DOAH postpones FISH v. DEP case

“Because of imminent hurricane conditions,” an administrative law judge canceled a Sept. 12-14 proceeding for the challenge by local environmentalists to a state mitigation bank at Aqua by the Bay.

D. R. Alexander, of Florida’s Division of Administrative Hearings, ordered Sept. 7 the hearing’s postponement and for parties to suggest dates in November and December.

Suncoast Waterkeeper Inc., a local environmental groups, former Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash and the Cortez-based Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage appealed the DEP’s “intent to issue” the mitigation bank permit in January.

The permit would give the developers the ability to sell 18.01 credits to maintain wetlands near the proposed mixed-use Aqua development, including 7 credits for sea grass buoys.

The bank also must be approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The federal regulator has twice rejected the developers bank proposal.

The proposed 260-acre mitigation is part of a 529-acre mixed-use development up for approval at 9 a.m. Sept. 29 at a continuation hearing before the Board of County Commissioners of Manatee County in the commission chambers, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

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