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Environmental group's 'shock' as state snubs $320m in federal funding to reduce pollution

Cars travel along the Dolphin Expressway in downtown Miami.
Wilfredo Lee
Cars travel along the Dolphin Expressway in downtown Miami.

The Florida Department of Transportation turned down $320 million dollars in federal funding to reduce carbon emissions, and the decision is facing criticism from environmental groups.

The Federal Carbon Reduction program is a five-year effort aimed at reducing tailpipe emissions.

In a letter sent in early November, Secretary of FDOT Jared Perdue, appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis, declined the funds. He wrote that they refused to support “the politicization of Florida’s roadways.”

Ali DySard, Senior Policy Specialist at Environmental Defense Fund, says she was shocked.

“I mean, we’re missing out on $320 million dollars. This would be homegrown state jobs for contractors and construction workers, transportation of goods and services within to the state where we could be using those to then allocate those resources to these projects, I mean, the list kind of goes on.”

She encourages concerned Floridians to speak to their representatives.

“There’s so much funding and so many opportunities that we’ll be seeing come to this state over the next five years – and, just really making them aware this is our federal tax dollars at work coming back to us – if we don’t accept these funds they will go elsewhere, they will go to other states.”

WMNF reached out to the Florida Department of Transportation and is still awaiting a response.

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Chris Young | WMNF