Score One for the Enviro-Boys: Lake Belt Plan Shot Down Again

A federal appeals court Thursday shot down a case that greatly endangered both Miami-Dade's drinking water and Everglades National Park.

The three-judge panel confirmed last year's decision to side with the Sierra Club and several other groups against the Army Corps of Engineers. In 2002, the Corps issued a ten-year permit to several mining companies to remove limestone from the so-called Lake Belt in West Miami-Dade.

The Lake Belt is 57,000 acres of wetlands that provides 40 percent of the county's drinking water. It also borders Everglades National Park.

But don't get cocky, enviro-boys! According to Brad Sewell, a senior attorney with the National Resources Defense Council who also worked on the case, the Corps is poised to issue new permits for the area. "I hope that the Obama administration considers yesterday's court

decision as sufficient reason to put the brakes on this sweeping mining

proposal," Sewell says.

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse