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Florida governor calls for stiffer fines for cities that pollute during Naples announcement

Posted: 7:24 AM, Sep 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-12 07:24:34-04

NAPLES, Fla. - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will ask the Legislature to increase fines for local governments that pollute state waters and give the Department of Environmental Protection more power to enforce pollution laws.

DeSantis announced his proposal Wednesday at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center in Naples. He said he wants fines for municipalities that pollute waterways with improperly treated sewage to increase by 50 percent and to allow the Department of Environmental Protection to issue fines on a daily basis.

"It's cheaper for them to pay a fine and spew all this sewage because it's the cost of the business. They'd rather do that then invest in the infrastructure they need to make sure the waterways around them are safe and clean," said DeSantis.

DeSantis gave no details on how often or how much local governments are currently fined for letting sewage flow into waterways. He did say that some cities see it as a cost of doing business, and the fines might help prevent that. DeSantis' office and DEP didn't immediately respond to requests for more information.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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