In this episode, Brett talks with well-known environmental attorney and former DEP general counsel, Fred Aschauer. They discuss Florida’s U.S. Supreme Court fight to save the Apalachicola River and Bay; growing up between Florida and New York; and how joining a heavy metal band led to a music scholarship and a haircut.
Speaker 1 00:00:08 Welcome to Water for Fighting, where I discussed the past, present, and future of water in Florida with the people who make it happen. I’m your host, Brett Ciphers. I’ve spent over 20 years working with and getting to know the people who’ve made water, their life’s work, and I created this podcast to allow you, the listener, to get to know them as well. Today’s my pleasure to introduce former general counsel at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and current environmental law attorney at the Lewis Longman and Walker law firm, Fred Ash Ier. Fred grew up in Long Island, New York, and Port Charlotte here in Florida where he graduated high school. He went to Edison Community College on a music scholarship. More on that later. Fred’s a veteran of the US Army and would eventually graduate with honors from the Florida State University College of Law. Let’s join that conversation in progress. You’re, you’re a bonafide, uh, Florida boy now you’ve got, for the record, a Florida State Seminoles Correct. Shirt on, um, go Noles, but you have roots in New York and also Charlotte County down south. Um, how long have you been in Tallahassee at this point?
Speaker 2 00:01:10 Oh, um, since 1997. Okay. So I, I, my wife and I have lived in Tallahassee longer than I lived anywhere else. We came here after the army to, to, for me to go to Florida State, went to Florida State, um, finished my undergrad. I had two year degree when I got here from, um, Edison Community College, now Edison State College. Um, came up here, studied business, and then went to law school, and then we just stayed. Man, it’s, it’s a great place to raise children. I is. Uh, and when we, when I graduated law school, we had our, our first son, uh, first son, first child, and, um, he was like three years old and it just, I got an offer from that firm and it just made sense.
Speaker 1 00:01:50 And you have two grown boys, right?
Speaker 2 00:01:52 I do. I
Speaker 1 00:01:53 Do. Um, and so they were, so you were here when, when you got both of them, correct?
Speaker 2 00:01:59 Well, um, so, you know, my family’s uni, it’s unique. So my oldest is actually adopted, and we adopted him when he was almost 10. That’s, so Frederick was Frederick’s two years younger. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when we adopted Fred Lee, yes. Frederick, Fred Lee, a lot of Fred’s. Yep. Frederick. Yes. He did not make fun of George Foreman in my house, <laugh>. Um, so when we adopted Fred Lee, he was almost 10. He was nine, Frederick was seven. Mm-hmm. Um, he was, Fred Lee lived in Tampa at the time, so, okay. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:02:28 Tell me about growing up you, New York, Charlotte County. It’s a, it’s an old story. Uh, folks, you know, coming from somewhere else, you know, living here, but you kind of went a little bit of a back and
Speaker 2 00:02:39 Forth to I did, I did. So, um, yeah, we moved to Charlotte County when I was seven. I was born on Long Island. Uh, I don’t, I honestly don’t remember much of that. I remember, you know, like living in an apartment, um, doing some fishing with my stepdad on Sundays.
Speaker 1 00:02:56 Um, you need those fish. Did you?
Speaker 2 00:02:58 I don’t know, know. I don’t <laugh> I don’t remember if we did <laugh>. Exactly. Um, so we moved to Charlotte County when I was seven. Um, and I lived there till I was 13. Then I, um, a couple years, a couple years before that, had met my biological father for the first time. So after sort of visiting with him a couple times back forth, uh, on a, what was at the time to be just a summer vacation with my biological father, I went up to New York and about halfway through called my mom and said, Hey, I’d live up to stay here.
Speaker 1 00:03:35 Is that, I mean, not, I mean, the obvious awkwardness of having that conversation with your mom, but 13 years old is a rough age to move from one place to another, especially across the country.
Speaker 2 00:03:49 So not really. Um, I mean, not, I, I, my mother meant the world to me, mother. My mother’s past my mother meant the world to me, but I, I was a 13 year old boy mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, and you know, me, I’m a I’m, I can be a bit crazy <laugh> and, uh, you know, sort of rambunctious. And that’s my dad. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and that’s my dad. Um, and so I saw that, you know, and I saw that personality, and I was 13 year old boy. My mom had divorced my stepdad for what, at that point had been a few years. And so I was, um, I, I guess I was sort of looking for, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative> that in my life. And, um, I lived with my dad until I was 16, and then he decided to move to Florida too. <laugh>. Oh, there you go. So, so we, um, and that, that move was, um, it was, it was interesting.
Speaker 2 00:04:42 My dad did not have a lot, and so we packed on everything that we had, he and I on a Greyhound, and we moved to Florida on a Greyhound, and I think it took us like four days to get to Charlotte County. Oh my goodness. From, from the Oh, yeah. Yeah. And we, we, we spent, we overnighted in like the Washington DC Greyhound, and I remember that. And it’s, it was <laugh> that was not a safe place. But my dad, um, my dad and I, I, I think everyone feels this way about their dad. My dad was a Marine, he was, you know, black belt and like TaeKwonDo, wherever, and I just viewed him as a certified badass. And so I did, I I, I recognized it as an unsafe place, but I did not feel unsafe. Sure, sure. You know, so,
Speaker 1 00:05:22 Um, you mentioned fishing and I ma I was making fun of the river there. It was, we’re a podcast about water here and the environment. So, and you mentioned fishing. Was that something that you grew up doing with your
Speaker 2 00:05:34 Dad? It, no, actually only with my stepdad. Okay. Um, and so after he, um, and my mom divorced, I really didn’t fist much after that. And, and now I don’t have the patience for it.
Speaker 1 00:05:45 <laugh>, I hear you. I hear you. Um, I’m gonna read some names to you and you tell me what they have in common. Ronnie James dio, let me kill Mr. Cliff Burton John at Whistle Fred Ash Hour.
Speaker 2 00:06:00 So, um, I actually only recognize a couple of them as Bass <laugh>. Uh, I guess I did not know that I, I’m not a big deal fan, I guess I didn’t know that Ronnie James, the played bass in the band.
Speaker 1 00:06:14 Um, maybe he wasn’t good at it. I don’t
Speaker 2 00:06:16 Know. I’m assuming he does by the list. Um, so he definitely
Speaker 1 00:06:20 Did <laugh>. He could,
Speaker 2 00:06:23 I dunno. Um, but yeah, they’re, they’re all, uh, myself included. Uh, well, I think they all, they’re all bass players, and a couple of them were heavy metal bass players, myself included.
Speaker 1 00:06:33 Yeah. I mean, and some could be, you know, debatable, whether or not, you know, the who is, you know, I don’t think anybody would
Speaker 2 00:06:39 Call it. Yeah, yeah. That’s what, yeah, I know. That’s why I qualified. But, but Metallica for sure, and that’s of, of the list of the list, he’s definitely, he was more of an idol.
Speaker 1 00:06:47 So Motorheads not,
Speaker 2 00:06:48 Not, no, no, no. I mean, it’s like Le me’s cool, but I just didn’t take him.
Speaker 1 00:06:55 I hear you. Okay, fair enough. Um, I mean, I, I imagine the record sales speak for themselves between Metallica and Motorhead, so Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:07:04 I, I’d say so. Close
Speaker 1 00:07:05 That too. Um, but I really ask that because trying to follow your, your biography here, um, you know, across time. And so you actually go to school originally on a music scholarship, is that right? At, at Edison?
Speaker 2 00:07:19 I did. At, at, that was my, so my first two years were at Edison Community College. Um, I, I bought a guitar when I was 17 or 18 years old. And, um, I was, you know, plucking out the strings in my bedroom and, and not doing very well at that. I was, I definitely was not going to teach myself how to play. Wow. Um, and at the time, I was hanging out with some folks who were in a band. They were in a band, uh, and they, like many bands in Charlotte County, they rented a storage unit and, you know, put all the eggshells, the egg cartons on the walls. And, um, and I would go hang out with them outside their storage unit. We’d listen to them play, just hang out and, uh, probably drink beer, although I don’t think I was of age at the time, but mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. So
Speaker 1 00:08:08 Unfortunate.
Speaker 2 00:08:09 Yeah. So bass players, bass players are not easy to find. And so the band was actually without a bass player. And they asked me a, after finding out that I had a guitar, and I was starting to learn that they offered to sell me a bass and speaker so I could practice with them under a condition, though. They, and it was the, and the condition actually led to me leaving the band. So they made their bed and they slept in it as well, <laugh>. So they, they re they were like, look, you need to take lessons. We, you have to get good, or at least, you know, <laugh> be able to keep time. And, and, but you need to do that quickly, so you need to take lessons. Um, and so I did, and I started taking lessons from this guy named Jay Hek, uh, on Pine Island.
Speaker 2 00:08:56 So I would drive from Charlotte County down, go to Pine Island, take lessons with him there, and he was a, um, he was professional musician, uh, not like, you know, like a recording artist mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But, uh, he made his living playing music on the weekends in the local music scene and giving lessons. Um, and he played jazz music, and he started introducing me to, um, jazz and classical music. Um, and I really took an interest in it. And there’s a jazz bass named John Patagucci, who is, I mean, when I heard him, I was completely blown away by what he could do with a bass. And, um, so he started introducing me to Jazz and Classical, and I started to get interested in that. And then after only about six months, he said, Hey, why don’t you go, the, the local community college has a pretty good music program, and they offer scholarships. And I was like, okay. Um, you know, I was, I was young than Tom. I didn’t know about it. Right. So I agreed, and I went down and I tried out, and again, remember basis are hard to find right?
Speaker 1 00:10:06 <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:10:07 So I go down and, um, I, I do my little audition, and they gave me a scholarship. And so I started playing there, and within six months, I started actually making money, and I left that, I left the band because I wanted to pursue other music
Speaker 1 00:10:21 Interests. And that’s the standup base at that point. Is that
Speaker 2 00:10:24 Right? Right, right, right. Yeah. Wow. And if I ever picked it back up again, that’s what I would do. I would get a standup base.
Speaker 1 00:10:29 Yeah. I mean, that’s, it is pretty cool. So obviously, uh, classically trained, uh, musician goes from music scholarship, uh, to the United States Army. Just how much time did it take them to cut all that hair of yours from your heavy metal days? Or did you, or did you still have your heavy metal hair at this point?
Speaker 2 00:10:48 Um, no, I did not. So, um, that’s at some point I cut it off. I, I did have long hair. I had, um, I don’t know. So a a basis you left off was Jason Nutted, who replaced Cliff mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. And, uh, at the time, Jason had the sides of his head shaved, uh, basically a Mohawk. Right. The sides of his head, shaved top and, and, and, uh, back long. And I, I had that haircut, um, when I was playing in the band within my first year at Edison, I, I cut my hair and got a, you know, a quote unquote normal haircut. So whether it would’ve been long or short though, you know, I mean, you, you were, you were in process too. It doesn’t take that long to cut your
Speaker 1 00:11:30 Hair. It does not. No. Yeah. They don’t, um, they don’t, uh, they don’t waste a lot of time. So you meet your lovely wife mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, while you’re in the Army in Germany, correct? Correct. And, and so you bring that plus the Army College Fund, I assume, and the GI Bill, uh, back home with you, you said something about studying bus. I know you went to law school. Did you start studying business at first?
Speaker 2 00:11:53 I did. I did. I’m a pretty practical guy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think, you know, that we’ve been friends for a while. Um, and so at some point in the Army, my, my wife will tell you, she convinced me to go to law school, and that may very well be true, like in, you know, reconstructing it. I probably take more credit than I deserve. But, um, my wife, uh, was a big proponent of me going to law school, um, because I’m smart and I like to argue, like that’s <laugh> a very common
Speaker 1 00:12:23 Theme. So Yeah. If you,
Speaker 2 00:12:25 Yes. Um, and so I knew, I mean, when I went to undergrad, I knew I wanted to go to law school. So undergrad, it was never, ever about a, an undergraduate degree. I, I really could not have cared what undergraduate degree Okay. That I studied. However, I’m practical. And I said, if the law, if I don’t get in or if law doesn’t work out, I want a degree that I think is useful. So I studied finance.
Speaker 1 00:12:46 That’s very practical. I assumed you lost a bet when you said you wanted to go to law school after, but, uh, but no, I suppose a lot of folks reach a point when they’re pretty young and they’re teenagers and say, I wanna be, I want to go be an attorney. But yours was as you’re in undergrad, is that what you’re
Speaker 2 00:13:05 Saying? No, it was when I was in the Army when
Speaker 1 00:13:07 The arm,
Speaker 2 00:13:07 Oh, sorry. Yeah, yeah. When I was in the Army. So the, the undergraduate degree was a means to an end. Okay. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:13:12 When you and I met you were the general counsel at D E P and you were running the state’s lawsuit for the department, correct. For against Georgia and the US Supreme Corps, I believe it’s original action 142, if I remember correctly. Uh, I have trouble to this day thinking about this case objectively, but I wanted to have you in, I wanted you to talk a little bit about that, but, um, but I’d like, are you willing to discuss Florida’s basis for the case? A little bit of kind of level setting for folks that don’t know much about it?
Speaker 2 00:13:45 Yeah, absolutely. I, I’m with you. Uh, as far as objectivity goes, so full disclaimer, I do not see the case objectively <laugh>. Right? Like, as a lawyer, you’re supposed to see both sides, right. But I was ultimately the state of Florida, you know, through the governor’s office, through, uh, sec, the Secretary John Stevenson at the time is really sort of behind the, the, the, the policy, the why for the case, right? I’m, as the general counsel sort of making sure the train stay on time, if you will, making sure the state’s getting what it, what it pays for, right? Right. Make testing the lawyers, I mean, these are all brilliant lawyers. Latham Watkins was the law firm represented the state of Florida, you know, so these are all Harvard educated, Yale educated, um, lawyers. And so, um, I, mine was not really the why, but mine was keep going and, and keep them in line and stuff like that, and that, so that was, that was my responsibility. So I, I never, I never approached the case as the lawyer responsible. I was sort of like, as a manager of the case.
Speaker 1 00:14:50 Sure,
Speaker 2 00:14:51 Sure. And, and maybe because of that, I don’t have the same level of objectivity that I could have. Although, I will tell you this, I have never, ever, and I mean, once tried a case where it went at the time it went to hearing or trial, depending upon whether it was an administrative or a civil action, where I wasn’t 100% convinced that I was gonna beat the tar out of the other side. And it doesn’t always work out that way. And it shouldn’t. But you, you know, as a lawyer, you have to zealously advocate and
Speaker 1 00:15:19 So, right. And so, I mean, well then allow me then to level set a little bit then on, on the case. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:15:26 You’re gonna get it wrong, but go ahead.
Speaker 1 00:15:27 I am going, I’m almost certainly going to get, uh, get it wrong. I’m gonna, I’m gonna talk to, I’m gonna talk about it from a strictly narrative sense, which is Florida as well as Georgia has experienced droughts over the years. Uh, some of those droughts have been really bad when you look at, uh, 2011, 2012, uh, but there have been worse droughts, like in 19 54, 19 55, you have 120 mile river that needs to have quantities of water in order to make sure that the salinity doesn’t get too high in the Appalachia Cola Bay. The use increasing use of that water in exponential terms in the state of Georgia, has caused less of that water to come across the Georgia border, into the Appalachia Cola River in Florida, especially at the time when the time it’s needed most, which is during, during a drought or during the dry season, to the point where the days in which there was not enough water, where there was less than, say, 6,000 cubic feet per second of water making it, even though droughts had been worse, rain days had been fewer in the fifties and in the yachts, yet it was worse somehow to the point where the actual fishery shut down in, uh, in 2012.
Speaker 1 00:16:48 Yeah. How’s that
Speaker 2 00:16:50 From an a non-objective or <laugh> perspective? That’s right. Uh, the Supreme Court doesn’t see it that way.
Speaker 1 00:16:57 I know they don’t
Speaker 2 00:16:59 <laugh> and the, and, and special, the special Master, um, Kelly, so the second one, he didn’t see it that way either. Um, I think Special Master Lancaster did, um, but he ultimately found that he couldn’t award Florida the relief it was seeking, because the United States Army Corps wasn’t a party to the lawsuit. And so there’s this, there’s this principle in the law failure to join an indispensable party. And that means, in order for things to be fair, everybody who’s involved in this lawsuit, or who should be, sorry, everyone who should be involved in lawsuit needs to be a party to lawsuit. And if they are not, and they cannot be forced to be so, and the United States cannot be forced to do so, sovereign immunity, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, then he felt he could not issue a decree that would give Florida more water in the Apalachicola River, because the Army Corps controls the flow of water on the Chattahoochee, thanks to five reservoirs and five dams, um, two of which are run of the river, three of which are actually engineered.
Speaker 2 00:17:58 And they, and they hold back water. Can I go back though? Yeah. Because I, I, and it’s been a number of years because this has been a while now, but I’ve spoken, presented it on Florida versus Georgia at, you know, chamber Rotary No. To non-lawyers and people who aren’t interested in, in water, something that they all founded. Very interesting is, is, is how we got there. And so I’d like to tell everybody what an original action is. Yeah. So, um, so Florida in 2013 sued the state of Georgia in what we call an original action. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction, so that’s trial court level jurisdiction to hear cases with ambassadors and others, and states. So when a state sues a state, they get to bring that action before the United States Supreme Court, and we call it an original action. The reason that that exists in our constitution, we have to remember, is the states were their own sovereigns at, at one point, right?
Speaker 2 00:19:01 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and they gave up sovereignty, they gave up aspects of their sovereignty to the federal government, and the federal government recognized that in doing so, the states needed some avenue when they had an issue between the states, right. An issue that that needs to be resolved, because prior to an original action, how they might have resolved that would’ve been armed conflict. Right? The militias in Georgia and the militias in Florida would have thought, and maybe if we had that today, we would’ve gotten a different result in Florida versus Georgia. But that is why the original action exists, and that is how it got started.
Speaker 1 00:19:38 And to your point, going back to e even before that, it wasn’t one day, uh, governor Scott wakes up and says, Hey, let’s go Sue Georgia. Right. Uh, it, it, I think the, I guess the, the closest, um, really tipping off point is probably, what, 1997? You try to come up with a compact between these three states, correct?
Speaker 2 00:19:59 I, I’m gonna go back to 1990. Okay. Actually, so Alabama sued the core over the course decision to allow more potable water, more consumption out on the Chattahoochee River. And so, you know, you know this, we call it the ACF Basin, right? It’s the Alanche Cola, Chattahoochee and Flint River Basin.
Speaker 1 00:20:19 For folks not familiar with the Chattahoochee, it’s the one that ends up forming the border
Speaker 2 00:20:23 Between It does, yeah. Uh,
Speaker 1 00:20:25 It does Georgia and Alabama. Right.
Speaker 2 00:20:26 Well, and so let’s, I guess draw the picture then. So the Huci starts north of Atlanta, flows in a southwest direction, and then at times forms the border, as you just said, between, uh, Georgia and Alabama, and then enters into Lake Seminole. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which sits on the Florida Georgia line. Right. The Flint River starts south of Atlanta, flows again, southwesterly, but through mostly agricultural land to Lake Seminole. The, at that point, the confluence of those two rivers, lake Seminole on the south side of it, outflows Appalachia Cola River. So the waters of that basin, the ACF basin, are flowing from Georgia down south into the Lake Seminole, and then down into the Appalachia Cola River. So that’s the ACF basin. And, and there have been lawsuits regarding the water and the use of that water and the operation of the cores, engineered structures on the Chattahoochee dating back to 1990.
Speaker 1 00:21:24 And so, but moving through that, as you say, so if you start in 1990, you start with the Tented compact, um, you know, from 97, moving into the very earliest of s um, with, uh, governor Bush, it really, I mean, it set a table for a lack of trusts between Florida, Alabama, and, and Georgia, most specifically Florida and Alabama. And probably some of the other way around, if I’m, if I’m being fair, which I won’t be. Um, yeah. But, but then you get to, as you know, as you say, uh, there’s only the last recourse is the original action. So talk about how, talk about the structure. So pe if people don’t know how that went down, um, what happens once you, once you decide you’re suing another state in the US Supreme
Speaker 2 00:22:12 Court? Well, so that’s a, that’s a broad question. Sorry. In this case, in this case, so Florida and Georgia are what they call riparian states. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so the listeners of this podcast probably know that, but when I would talk about this out in the chamber there, and so you have, uh, riparian right? States and then out west, and this actually later factors into one of my concerns when they appointed the special master mm-hmm. <affirmative>, second time out west, it’s prior appropriation first and right. First and first, and sorry, first in time, first and right. So because Florida and Georgia are riparian rights states, you each get an equa, you get an equitable use of the water that you share. So this basin, we share this basin with Georgia. And so Florida asked for what they call an equitable apportionment of the waters of the ACF basin.
Speaker 2 00:23:03 Um, and that, and, and the, the allegations were that there was, uh, you know, too much consumption, uh, in the Chattahoochee that, uh, and too much consumption in the Flint River mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and there is, and we talked about this and you had talked about there were droughts in the fifties. Uh, you know, that’s the very, so, but in between the fifties and, and, you know, the 20 12, 20 13, the, the consumption by Georgia in that Flint Basin beginning in 1970 is a, an exhibit. Yep. Um, skyrockets. Yes. I mean, absolutely skyrockets and Georgia’s, Georgia’s position on its use of the waters in the Flint and Chattahoochee River was that they could practically and politically do whatever they wanted with it, harm to Florida be damned. Now, that is not what he said, but, you know, so that’s my take on it,
Speaker 1 00:23:56 Operatively. That’s what, that’s what’s happened. I mean, and to the point where one could even say that they did that in cutting off their, their own noses as well. In some cases, you look at some of these water bodies and creeks on, in the Flint basins especially, that were literally pumped dry. They went from, say, a few hundred cfs or 150 cfs, or even few, you know, less, um, to single digits or zero, um, what was it, uh, spring Creek that was literally Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:24:24 Stopped flowing. Right. And I, and, and, you know, and, and I’ve tried to sort of refresh my recollection on this case, but yeah, I mean, you and I spent weeks and you spent, what, five weeks in Portland?
Speaker 1 00:24:37 I seemed like it, I think it’s probably closer to four, three
Speaker 2 00:24:40 Or, or four of it. Okay. I spent two weeks, you know, and months living the case. And, you know, there was Yes, thousands, thousands of page and tons of experts that testified. So, uh, my memory serves me that, um, Georgia basically confessed, like, because they’re equivalent of d e p, department of Environmental Protection, said, we’re pumping the Flint River dry. Right. AG use is pumping the Flint River dry, as you might expect. Farm and agriculture in Georgia, southwest Georgia has a, a, a good bit of political sway. And so it is my belief, I think the team, although it wasn’t proven, I think the team probably also believed that it, the Flint River was always gonna be a problem because Georgia didn’t have the political will. I know. They were, they were, and, and you, you can probably speak to this better than I, because your testimony was, was aimed at the comparison of what we do in Florida for, for agricultural use. Right. As compared to what they do. Right. So I know that they, they, they might argue they put some handcuffs on their farmers, but they did not.
Speaker 1 00:25:45 No. They, they didn’t. And that was the big, um, that was really the big dis difference in, in, in my eyes, is I know that we have, there’ve been many things related to water use, um, water resources, the environment where we’ve made our fair, you know, share of mistakes in Florida, uh, Northwest Florida, and the management of the resources surrounding the Appal Cola River basin is not one of those mistakes. Uh, the way that the district reserved flow from the river itself, the way that whether it be the state, federal, or other entities had preserved huge numbers of acres of this basin to protect it from impacts the number of, the amount of water used, uh, in total, um, I’m trying to remember how a hydrologist explained it to me from the Water Management District, and it was, I believe, uh, Chris Barrio says this to me.
Speaker 1 00:26:46 He says, the amount of total use by Florida in the ACF basin wouldn’t even show up. It’s, it’s within the margin of error of the instruments used to measure the flow in the river. That’s how tiny it is. Right. And you’re look, and, and even with that, and it was 32, we went from 32 million gallons of water a day, used total to about 28 million gallons of water a day in, in terms of agriculture. So that’s a 25% decrease. In my mind, that’s what we were looking for, was how is it that you can’t, you don’t, you don’t have to spend a whole bunch of money. You don’t have to stop farming. We didn’t ask a single farmer in northwest Florida to stop farming. What we’re asking is to do the same thing that, that we would do. And that’s, that’s the part that seemed, I just couldn’t, I couldn’t wrap my head around. It was what, you know, why we couldn’t ask them to do
Speaker 2 00:27:42 That? So, um, as a lawyer, we are prone to use Latin, uh, <laugh>, I think, I think we perhaps incorrectly believe it makes us appear smart. Yeah. So there’s this principle in the law. It’s called race ips, a lo quitter. And it, and it stands for the think speaks for itself. Now, go back to Professor Erhardt, Florida State College law, um, who is in, in the, in the evidence world. He is the leader in how Florida shapes its evidence code and, and how it, and I mean the Supreme Court looks to his treatise on evidence, but he taught, uh, also taught torts. And I took, uh, first year torts with him. And I forget the, in the case we were talking about this case where it’s a little flower mill and the person wakes up, uh, sort of, you know, surprised covered in flower, and there’s the remnants of the, of a flower barrel next to them, right?
Speaker 2 00:28:36 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s clear what happened. The flower barrel fell from the second floor, you know, uh, of the warehouse hit, the person br shattered and left the person covered in flower. They, they have no memory of that. Ter the thing speaks for itself. That’s what you’re getting at. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right? The, how can you not conclude that Florida is suffering harm from the reduction of water flow across or through Lake Seminole, across the Woodruff Dam, when one of the sources of water for the Apalach Cola, the Flint River, is literally pumped dry. And so it’s sort of, the thing speaks for itself. The problem is, is that the Supreme Court, right. Didn’t, you know, they wanted more and, um, in an original action such as this, the standard for Florida and Florida brought the case. So, so Florida had the affirmative mm-hmm. <affirmative> responsibility to prove its case, which, and the standard here is clear and convincing evidence.
Speaker 2 00:29:41 And that’s a high standard in, in the sort of hierarchy of standards of proof in the law. It is the one that is below beyond a reasonable doubt, right? Yeah. So the standard we send people to jail for this is below that. And so the Supreme Court said, <laugh>, yes, there is this evidence that Georgia has over pumped the Flint. Yes, there is evidence that there was a collapse of the Apalach Cola Bay, and that that collapse had a dramatic effect on the, on the industry in the oyster industry. But it was Florida’s responsibility to prove that it was Georgia that caused that harm. And they point to a couple things. One of which was after the oil spill, the BP oil spill, Florida allowed what the United States Supreme Court with the Special Master, special Master Kelly said, what? Florida, and the way the Supreme Court looked at it, the over harvesting of the Apalach Cola, the Bay, I mean, they said that to the extent there was harm, that harm was brought on by Florida because they allowed over-harvesting of the Bay.
Speaker 2 00:30:46 And they didn’t, they didn’t adequately re shell afterwards. So as you know, in order for there to be harvest, there has to be the, the oysters need something to affix to and grow. And they do that in these beds of shell, you know, and so they, Supreme Court said they failed to prove that it wasn’t those things because Georgia pointed to them. They also said that, um, and beyond that, we do not believe Florida proved that the change in the salinity wasn’t from something other than Georgia’s consumption, whether it was climactic conditions or things like that. And they pointed to certain, certain areas of the Bay that even during this drought, even during this higher salinity still were productive. In fact, product productivity went up
Speaker 1 00:31:32 Just to be, just to be a pain in the neck. You, all of those things that you just mentioned are true. But all of those things are in terms of a thing that someone said, but that someone is Judge Kelly. Right. Not Judge Lancaster
Speaker 2 00:31:44 Back to how an original action is decided. So the Supreme Court, the nine of them do not sit up there at the bench and take evidence. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s not what they do. That is not how we want the Justices of the United States Supreme Court to spend their time five weeks in the bankruptcy court in Portland, Maine. Right? Yes. So they appoint a special master to oversee the proceedings, to conduct, to allow the parties to conduct discovery, to have a hearing, and then to make a report to the United States Supreme Court. And then the United States Supreme Court will take that report, and then the parties will brief on that report why the special er got it right or wrong. And the Supreme Court will hear that in oral argument like they do for cases that come before them in their appellate jurisdiction. So it is a combination. The things I said are a combination of, um, the Special, special Master Kelly, but then the United States Supreme Court, cuz once they issue their opinion Yeah. You know, they’re sort of, they, they adopted his rationale. They found his rationale to be convincing. I
Speaker 1 00:32:53 Just, I just found it to be dumbfounding, given that the, the person hearing the trial was the Special Master Lancaster. It goes to oral arguments. The Supreme Court sends it back, says, everyone answer this question. And then it’s just, Hey, special Master Kelly’s going to say, I’m gonna talk about all these other things that have, we’re outside the purview of the instructions I got from the Supreme Court, and they’re gonna take this new thing and come up with a, come up with a decision in, in Georgia’s favor. It just felt like a kick in the gut in that regard. And it also felt like, and you tell maybe that’s the more important thing now, is, and this is again layman, I don’t speak Latin, I didn’t go to Yale or Harvard, but it sounded like Judge Kelly was essentially writing Georgia blank check on water use from that point on. Is that a fair characterization?
Speaker 2 00:33:45 No. So the, so I, you know, I understand how you, I understand how you get to that, but he doesn’t say that Georgia never could, um, use so much water that they would be taking in, uh, uh, more than they’re entitled to under, you know, the theory under the, under the principles of equity that are embraced by riparian states. Um, he doesn’t say that. He says that you had an obligation Florida to prove your case and you didn’t. And that’s different. And I, I understand why you put it that way, because, so this is, this is this from the Special Master, special Master Lancaster’s report. He says, the facts presented at trial demonstrate the gravity of the dispute between Florida and Georgia as the evidentiary hearing made clear Florida points to real harm. And at the very least, likely misuse of resources by Georgia. He said, uh, he goes on to say there is little question that Florida has suffered harm from, decreased flows in the river. And this is what I messed up earlier, but I’ll, I’ll read the quote from him, from his report. Cuz when I read this, I kind of fist pumped, you know, <laugh>, uh, and he said, uh, and then I got to the end and I realized he wasn’t gonna go Florida or anything
Speaker 1 00:35:02 <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:35:03 He said, that’s right. He said, uh, that’s probably not true. Knowing me, I probably jumped to the conclusion, read it and then said, oh, how did we get here? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he said, Georgia’s position practically, politically and legally can be summarized as follows. Georgia’s agricultural water use should be subject to no limitations regardless of the long term consequences for the Mason. He says it much better than I said it earlier, you know, that those were his findings. So Brad, I understand why you say Special Master Kelly is cutting, uh, Georgia blank check on its use of water and the AC and the ACF basin. But that’s, that’s not what he says. He says, Florida, you didn’t do your job so
Speaker 1 00:35:45 Well. Well, that brings me to something else that I wanted to ask you because looking back, I mean, hindsight’s always crystal clear. I’m not positive that’s the case in when it comes to the Florida v Georgia, but in the moment, and still to this day, I believe that, and I think you do too, and I think you’ve already said it, that the Bay in those communities were worth fighting for. Um, but a lot of folks in the middle of that, or when we got it, was remanded back to Special Master Kelly that this is a giant waste of time. It’s a giant waste of money. Um, why are we doing this? Who are these fancy New York DC attorneys? And I know that you, an you had to answer these questions yourself as you, as you described, your, um, your most important role was case management, uh, in terms of all of these attorneys. Would you, would you do it the same way again if you had to do it over?
Speaker 2 00:36:47 You said that the community is worth fighting for, the community is worth fighting for. And Florida, Georgia, and Alabama had been fighting over water for a long time, um, and those lawsuits did not produce, you know, an adequate outcome, an acceptable outcome for the state of Florida. Sure. Uh, you know, and I believe Governor Scott’s exact words is that basically Georgia has not been negotiating in f good faith. And actually I believe that our, our legal team proved that in, in the fir in
Speaker 1 00:37:21 The hearing in discovery. Right. I mean, they, it was the first time, it was the first time anyone was subject to discovery. Correct.
Speaker 2 00:37:27 Right. So they, uh, I believe they, they did, they proved that. So, while Georgia is telling Florida one thing, right, on one hand, you know, with regards to negotiations to try and come up with an equitable apportionment or a process for an equitable apportionment, they’re on the other hand basically saying, you know, pump as much as you want, pump as much as you want. Right. So I I I do believe they were worth fighting for and I thought we were right to do it at the time. And yes, I had some very uncomfortable conversations because it wasn’t just anybody, it was a then speaker of the house. That’s right. That was quite upset at the money Yes. That Florida was spending on lawyers in the case, the news, the news never caught on to exactly how much Georgia was spending on this lawsuit. And so they were making comparisons between what Georgia and what Florida was spending on the lawsuit. And they were reporting on only one pot of money that Georgia was tapping into. Hmm. So Georgia was funding this lawsuit from the governor’s office and from, from the ags office. Mm. And nobody caught onto that. And so there was a point in time where Florida was, I don’t know, in the fifties, millions of dollars Right. That they had spent on lawyers and Georgia was closing in on a hundred, but because they were only ever reporting on one pot of money, it never got out. And so
Speaker 1 00:38:55 I didn’t, I didn’t know that. I mean, I,
Speaker 2 00:38:57 No, and that’s something I’ve held very close to the vest because I, for reasons I’m not gonna get into, but that they were reporting on. Hmm. They only one pot of money Georgia, far, far, far outspent the state of Florida on this lawsuit. I don’t know that if that would’ve mattered to the speaker. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he did not like that we were spending that much money and for the people who were questioning it then, and the people who will question it now, you know, they will, they, they could do things like take the population of Appalachia Cola, you know, divide the money and and spread it out and say that would’ve been a better use of those funds. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:39:34 I, I think that’s, I mean, in a way I think that, that that’s fair to ask those hypotheticals. But it was ne, and I don’t think it was for you, and it never was for me, for me it was, this is the wrong thing that is happening, um, in my mind there was, there was enough, a real and anecdotal evidence to, to show that. And it was, why is a person who tongs oysters in Appalachia Cola Bay, why is their living that they’ve made for generations going back to the 18 hundreds, why is how they earn a living? Why is their, their life worth less than anyone else’s in that regard? And so yeah, it’s ex it’s expensive. We do a lot of things. A as you, you and I both know in Florida that are expensive that people could put question, I still think that it’s worth it. I understand the question of how much money you’re talking
Speaker 2 00:40:26 About. I’m gonna be a little bit more flippant than you were. Why is the livelihood of the men and women in the apalach obey who go out there and because of regulation, hand harvest, you know, these oysters, um, why is their livelihood valued less than the ability of someone on Lake Lanier to to navigate their jet ski off of their dock? And, and, and someone
Speaker 1 00:40:53 I’ve said that in conversation, but I I expect that, uh, that you’d break it out today. So I’m proud of you.
Speaker 2 00:40:59 Why not?
Speaker 1 00:41:00 I’m proud of you. It’s true, but it’s true. Right. I wanna hear about what you’re up to now. It’s like, but let’s spend a second. That’s what, in terms of the operation of Lake Lanier, uh, and the Beauford Dam that controls the water coming up. Cuz there are other, you know, and and you mentioned ’em earlier, there are other dams, uh, some of them are, you know, controlled dams, some of them are running on the river lake. Lanier has a lot of water in
Speaker 2 00:41:23 It. It does.
Speaker 1 00:41:25 And there’s a lot of extra water in it that, that was discussed in terms of when you go into drought operation, that drought operation where they start, start cutting back quantities seems to coincide coincidentally with the elevation of a lot of people’s docks Yeah. On Lake Lanier. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:41:43 So, uh, lake Lanier, the core has, when the core, it’s, it’s not just the Chattahoochee the core runs a, you know Sure. They run dams all over the country and, and they store water all over the country and they store water according to, uh, operating protocols. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, um, and in this case, I think Lanier, one of the, one of the, um, purposes of Theier water is consumption, but another is recreation too, if I’m not mistaken. Yes. So, you know, that was part of
Speaker 1 00:42:14 It. The recreation being one of the, one of the, the statutory allowances on on the lake outweighs tupelo trees. It outweighs, uh, inver, you know, invertebrates and mollusk along the river. And it outweighs human beings that are just trying to, to make a living down there. I
Speaker 2 00:42:34 Hear you. But, but, so let’s go back to did Special Master. Yes. Uh, Perry write a blank check. No, because he doesn’t say that. Right. He doesn’t say that Florida, you could ultimately prove that those things that they, they, they matter and they, they are entitled to water. Um, and he just said, you didn’t, you didn’t convince me that Georgia Yeah. Was the cause of it. You know?
Speaker 1 00:43:00 So you, so let’s move past d e p
Speaker 2 00:43:02 <laugh>. All right. <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:43:03 Because you’ve been, uh, when, when did you leave the department? What year was, I
Speaker 2 00:43:07 Can’t remember. 2017. So
Speaker 1 00:43:08 2017. Correct. So we’re going on six years outside. Uh, you’re working now for very well-known, well-respected environmental practice. Uh, tell me about the day in the life of an environmental attorney on the outside. Now I assume it’s much like a, a Grisham novel.
Speaker 2 00:43:29 <laugh> Yeah. Um, with a little bit of law and order thrown in there. Sure. With a little bit of a few good men. Right. And Aaron Brockovich too. <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:43:40 Of course.
Speaker 2 00:43:42 Um, the practice law is nothing like what you see in tv. It’s nothing like what you see on TV unless you watch actual documentaries on, you know, like criminal prosecution or something like that. Right. Um, it is a, uh, a, a good bit of time, uh, reading, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, even at where e e even now in my position, I, I spend a lot of time reading. Um, it is a good bit of time, uh, strategizing, right. Thinking about a problem, thinking it through, coming up with, uh, a solution to the problem. Um, and if you’re in litigation, then there are rules that we play by in litigation. And so you’re, you know, you have to, um, adhere by those rules. Um, it is <laugh> good bit of time meeting just like everyone else. Everybody. Um, and then the fun stuff. Hmm. The things that, you know, you actually see on tv, the, you know, the oral arguments in court and the, the, uh, the depositions and the trials, at least with what I do, um, that’s, that’s a smaller per a significantly smaller percentage of your time Yeah. Than the
Speaker 1 00:44:54 Other things. What’s, uh, for the, for those studying up for their LSATs right now, um, what percentage is that of your total, of your total work? The, the super exciting part? I think you like, you like the, the understanding you like the, the research and, and the knowing and the finding out. Yeah. It’s like, but it’s not, you
Speaker 2 00:45:15 Know, so I do cases that are measured in days, but I do cases that are measured in weeks too. And so I could, in a year, when you look at depositions and hearings and all that, I could spend one to two months worth of time, uh, doing those things, you know, doing depositions, doing final hearings and things like that. Um, that could be one or two final hearings because they’re each two weeks long or one of ’em is three weeks and one of ’em is one week or one of ’em is four weeks. And one of ’em, one of ’em is a day. You know, cause I’ve the number of times that, you know, the number of, and I’ll just call them all trials, right? In, in the administrative world, it’s called the final hearing in circuit courts called the trial. But I’m just gonna call them all trials cuz the truth is they look and feel very similar.
Speaker 2 00:46:04 There are dis there are certainly differences, but they look and feel the same. I might end up doing one or two trials a year, but because of the, um, the nature of my practice, I could spend three weeks in ti in court doing that. Whereas a, um, a public defender might go to court, um, 17 times, but 12 of them were half day trials. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> or one day trials or, you know, and so the, the time that they’re going to court is less than mine. But they get to say I had 17 trials this year. Right, right. You know,
Speaker 1 00:46:37 What accomplishment are you most proud of? I could be professionally and personally, whatever you want to, however you wanna frame it. If you wanna do one of each, that’s cool too.
Speaker 2 00:46:46 Well, you know, it would have to be the personally would have to be raising my boys with my wife. Um, you know, our oldest was in foster care. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So our oldest, um, had a really hard life before he joined us. Uh, he was in third grade, he’d been left behind. Hopefully he’ll never hear this. Cuz he’d be like, dad, why, why? Yeah. Putting all my business
Speaker 1 00:47:09 Out there, <laugh>, I think you’re safe there, <laugh>, right?
Speaker 2 00:47:11 Yes, that’s true.
Speaker 1 00:47:14 Um,
Speaker 2 00:47:14 So he, uh, had a really, really hard life before he joined us. Um, he joined us when he was in third grade. Like I said, he’d been left behind and he couldn’t read, could not read. And when my wife and I went to pick him up, when we finally got, um, we, we went through the process of adopting him out of the system. And by the way, the state does not make that easy. And I get it, but also shame on them. Um, is it easier now? I don’t know because this is 15 years ago for us. Right. So we went and picked him up and he was in a class with young boys and girls who had severe physical and mental disabilities. They were challenged, all of them. And that’s not our son. That’s not our son. But the system had given up on him.
Speaker 2 00:48:01 Hmm. So, um, he joined us in third grade, uh, failed the, um, what’s the aptitude test? They give the kids in school? I forget now. I think it’s the FCA fails. The fcat in the third, in third grade, in your third and 10th grade years, if you fail the fcat, you get left behind. Right. Right. So they were going to leave him behind and they would’ve failed him. He would’ve then have been fail. He would’ve been now two years behind. So our old, our oldest is, is African American. Um, and the statistics on him dropping outta school goes through the roof. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> with that second failure. Yeah. Right. The statistics for him potentially going to jail, climb dramatically. Yeah. If they fail him. So my wife and I fought tooth and nail with the state, with the board, with the, with the school board to get them to socially promote him.
Speaker 2 00:49:00 It’s permissible for them to say, okay, there are other reasons why we’re not gonna hold this child back. And we were, and I do not, I’m not one of those lawyers who walks around, I’m a lawyer, look at me, I’m a lawyer, I’ll sue. I, it was the, it was perhaps the one and only time in my personal life right. Where I said, you need to understand what I do. I am going to bring a law. I’m gonna sue you because I can’t let this happen to my son. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we get close to a point where we’re about to sue and we get a decision that they’re gonna socially promote him. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, we told them during this process, if you do this when he leaves this elementary school, he will be on grade level and this child will succeed. And when he left elementary school, he was on grade level.
Speaker 2 00:49:44 He still needed remedial help, but he was on grade level and over the next several years, still a lot of time, patience in love. He graduates high school and he is in the United States Navy now. So that, you know that. And then my youngest too, um, you know, raising him Now he of course did not have to. He had a, a very, um, you know, he was, he was, uh, had a very, very good upbringing. He never was exposed to those things, but, you know, raising kids, it does, it doesn’t matter. You know. Yeah. They could turn out, you know, in ways you would wish they wouldn’t. And he is about two. He did three years in college, but he decided he wanted to study, um, aviation maintenance. And he and I are going to mobile this Saturday for him to take one part of his exam so he can get his license to fix airplanes. Nice, nice. So that’s definitely, so those, I mean that and that trumps anything I’ve done professionally quite candidly.
Speaker 1 00:50:40 Yeah, no doubt. Uh, but speaking of, uh, water in the environment, are you optimistic about the future of the environment in Florida?
Speaker 2 00:50:51 I, I am. I am. Um,
Speaker 2 00:50:57 But not because of you or your, or, or, or or Brian Armstrong or, but, uh, because of the people Yeah. Or the state of Florida. Right. So the people of the state of Florida, um, they, they get it right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they get it. And when the agencies or the politicians get it wrong, the people get it. Right. And, um, and so I’ll give you, so one of the positions I held at DEP was director of the water divisions mm-hmm. <affirmative>, division of Water Resource Management. So in that capacity, I go to, I go to Atlanta to take part in the region four water directors meeting. Tom Frick. And I go, because the state of forest is the only state that has a deer division, the division of Environmental Assessment Restoration, and then a water division everywhere else, they have their N P D E S and their standard setting group under one person. So Florida right there thinks it’s important enough to have two, Tom gives a presentation on numeric nutrient criteria. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> our successes and, and opportunities in the numeric nutrient criteria. One of the directors from, and now you have to keep in mind region four is, I hope I get That’s right. Cuz I’m going by memory. Tennessee, Kentucky, north, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida.
Speaker 1 00:52:22 Don’t worry everyone. We’ll post, uh, Fred’s email address and the episode notes. Um, make sure you reach out to him if he missed something.
Speaker 2 00:52:30 Yeah. So if I, I messed that up. So one of the directors I don’t recall from which state leans over to me during Tom’s presentation and he says, how did you have the political will to pull this off? We could never have done anything like this in our state, whatever state that was mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and it, it’s because of the people. So I am optimistic because, uh, the oystermen in Apalach Hole will make their liver run living on the water. Right. They got shafted by the, by the decision. But they made their living the, you know, fishermen. Um, I did a case a couple years ago, we represented, uh, fishing act. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> made their living on the water. So many people, so many people in the state depend on our natural resources that I’m optimistic for our future because of them. Right. Because of them. And, and I don’t mean to, I, I think Brian and all the, and Sean at the d e p and Brian, but let’s give credit where credit’s due. It’s the people of this state of Florida.
Speaker 1 00:53:30 What keeps you up at
Speaker 2 00:53:31 Night? So you’re familiar with p ffa s Yeah. Okay. So that, that should keep me up at night. It should keep you up at night. Yeah. Quite honestly. But it, it, it doesn’t, what keeps me up at night is the next forever chemical. Hmm. At some point I’m concerned that for our convenience, cuz we don’t want the packaging of the, our microwave dinner or pizza box to stick that a, you know, someone is going to manufacture and it may not be in the United States, it might be overseas a chemical that I, you think about it, pfas, you know, the idea that you could cook and it wouldn’t stick to a pan was brilliant at the time and they put it in everything because that was brilliant at the time. And now you can’t find rainwater without pfas in it. Hmm. Like you, and, and in order to compare blood samples, you have to go back to like the Korean War cuz you and I have pfas in us right now. And that’s quite honestly, that’s scary. But it’s not that it’s what’s what’s the next one
Speaker 1 00:54:35 Isn’t, I mean, not, I mean, not to, I wouldn’t call it pushing back. I would just say, uh, scientists that I’ve worked with would say the poisons and the dose. Um, and that includes, you know, the salt that we put, you know, on our, on our food. Uh, of course. Aren’t we getting better at that, at that sort of thing as time goes on, you know, you learn about, uh, the impacts of, of certain pesticides and, and other things over, over time. And, and the choice was, hey, we can, we can help put out, uh, fires, um, you know, planes that, you know, crash with, you know, these chemicals and that seems great at the time. Um, but maybe not so much. It seems like that’s less, less likely. Those, those things get, uh, fewer in number as the years gone, do you think? Or, or?
Speaker 2 00:55:22 No. Okay. So who’s the, we, you said, aren’t we getting better at this? Who’s the, we,
Speaker 1 00:55:27 The, uh, United States of America, state of Florida, you know, the epa,
Speaker 2 00:55:33 Uh, and and how many manufactured goods are we buying that come from overseas?
Speaker 1 00:55:38 Ask me rhetorical questions for
Speaker 2 00:55:40 I’m sorry, <laugh>. So my point is, yes, I understand in the United States there’s standards and, uh, you know, there’s government agencies that are supposed to, but, but what about the production of goods in China or India or some other place, right? That is producing a lot of what we consume. So, you know, maybe you’re right, but, and I, I hope you are, but
Speaker 1 00:56:03 I’m, I’m, I’m trying, I have no idea. What I’m trying to do is, is like, be optimistic and also recognize the things that, that we have caught in the past. That it takes like the, if you remember the, the Chinese manufactured drywall that was a giant disaster and toxic and, um, poorly made, but don’t those things. And I, you know, and I, I don’t think either one of us know, it’s like, but it seems like as you, you’re always fighting the last war, but the last war, you know, maybe avoids something similar in the future when you look at maybe how, how you control, you know, the import of things that are coming in the country and, you know, and, and what, what that’s, you know, what’s
Speaker 2 00:56:41 In there. Maybe, maybe the question is what keeps you up at night though, right? It was, and so you’re sort of, it’s the, it’s the, it’s the, it’s the, uh, monster under the bed. Yeah. Right? And, and that’s fair. And as we grow up, we find out there is no monster under the bed. So maybe you’re right. I don’t know that I still wanna look <laugh>. So the, so I think the, the question is still is, you know, what’s the next thing we’re gonna learn about and, and how does that affect us?
Speaker 1 00:57:04 Yeah, that’s a, I think that’s a fair, fair thing to be concerned about for sure. How can folks reach you if they wanna know more about what you’re up to or if they need, uh, a good environmental attorney?
Speaker 2 00:57:16 So I am, um, with Law firm Lewis Lineman and Walker, my, uh, I think you’ll, you said you’d post the email address, so you can find it in the notes on the, on the, uh, podcast. Um, and reach me, uh, at my office. Number two, uh, I assume you’ll put that there. So you can call me, you can email me and you can message me on LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn all the time.
Speaker 1 00:57:38 I can vouch for that Fred Ash Hour. Thanks for doing this. Appreciate it.
Speaker 2 00:57:42 I appreciate you having me. I really do. Hey, I do wanna, so you said that I listened to Brian’s Brian’s podcast and you said at the end of it, and join me for my next conversation with another person directing Florida p you know, water policy or something to that hang regard.
Speaker 1 00:58:01 It’s in, it’s in the script. I’ll re hang on. We’ll get
Speaker 2 00:58:04 To it anyway. So I, at the point, at that point in time, I thought that was gonna be me. And I’m like, I don’t, I don’t know what he’s talking about, <laugh>, but now I understand that you talked to Julie, so I get it. I get it. There you go.
Speaker 1 00:58:15 There you go, <laugh>. Well then, then, uh, hold on your horses cuz I’m gonna do it right now. Thanks again to Fred Ash hour for joining me on the podcast. You’ve been listening to Water for Fighting. You can reach me at etal water podd gmail.com or on Twitter and Instagram at et Water Pod with your comments and suggestions for who and or what you’d like to know more about production. This podcast is by Lonely Fox Studios, thanks to Carl, so for making the best of what he had to work with and to David Barfield for the Amazing graphics as well as the technical assistance. A very special thank you goes out to Bow springing from the Bow springing band for giving permission to use his music for the podcast. The song’s called Do and Work for Free, and you should check the band out live or wherever the best music is sold. I’m your host, Brett Cyphers. Join me next time for another conversation with someone who has helped shape water policy in the Sunshine State. Until then, keep your whiskey close in your water closer.