TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida Gov. Rick Scott has issued an emergency rule requiring public notification of pollution events within 24 hours, a move that comes after it took weeks to notify local residents about a fertilizer plant that leaked millions of gallons of contaminated water into a major aquifer.
In a news release Monday, Scott says a recent sewage spill in Pinellas County and the sinkhole incident revealed outdated state reporting laws.
The sinkhole was discovered by Mosaic Co. on Aug. 27 at its fertilizer plant in Polk County, and reported to the Department of Environmental Protection in 24 hours. But neither Mosaic nor the agency notified the public for weeks.
Scott's emergency rule will last 90 days, and the governor said he plans to propose legislation to make it permanent.
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