Florida Supreme Court Backs FPL to Pass Along Cost

TALLAHASSEE --- The state Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously approved a regulatory decision that allowed Florida Power & Light to pass along costs to customers for an environmental clean-up project in Miami-Dade County.

Justices sided with the Florida Public Service Commission, which in December 2017 approved a controversial FPL proposal stemming from a saltwater plume that moved from a power-plant complex into the Biscayne Aquifer. The commission said FPL could recoup money from customers through part of monthly bills that goes toward a variety of environmental expenses.

The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, appealed to the Supreme Court. It argued that customers should not be required to “bail out” the utility for resolving the saltwater problems.

But the Supreme Court, in an 18-page opinion written by Justice Jorge Labarga, focused on part of state law that allows utilities to recover costs to “protect the environment.” Labarga wrote that can include remedying existing environmental problems, along with preventing future problems.

Photo by: Getty Images

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