Justia Environmental Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Florida Supreme Court
Citizens of State of Florida v. Brown
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) allowing the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) to recover certain environmental compliance costs from ratepayers pursuant to Fla. Stat. 366.8255, known as the Environmental Cost Recovery Clause, holding that the PSC's findings were supported by competent, substantial evidence.On appeal, the Citizens of the state of Florida, the Office of Public Counsel argued, among other things, that section 366.8255 limits cost recovery to costs incurred in preventing future environmental harm. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because of the nature of the environmental harm at issue in this case, prevention and remediation were inextricably intertwined, and therefore OPC's reading of section 366.8255(1)(c) is rejected; and (2) the PSC did not err when it determined the costs of a consent order and consent agreement were within the scope of a 2009 monitoring plan, for which the PSC had previously approved recovery. View "Citizens of State of Florida v. Brown" on Justia Law
Donovan, et al. v. Okaloosa County, FL, etc., et al.
In this case, the court considered an appeal from a final circuit court judgment validating revenue bonds proposed to be issued by the county to finance a beach restoration project. The court held that appellants erroneously contended that in adopting the Assessment Resolution, the county failed to comply with the requirements of its MSBU Ordinance, and as a result, the circuit court lacked jurisdiction; appellants contention, that the county failed to demonstrate that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would issue the permits at issue for the beach renourishment project and thus the circuit court erred in validating the bonds, was rejected; beach and shore preservation projects confronted a critical threat to the welfare of the people of the state and those special benefits that flow incidentally to certain properties because of the nature of the project did not diminish its predominately public nature; competent, substantial evidence supported the trial court's determination that the county's methodology was fair and reasonable; and regardless of how much sand was added outside the boundaries of the MSBU, the special benefits were nevertheless provided. Accordingly, the court affirmed the circuit court's final judgment of validation of the bonds. View "Donovan, et al. v. Okaloosa County, FL, etc., et al." on Justia Law