Lawmakers Boost Public Notification of Pollution

The House on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would require stepped-up notification of the public when pollution incidents occur. Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, began pushing the increased requirements after controversy last year about pollution incidents involving a sinkhole at a phosphate plant in Polk County and sewage discharges into Tampa Bay.

Under the bill, which now goes to Gov. Rick Scott, owners or operators of facilities responsible for pollution would be required to submit reports within 24 hours to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The department, in turn, would be required to post the information online within 24 hours and create a subscription system for people to receive the notices. Galvano’s proposal was tacked onto a broader bill (SB 1018), sponsored by Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, that passed the Senate on Monday before going to the House. Both chambers approved the bill unanimously.

Reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida

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