In response to the filing and advancement of CRC Proposal 23, the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has retained top environmental and regulatory attorneys with the Gunster law firm to stop the dangerously vague amendment. The proposed amendment would provide any person, not just Floridians, the ability to litigate “against any party, public or private” if they feel their right to a “clean and healthful” environment is threatened.
The language is extremely vague and would be open to a wide interpretation from Florida’s legal system, creating mass uncertainty and threatening to upend the work of manufacturers, small businesses, governments and many others across the state. Challenges could be brought against any government entity, business or private citizen, even if they are in full compliance with existing laws or the terms and conditions of existing, valid permits. This amendment circumvents existing avenues to address concerns over air and water quality and instead encourages frivolous lawsuits, which would inevitably drive up business costs and threaten future economic development and expansion in Florida.
“CRC Proposal 23 would no doubt cause more harm than good to our state. This vague amendment would effectively replace the comprehensive and well thought out regulatory system we have in place today with a piecemeal approach that is decided on a case-by-case basis by the courts,” said AIF President and CEO Tom Feeney. “Decades of Florida statute already exists to protect our citizens and their right to clean air and water. This amendment would do nothing more than create harmful uncertainty and open thousands of Florida businesses and private citizens up to endless litigation.”
The legal team assisting AIF’s effort to stop CRC Proposal 23 includes:
- Kenneth B. Bell, Former Justice, Florida Supreme Court; Former Circuit Judge, First Judicial Circuit
- Lila A. Jaber, Former Chair, Florida Public Service Commission
- Simone Marstiller, Former Judge, First District Court of Appeal; Former Secretary, Department of Business and Professional Regulation
- Gregory M. Munson, Former General Counsel, Former Deputy Secretary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
A provision relating to the protection of natural resources and scenic beauty is already included within the current Florida Constitution in Article II, Section 7(a). That section was heavily debated and carefully thought out prior to passage. It has served the state for three decades of evolving environmental regulation, protection and restoration and is sufficient for Florida’s future.