Florida

 

Welcome to the Florida Field Office of PEER!

We live in a state with a truly wonderful environment that is the envy of most. We know that Florida’s residents and non-residents desire to maintain the beauty and functionality of its environment. But Florida’s fragile environment is weakening under attack, an attack often advanced by the very government that the people elected to defend it. Our challenge is to right the ship to ensure that our treasure is preserved for generations to come.

Sadly, Florida is not served well by many of the federal and state environmental agencies that are obligated to abide by the laws that have been passed by the legislature. Moreover, these same agencies often do not even abide by the administrative regulations that they themselves adopt. It takes strict oversight to ensure that they are held accountable. Florida PEER is dedicated to fostering a necessary climate of oversight by helping the honest employees in those agencies to do their jobs. These employees often find themselves marginalized, even blackballed, if they try to abide by the laws that they are sworn to uphold.

We heard a lot in the last election about a “culture of corruption” in Congress. Well, we see the same such corruption in the environmental agencies tasked with the job of ensuring that our environment is preserved. It is a corruption at the highest levels of decision-making. A corruption that, left unabated, will continue to lead to the destruction of this environment that we all hold dear. It will also lead to a declining economy when tourists ultimately decide that they don’t want to spend their hard-earned dollars on beaches and rivers that are choked with harmful algae and pollutants—beaches and rivers that are also devoid of much of the fish and wildlife that we cherish.

Florida PEER invites you to help us assist the well-meaning, beleaguered employees in these agencies by getting the word out to the public whenever problems are identified. It is only through this oversight that our environment will once again become the envy of all.

Jerry Phillips is a former enforcement attorney with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In that position he was responsible for initiating enforcement actions against wastewater facilities that were in violation of environmental regulations. Jerry was also involved in developing the enforcement aspect of Florida’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program. His most recent work has been with the Clean Water Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that Florida’s environmental laws are enforced, thus protecting its fragile ecosystem. Jerry now serves as the director of Florida PEER.

Jerry Phillips
P.O. Box 14463
Tallahassee, FL 32317
phone: (850) 877-8097 email: flpeer[at]peer.org