Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Department of Envtl. Regulation v. Goldring

ELR Citation: 16 ELR 20394
Nos. No. 65769, 477 So. 2d 532/(Fla., 08/29/1985) reh'g denied Nov. 13, 1985

The court holds that the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) properly extended its landward jurisdiction over dredge and fill activities to areas with designated aquatic plant species where there is a one-way flow of freshwater over the property and into state waters. Neither the relevant section of the Florida statutes nor the DER regulations implementing it require limiting landward jurisdiction to high tide or floodplain lines, limits the court below erroneously applied in ruling that DER could not require a permit for appellee's proposed limestone mine. Given the broad remedial purposes of the statute, the lower court should have deferred to DER's interpretation of its regulations as applying to appellee's property over which fresh water flows into the state waters of Florida Bay. The court notes its ruling does not extend DER's jursdiction to isolated areas that infrequently exchange water with state water or that provide only insignificant benefits to water quality. Indeed, appellee's property provides significant benefits to water quality in the Florida Bay by filtering water travelling there from the Everglades. The court also upholds DER's rejection of a permit; the agency's finding that the proposed mining activity may well violate specific conductance standards for saltwater intrusion warranted denial of the permit.

Counsel for Petitioner
E. Gary Early, Ass't General Counsel
2600 Blair Stone Rd., Twin Towers Office Bldg., Tallahassee FL 32301
(904) 488-4805

Counsel for Respondent
John G. Fletcher
Suite 222, 7600 Red Rd., Miami FL 33143
(305) 665-7521

Counsel for Amicus Curiae
Robert A. Ginsburg, County Attorney; Robert A. Duvall, Ass't County Attorney
73 W. Flagler St., Miami FL 33130
(305) 579-5151

BOYD, C.J., and OVERTON and EHRLICH, JJ., concur.

ADKINS, ALDERMAN, and SHAW, JJ., dissent.