TALLAHASSEE – On Jan. 31, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried announced that she has chosen to terminate the contract of MacVicar Consulting, a longtime technical consultant to the Department.
The firm had provided hydrological expertise to the department on various water projects. This included advising the Commissioner’s three appointments to the Lake Okeechobee Systems Operating Manual Project Delivery Team. The commissioner’s representatives on LOSOM are three state employees of our Office of Agricultural Water Policy.
Commissioner Fried came under fire from environmental organizations when the three MacVicar staffers were on the list for the PDT meetings -- a list that included 176 names. Because MacVicar Consulting Inc. also works for sugar farmers, groups such as the Everglades Foundation claimed Commissioner Fried was giving sugar farmers too much influence on the LOSOM PDT.
Commissioner Fried stated her top priority regarding Lake Okeechobee remains the public health of the surrounding communities. She said she continues to work diligently towards achieving reduced nutrient impacts to Florida’s waterways, including major revisions to agricultural best management practices.