Shady Deals in the Sunshine State?
The Florida chapter of the Sierra Club is calling for the resignation of David Struhs, secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, even as Struhs is reportedly being considered as a possible replacement for Christie Whitman, who last month stepped down as administrator of the U.S. EPA. The Sierra Club accuses Struhs of having given false testimony before the state legislature when he said federal agencies, including the EPA, supported a bill to indefinitely extend a 2006 deadline for cleaning up the Everglades. The bill was subsequently passed and signed by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), much to the consternation of environmentalists. The Sierra Club also claims that Struhs has been involved in “shady deals,” including one in which the DEP reversed a decision in order to allow construction of a cement plant near the Ichetucknee River; the company that built the plant later gave money to the state Republican party. DEP spokesperson Deena Wells dismissed the Sierra Club campaign as a personal attack on Struhs and said the department has “made monumental progress under his leadership.”