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Permitting bills moving despite environmental opposition

Rep. Jimmy Patronis, left, listens as Mary Jean Yon of Audubon Florida explains her group's opposition to HB 999, a wide-ranging permitting bill. Photo by Bruce Ritchie.

A pair of bills that critics say would restrict the ability of water districts to reduce pumping during droughts are moving through the House and Senate.

SB 1684 and HB 999 provide a wide variety of industry fixes on permitting issues, supporters say. The bills, though, face opposition from environmental groups who say a break is needed after permitting bills the past two years.

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