Judge Agrees to Appoint Expert to Oversee Everglades Cleanup

Dealing a blow to both Bush administrations (that is, G.W. in the White House and Jeb in Florida), a federal judge agreed late yesterday to appoint an expert to monitor the $8 billion restoration and cleanup of the Everglades. Environmentalists and a Native American tribe had asked for such an appointment, but government agencies and the powerful sugar industry lobby had strenuously objected. Siding with the former, U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno said an environmental lawyer will be appointed in two weeks to ensure “that the Everglades cleanup will proceed in a timely and efficient fashion.” The expert, he added, will monitor the cleanup, review the science, supervise all aspects of the project, and report back to the court. Moreno’s decision upholds the final act of Judge William Hoeveler, who, after overseeing the case for 15 years, was removed earlier this year at the behest of the sugar industry.