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Electricity, potable water, and sewer are essential infrastructure, often only appreciated by the public when those services are absent. We understand that in supplying those services that Floridians and millions of visitors rely upon, Florida utilities must comply with a suite of ever-changing environmental, natural resource, and other regulatory codes while having the means to reinvest in existing infrastructure and maintain resiliency changing climatic conditions. The Vogel Group’s team has a laundry list of successes for Florida electric, water, and wastewater utilities, including bills addressing electric utility infrastructure permitting, hurricane response, and conservation land crossings, septic tank, and sanitary sewer regulation, streamlined transmission line siting, and water quality credit trading.

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Financial Electric and Water, Wastewater Utilities Expert:

Eileen H. Stuart

Principal
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David Childs

Principal
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Case Study

When the State of Florida initiated its effort to assume the 404 wetland permitting program from the Army Corps of Engineers, The Vogel Group’s Florida team served as the regulated community’s principal subject matter experts and legislative strategists. We spearheaded coordination amongst aligned stakeholders to achieve full state assumption of the program.

Impact

Under the Clean Water Act, the Army Corps of Engineers must authorize the discharge of dredged or fill materials into wetlands via a section 404 permit. Time is money, and the Corps’ issuance of a section 404 permit often took several years because, unlike Florida agencies, the Corps was under no meaningful obligation to decide within any timeframe. Commercial and residential developers, mining companies, electric power plants, large landowners, local governments, and other regulated interests experienced significantly delayed capital investment projects due to the Corps permitting process. A multi-year state effort led to Florida becoming the third state in the nation and the first to assume the permitting program from the Corps in over twenty years. Many industry stakeholders threw in the towel when the effort became bogged down. Still, our Florida team members pressed on with state and federal officials and leveraged their technical, environmental expertise and key government relationships to overcome remaining hurdles to achieve a full delegation of the permitting program.