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    FLORIDA – January 3, 2017 – As reported by various media outlets, Florida State Senator Linda Stewart has filed a bill requiring a 48-hour notice to be given to the public in the case of any spill that pollutes or contaminates Florida’s waters. Senator Stewart’s bill stems from the same spills in the Tampa area that garnered the attention of Governor Rick Scott last fall. At that time, Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to adopt a 24-hour pollution notification rule.  After several public hearings, the proposed rule was challenged and struck down in December. Administrative Law Judge Bram D.E. Canter ruled just prior to the year-end holidays that FDEP overreached is legislative authority in adopting the rule because “no statute that specifically authorizes DEP to adopt a rule which requires persons to notify entities other than the DEP when there is a release of a contaminant” exists.  Hence the filing by Senator Stewart. The Senator calls her legislation a “public safety bill” and it surely will have legs this legislative session. 

    Patrick W. Krechowski
    GrayRobinson, P.A.
    50 North Laura Street
    Suite 1100
    Jacksonville, Florida 32202
    P: 904-632-8463
    F: 904-598-9109


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