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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2005
CONTACT: Cragin Mosteller, (850) 245-2112 

DEP Provides Emergency Relief For Hurricane Rita

--Authorization covers two counties to expedite recovery--

TALLAHASSEE – To protect public health and safety, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Colleen M. Castille yesterday signed an Emergency Final Order in response to Hurricane Rita. The Order provides relief from many of the Department’s regulatory requirements to minimize environmental hazards and accelerate restoration in areas of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties impacted by the storm, which swept across areas of South Florida yesterday.

“This emergency authorization will bring faster relief to the communities of South Florida as they recover from Hurricane Rita,” said DEP Secretary Castille. “By reducing regulatory process and increasing flexibility, affected communities will be able to recover from damages and restore critical services quickly.”

The emergency authorization applies to governments, businesses and property owners in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, allowing immediate repair of certain damaged structures without prior Department notification. The Order will expedite the repair of any damaged drinking water and wastewater facilities, along with cleanup of hurricane-generated debris and the restoration of natural areas such as dune systems, waterways and wetlands.

Field authorizations will be required to replace destroyed structures; alter mangroves; restore uplands, wetlands and submerged lands unless by a local, regional or State government; and for other DEP-authorized activities not specified in the Order.

The amended emergency authorization will expire on November 18, 2005 unless modified or extended by further order. For a copy of the Emergency Final Order, visit http://www.floridadep.org/ .

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Last updated: November 09, 2007

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