soil conditions must be of a certain category
-Plants that grow in a wetland must be present
-The soil should be wet a given number of days in a year (I think it's two consecutive weeks)

Just because a piece of land is flooded doesn't make it a wetland if the other two conditions aren't met; all three have to be present before it can be called a wetland, and there are different quality levels of wetlands as well. A drainage ditch in a pine forest may be a 'marginal' wetland, while a swamp full of cypress trees may be a "prime" wetland. A grade is assigned to every wetland between 1 and 100, the better the wetland the higher the score.

Here in NC, the wetland bank is managed by the state, not a for-profit company like in TFA. The Corps and DWQ (Division of Water Quality) make the call on what's a wetland and what isn't, how good it is and what compensation from the bank would be required to mitigate for damaging it. Mitigation may be on a 1 for 1 basis (one acre from the bank in return for 1 acre disturbed), but often it's much higher; a 2 or even 4:1 ratio isn't unusual.

It sounds like what I'd expect from a heavily GOP-run state wrt environmental regulations. Gut them in the meaningful areas, privatize the process, and then punish the experts responsible for making the calls until they start rubber-stamping the permits.
 
2012-05-28 10:37:31 AM  
Wetlands has always been a moronic issue in Florida. The state has been a bit inconsistent in the past on what they declare wetlands. "Oh, there's a mosquito breeding in that puddle? Wetland!"
 
2012-05-28 10:38:06 AM  

cirby: The problem, according to a May 9 memo from Department of Environmental Protection wetlands expert Connie Bersok, is that the owners want the DEP to give them lots of wetland credits for land that isn't wet.

Sounds like they're following the more widespread "rule" by the EPA that "wetlands don't have to be wet, they just have to be wet occasionally, or near something that's wet, or be in sight of a wetland if you're in a plane."

There have been more than enough cases where someone wanted to build on ground that was several feet above the "wetlands" level, was dry for 90% of the year, and was only "wet" when it rained a lot. They used limit the definition to things like "swamp" or "bog," but once they started calling them "wetlands," the definitions got a lot more vague, and actual water doesn't seem to be that critical for the definition any more...


Assuming the drought ends, a lot of places that haven't been wet for years will be wet again

/farkin nature, how does it work?
//there's a tropical storm outside now, you can't get a boat into the lake from the boat ramp
 
2012-05-28 10:49:54 AM  

karnal: Hmmm - yeah...you probably shouldn't even talk anymore.


hmm, yeah, you're contributing a lot to the discussion I see. So what is your viewpoint of drainage ditches being counted as wetlands? To be fair, they can sometimes contain snails that endangered snail kites feed on, and gopher tortoises sometimes burrow in the sides of their deep ditches.

Please tell me your viewpoint on this matter, rather than whining that I'm saying something.
 
2012-05-28 10:51:44 AM  
ghare:
Assuming the drought ends, a lot of places that haven't been wet for years will be wet again

What drought?

I was talking about normal places near wetlands where the ground is well above the swamp. Not wetlands at all.

You did prove my point, though - by trying to redefine something that's not a wetland by any reasonable definition into something that could be a wetland if an imagined event comes to pass - and if you ignore all of the previous definitions of what a "wetland" is.

A wetland, by the way, is not "an area that gets rained on from time to time," as some people are trying to redefine it. One of the prime definitions has been that the area must be soaked or flooded for a good portion of the year. For example, a piece of ground that acts as a water runoff channel during an occasional heavy rainstorm (but drains completely when the rain is over) is not a wetland. An area that becomes a swamp for months at a time due to seasonal rains is.

The EPA has been trying to expand their definition of "wetland" to include a lot of areas that were never wetlands, under any definition, and they're finally getting called on it.
 
2012-05-28 10:55:22 AM  

Bendal: The Corps of Engineers defines wetlands with three criteria.

-Soil conditions must be of a certain category
-Plants that grow in a wetland must be present
-The soil should be wet a given number of days in a year (I think it's two consecutive weeks)

Just because a piece of land is flooded doesn't make it a wetland if the other two conditions aren't met; all three have to be present before it can be called a wetland, and there are different quality levels of wetlands as well. A drainage ditch in a pine forest may be a 'marginal' wetland, while a swamp full of cypress trees may be a "prime" wetland. A grade is assigned to every wetland between 1 and 100, the better the wetland the higher the score.

Here in NC, the wetland bank is managed by the state, not a for-profit company like in TFA. The Corps and DWQ (Division of Water Quality) make the call on what's a wetland and what isn't, how good it is and what compensation from the bank would be required to mitigate for damaging it. Mitigation may be on a 1 for 1 basis (one acre from the bank in return for 1 acre disturbed), but often it's much higher; a 2 or even 4:1 ratio isn't unusual.

It sounds like what I'd expect from a heavily GOP-run state wrt environmental regulations. Gut them in the meaningful areas, privatize the process, and then punish the experts responsible for making the calls until they start rubber-stamping the permits.


I did wetland delineation for a month in NC, (Camp Lejeune, OMG we'd find live grenades out there) and it's an entirely different system that is used in Florida, mostly for practical purposes. Florida wetlands are near and below sea level all the time, so you use vegetation typically as a way to delineate them; they are decided mostly by the percentage and coverage of species coverage that are known to grow in wet environments.

In NC, you have to dig. Take samples from the soil profile and figure out things from there. They are WAY harder to figure out up there and in my opinion much more ambigious because you have to dig 100 holes to see if they're right.
 
2012-05-28 11:09:54 AM  
Confabulat

karnal: Hmmm - yeah...you probably shouldn't even talk anymore.

hmm, yeah, you're contributing a lot to the discussion I see. So what is your viewpoint of drainage ditches being counted as wetlands? To be fair, they can sometimes contain snails that endangered snail kites feed on, and gopher tortoises sometimes burrow in the sides of their deep ditches.

Please tell me your viewpoint on this matter, rather than whining that I'm saying something.


If the drainage ditch is not necessary for agricultural production then it should be subjected to wetland regulations.
 
2012-05-28 11:15:24 AM  

apoptotic: But then the DEP's Littlejohn - the son of Florida Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Chuck Littlejohn, who has negotiated with the DEP on wetland issues - issued a memo ordering a change in the way credits were calculated. The first draft, Littlejohn said, was written for him by Eric T. Olsen, the attorney for Highlands Ranch, "who shared a list of concerns with me early on."

Holy fark.


And this...



After being told by Deputy Secretary Jeff Littlejohn to ignore the rules she had followed on other permits, Bersok wrote, "I hereby state my objection to the intended agency action and refusal to recommend this permit for issuance."
(...)
In reviewing this new application, Littlejohn said he was hearing "radically different opinions" from Bersok, DEP's top wetlands expert, and from Highland Ranch's expert, Mike Dennis, president of Breedlove, Dennis & Associates.

"I don't speak wetlands ecologist," said Littlejohn, who was a consulting engineer before joining the DEP a year ago. While Bersok has a lot of experience, he said, "I've known Mike for a long time." And when he thought about what Dennis told him, "it made sense."



Jeff Littlejohn is the farking Deputy Secretary of FLORIDA's Department of Environmental Protection and he "doesn't speak wetland ecologist". Why the fark do you employ them then?

OK, let's see here...

1) Wetland expert refuses to bend rules to allow corrupt development agency to scam the state in order to get wetland credits.
2) Deputy Secretary refuses to listen to her since he's known the guy at the development agency for longer, plus he doesn't "speak wetland ecologist" despite him having wetland ecologists on staff FOR EXACTLY THAT REASON.
2) She refuses to knuckle under with pressure from above for her to bend the rules.
3) She gets suspended.
4) Handshakes all around, money flows into lots of pockets.
 
2012-05-28 11:29:09 AM  

DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: Jeff Littlejohn is the farking Deputy Secretary of FLORIDA's Department of Environmental Protection and he "doesn't speak wetland ecologist". Why the fark do you employ them then?


My guess would be because his daddy's a Chamber of Commerce lobbyist.
 
2012-05-28 11:30:26 AM  

apoptotic: DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: Jeff Littlejohn is the farking Deputy Secretary of FLORIDA's Department of Environmental Protection and he "doesn't speak wetland ecologist". Why the fark do you employ them then?

My guess would be because his daddy's a Chamber of Commerce lobbyist.


Err, I read that as why employ him.
 
2012-05-28 11:35:29 AM  

apoptotic: apoptotic: DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: Jeff Littlejohn is the farking Deputy Secretary of FLORIDA's Department of Environmental Protection and he "doesn't speak wetland ecologist". Why the fark do you employ them then?

My guess would be because his daddy's a Chamber of Commerce lobbyist.

Err, I read that as why employ him.


The reason for employing ecologists is so that there's someone to blame if things go tits up.
 
2012-05-28 11:51:36 AM  

DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: OK, let's see here...

1) Wetland expert refuses to bend rules to allow corrupt development agency to scam the state in order to get wetland credits.
2) Deputy Secretary refuses to listen to her since he's known the guy at the development agency for longer, plus he doesn't "speak wetland ecologist" despite him having wetland ecologists on staff FOR EXACTLY THAT REASON.
2) She refuses to knuckle under with pressure from above for her to bend the rules.
3) She gets suspended.
4) Handshakes all around, money flows into lots of pockets.


You forgot the part about blaming Obama and Sochulism, but otherwise, ayup.
 
2012-05-28 11:58:38 AM  

cirby: ghare:
Assuming the drought ends, a lot of places that haven't been wet for years will be wet again

What drought?

I was talking about normal places near wetlands where the ground is well above the swamp. Not wetlands at all.

You did prove my point, though - by trying to redefine something that's not a wetland by any reasonable definition into something that could be a wetland if an imagined event comes to pass - and if you ignore all of the previous definitions of what a "wetland" is.

A wetland, by the way, is not "an area that gets rained on from time to time," as some people are trying to redefine it. One of the prime definitions has been that the area must be soaked or flooded for a good portion of the year. For example, a piece of ground that acts as a water runoff channel during an occasional heavy rainstorm (but drains completely when the rain is over) is not a wetland. An area that becomes a swamp for months at a time due to seasonal rains is.

The EPA has been trying to expand their definition of "wetland" to include a lot of areas that were never wetlands, under any definition, and they're finally getting called on it.


Your opinion is based solely on reports from people who really, truly believe that any company should be able to destroy the commons as much as they see fit, and that taxpayers should bear the burden of cleaning those externalities.

It's a very short sighted view, unless you just figure you personally get to benefit, and that you personally will be able to personally own a place not affected by the destruction of the commons.
 
2012-05-28 12:10:50 PM  
Sounds like Wisconsin.

Walker's apparatchik heading the Dept of Natural Resources?? A woman who runs a home building business.

Philosophically, it's now the DNR's job to "serve customers" instead of making sure builders don't ruin shiat.
 
2012-05-28 12:25:49 PM  

cirby: The problem, according to a May 9 memo from Department of Environmental Protection wetlands expert Connie Bersok, is that the owners want the DEP to give them lots of wetland credits for land that isn't wet.

Sounds like they're following the more widespread "rule" by the EPA that "wetlands don't have to be wet, they just have to be wet occasionally, or near something that's wet, or be in sight of a wetland if you're in a plane."

There have been more than enough cases where someone wanted to build on ground that was several feet above the "wetlands" level, was dry for 90% of the year, and was only "wet" when it rained a lot. They used limit the definition to things like "swamp" or "bog," but once they started calling them "wetlands," the definitions got a lot more vague, and actual water doesn't seem to be that critical for the definition any more...


Why, it's almost as if the classification of "wetland" has more to do with ecological function than aesthetic appearance. No, that is just crazy talk!

When I was leaving Florida a ton of developers were in the shiat for building in seasonal marshes and flood planes. Sounds like this official was trying to protect more than the ecosystem, but the potential suckers that would have bought from these developers.
 
2012-05-28 01:07:55 PM  
The first draft, Littlejohn said, was written for him by Eric T. Olsen, the attorney for Highlands Ranch, "who shared a list of concerns with me early on."

Having the attorney for the company you regulate draft the regulations?

Ethics Commission investigation in 3..2..probably never.
 
2012-05-28 01:25:33 PM  
 
2012-05-28 02:04:32 PM  
The whole wetlands shell game was designed to keep average amercians from developing their own land

Lets say you are an average guy who owns a 10 acre tract of land and you wanted to build a normal sized ranch home with a garage, guess what, you have a puddle that parcel and the state just classified it as a wetland and will require 100K in engineering and environment studies, variances and all kinds of wetland permits. So you sell the lot at a 50 percent loss to a realtor who than flips to a big time developer, developer pays the right people and gets approval for 20 McMansions.

The whole environmental game was designed so the wealthy developers can acquire cheap land and grease the right palms to get what they wanted. It was never about the environment. It is a game to prevent the average Joe from getting a hand up on the economic ladder.

Now get back to work to pay your taxes, the EPA needs more of your money to keep you down
 
2012-05-28 02:26:35 PM  

dantheman195: The whole wetlands shell game was designed to keep average amercians from developing their own land

Lets say you are an average guy who owns a 10 acre tract of land and you wanted to build a normal sized ranch home with a garage, guess what, you have a puddle that parcel and the state just classified it as a wetland and will require 100K in engineering and environment studies, variances and all kinds of wetland permits. So you sell the lot at a 50 percent loss to a realtor who than flips to a big time developer, developer pays the right people and gets approval for 20 McMansions.

The whole environmental game was designed so the wealthy developers can acquire cheap land and grease the right palms to get what they wanted. It was never about the environment. It is a game to prevent the average Joe from getting a hand up on the economic ladder.

Now get back to work to pay your taxes, the EPA needs more of your money to keep you down


This is why I always laugh my ass off when developers whine about burdensome environmental regulation. It's not a pro-environment scheme, it's a "use the law to discriminate against things we don't want built here" scheme. The average middle-class environmentalist isn't getting anything out of it.
 
2012-05-28 02:26:45 PM  
iaazathot:
Why, it's almost as if the classification of "wetland" has more to do with ecological function bureaucratic power than aesthetic appearance actual ecological function. No, that is just crazy talk!

FTFY
 
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