FYI Miami: March 22, 2018
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
POWER LINES ACTION: Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed into law a bill dealing with the approval of electric transmission lines, an issue that stemmed from a legal battle between Florida Power & Light and Miami-Dade local governments. The House and Senate had overwhelmingly approved the bill, which was rooted in a 2016 ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in a dispute involving an FPL plan to add two nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point complex in south Miami-Dade. Gov. Scott and the state Cabinet approved the project in 2014. But the appeals court overturned that decision, saying Gov. Scott and the Cabinet erroneously determined they couldn’t require underground transmission lines as a condition of the approval. The law reverts to an approval process that had been in place for decades before the court ruling. Miami Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, who opposed the bill, said the appeals court sided with local governments on issues related to land use and local regulations.
INLAND PORT: The Port of Miami is in the process of developing an inland port shuttle train “that will further enhance container moves as a result of bigger ships and increased volumes,” said Andria Muñiz-Amador, port communications head. In 2017, county commissioners unanimously voted to identify land on which to locate an inland port and study the potential construction, operation and impacts it would have. “The service is currently in its testing stages,” she said.
SOLAR-POWERED TRANSIT: Mayor Carlos Giménez championed renewable energy at the Government Operations Committee meeting last week, saying it is becoming cheaper and more efficient as the price of solar panels and batteries goes down. Mr. Giménez said that advanced battery technology will soon be able to store the day’s energy for night-time use, and the county may be able to power expensive systems like Metrorail with renewable resources. “We could lead the way for individuals to do the same at their houses and generate the private sector to invest in solar and battery tech,” he said. “I predict energy costs will actually go down.”
COMING TOGETHER FOR FIU:Miami-Dade County commissioners on Tuesday applauded the community’s response to the bridge collapse at Florida International University last week. “All departments worked flawlessly and everybody was just there to help,” said Commissioner Joe Martinez, a former police officer, “I am very proud.” Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp said the Fire and Police departments worked “seamlessly without ego or reservations.” Commissioner Dennis Moss said community members on the scene also need to be applauded. “They got out of their vehicles and ran to the bridge to see what they could do to help,” Mr. Moss said. “That shows real humanity and that’s what makes Miami-Dade County what it is.”