All Aboard Florida Needs A ‘Gopher Tortoise Permit’ (Plus More Red Tape)

All Aboard Florida needs to obtain approvals from a dizzying array of government agencies in order to build out the proposed Miami-Orlando rail line.

Among the approvals needed are Gopher Tortoise permits and Essential Fish Habitat permits.

The list was published as part of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement issued last week by the Federal Railroad Administration (full report below).

It doesn’t even include the difficult permitting process needed for the station in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, or the ongoing talks with the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority over Tri-Rail service.

A separate ‘distribution list’ that details all of the government agencies and officials notified of the availability of the EIS is five pages long.

The 522-page report was prepared by a team of 24 environmental scientists, engineers and planners.