DEP's Jeff Littlejohn Hammered Once Again By PEER | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


DEP's Jeff Littlejohn Hammered Once Again By PEER

When Jeff Littlejohn walked into the number-two post at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in March 2011, there was no way he could have foreseen the PR crapfest that was coming. And no group has been as relentless in exposing his industry-first approach to environmental protection and fueling the crapfest as Public Employes For Environmental Responsibility.

See also:
- DEP Brass Jeff Littlejohn's Parents Own Lobbying Firm With Questionable Clientele
-Herschel Vinyard Says He Didn't Lie On His Resume; PEER Not Buying It

This week, PEER put out a beautifully scathing review of a recent op-ed written by Littlejohn and said DEP was unable to provide necessary documentation to prove the veracity of Littlejohn's article.

In the opinion piece, which was published in several places, Littlejohn wrote:

Compliance rates across the department's regulatory programs are generally 90 percent or higher... Statewide, we've seen the rate for significant noncompliance in hazardous waste facilities drop from almost 10 percent in 2009 to about 2 percent so far this year. This improvement has been accomplished even as total penalty amounts in that program have decreased significantly... And, as compliance goes up, overall penalty collections may, in fact, go down. DEP is not in the business of collecting money.
When PEER asked for the documentation to back these claims, however, the agency forked over a single spread sheet that was allegedly created after Littlejohn wrote and published the article.

Best of all is that the opinion piece was in response to a PEER analysis that tore apart the department for failing to enforce its own rules and "causing an implosion in agency anti-pollution enforcement."

PEER also attacked DEP for cutting jobs and said the agency "has begun to shed up to one-fifth of its already shrinking workforce."

"This is fantasy masquerading as public policy,"Jerry Phillips, director of Florida PEER, said in a statement. "It's like laying off traffic cops because speeders promise to observe posted limits rather than pay a ticket."

This year alone, PEER has helped spark a federal investigation into the employment history of DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard and filed a similar complaint against Littlejohn.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Sweeney

Latest Stories