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Bill Aiming To Draw Manufacturing Ires Environmentalists

Florida counties would be able to approve manufacturing site permits faster and with less state oversight if a bill in the legislature becomes law. But that sped up approval process is raising environmental concerns.

The bill would let counties opt into developing some of their own manufacturing requirements. This means a manufacturer wanting to build a plant in Florida would get to mill over the options and decide which county is best for business. Brewster Bevis with Associated Industries of Florida says the counties’ competing programs will attract more manufacturing to the state.

“Allowing a county to look at itself and look at its potential for expanding growth of manufacturing or helping its existing manufacturing base I think that’s going to be good because I think it’s going to be critical and key when it comes to expanding growth in that county and increasing potentially their tax revenues.” Bevis said.

Despite the possible economic gains, some groups like Sierra Club of Florida say not enough time is given to properly evaluate environmental concerns before permit approval. But Bevis dismissed these concerns saying no amount of time would be enough for these groups.