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Ex-U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff withdraws controversial wetlands request

Former U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff has withdrawn his state permit application for an unusual wetland mitigation bank that was challenged by environmental groups.

Beruff's proposed 262-acre Long Bar Pointe mitigation bank in Manatee County also faces trouble on another front: at least one federal agency has suggested the Army Corps of Engineers should deny its federal permit.

"In a nutshell, what we recommended was that the bank not go forward as currently proposed," Ginny Fay, assistant regional administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Wednesday.

Beruff, a former chairman of the Southwest Florida Water Management District who last week handily lost the GOP primary to incumbent U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did Peter Logan, president of Beruff's Medallion Homes.

The Florida Wildlife Federation, the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage and Suncoast Waterkeeper were among the parties that challenged Beruff's state permit for the mitigation bank on Sarasota Bay. They learned over the weekend that Beruff's attorney had asked Friday to withdraw the permit application.