- Associated Press - Monday, October 9, 2017

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - A Texas company has asked state environmental regulators to allow crews to resume their hunt for oil beneath Big Cypress National Preserve in southwest Florida.

Burnett Oil Co. was unable to finish the survey in the spring before the start of the rainy season, and the company’s permit expired July 15. Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials say the deadline for a decision on a renewed permit is Oct. 24.

The Naples Daily News reports that the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Center for Biological Diversity want regulators to deny the permit.

A lawsuit filed in 2016 by the groups seeking to stop oil exploration in Big Cypress was rejected by a federal judge.

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