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Court Sets Hearing In Everglades Oil Drilling Dispute

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA) - The 1st District Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear arguments Jan. 8 in a dispute about whether the Florida Department of Environmental Protection should allow a Broward County landowner to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades.

The court last week agreed to hold oral arguments in an appeal filed by Kanter Real Estate LLC, according to an online docket.

An administrative law judge recommended in October 2017 that Kanter, a major landowner in western Broward County, should be allowed to drill an exploratory well.

But under administrative law, the recommendation went back to the Department of Environmental Protection for final action.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein late last year issued a final order denying the drilling permit, saying the lands involved are "in the environmentally sensitive Everglades" and that the department had not issued such an exploratory permit in the Everglades since 1967.

Kanter took the dispute to the Tallahassee-based appeals court in December.

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