Army Corps Finds Oil Search In Big Cypress Damaged Wetlands

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    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found a Texas company damaged wetlands in Big Cypress National Preserve during its search for oil. In a letter to Burnett Oil last week, Corps officials said in January they visited a 110-square-mile area in the preserve where the company was using heavy, 33-ton thumper trucks equipped with sonic equipment to look for oil. When they examined the area, they found wetlands had been cleared and the land elevation altered, damaging water quality in violation of the Clean Water Act. Because of the damage, any future survey work will now require a permit, the Corps said. The earlier work did not require such a permit. “It took us five years of advocacy to get here,” Allison Kelly, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an email. Kelly said Burnett will also have to obtain new exploration permits from the state of Florida because its old one had expired. Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he opposes oil exploration in the state. In

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