Acrid smoke from burning sugar cane fields still clouded the skies over Glades residents into the heat of June this year, raining toxic soot on their homes, playgrounds and sports fields, keeping children and other vulnerable residents indoors.

For a third year, the pre-harvest burning season had brought no sign to Glades residents of the “major” and “historic changes” to sugar-cane burning that Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced on Oct. 1, 2019. That day, Fried, who heads the agency with sole authority over agricultural burn permits and who now is campaigning to be the Democratic nominee for governor, called herself committed to “new approaches.”

The announcement Fried made was profoundly misleading on multiple levels, a Palm Beach Post investigation has found.

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