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Group Vows to Fight Everglades Oil Drilling

An egret rests in a marsh in the Everglades. A Florida real estate company has filed for a permit to build an exploratory oil rig on land it owns near Miramar. Credit: Floridastock/iStockphoto.com.
An egret rests in a marsh in the Everglades. A Florida real estate company has filed for a permit to build an exploratory oil rig on land it owns near Miramar. Credit: Floridastock/iStockphoto.com.
July 15, 2015

Tallahassee, FL - Activists are blasting the idea of drilling for oil in the Everglades - after a longtime Florida firm, Kanter Real Estate, filed for a permit to allow oil exploration on land it owns near Miramar. Comments from Matthew Schwartz, executive director of the South Florida Wildlands Association. Image available: photo of great white egret in the Everglades.

An environmental group is vowing to fight a potential oil-drilling site proposed for the Everglades. This week, Kanter Real Estate filed for a permit with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to pave a five-acre parcel of land the company owns, and drill for 60 to 80 days to explore for oil in marshes outside of Miramar. Matthew Schwartz with the South Florida Wildlands Association says the plan has the potential not only for harm to the environment, but to the local water system.

"Clearly there is risk involved with an oil well in the middle of the Everglades punching through the water supply for millions of people."

The Kanter family, which has owned the land for decades, also said it might want to dig for limestone on the 20-thousand-acre property. The family-owned company has pledged to conduct its operations in an environmentally safe manner.

Kanter is likely to need additional permits from the South Florida Water Management District and the Army Corps of Engineers. Schwartz says his group will be there to fight it, all the way down the line.

"There is an obligation to make sure that the environmental impacts are acceptable, and I think the bar is going to be too high. And we're going to make that point to all of the agencies that are doing the permitting."

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has 30 days to determine if the application is complete or ask for additional information.

An environmental group is vowing to fight a potential oil-drilling site proposed for the Everglades. Suzanne Potter has the story.

I'm Suzanne Potter

Schwartz is at 954-634-7173.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - FL