Important legislation to tighten Florida’s notification requirements for potential environmental spills was filed today by Sen. Bill Galvano. Senate Bill 532, will require companies to notify the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) about the release of any dangerous substance within 24 hours of discovery, and DEP must then publish a public notice within 24 hours.
“The people of Florida deserve to know if our state’s drinking water has been threatened by potentially dangerous pollutants,” said Sen. Bill Galvano. “Requiring the public to be notified quickly about potential contaminants will give them peace of mind that they won’t unwittingly be drinking water that isn’t safe. SB 532, is designed to protect Floridians from this not-so-clear but very present danger.”
This legislation comes in the aftermath of multiple high-profile incidents over the past year that resulted in chemical contaminants possibly being leaked into local drinking water supplies – without the public being made aware of the situation.
Sen. Galvano has a track record of championing legislation that brings a greater level of awareness about potential contamination incidents. In 2005, Sen. Galvano sponsored HB 937, which was ultimately signed into law by the governor and requires notice when contamination is discovered as a result of site rehabilitation activities. The current legislation being proposed builds off this legislation to further strengthen and expand the state’s notification requirements.
The legislation also requires DEP to develop and publish a list of substances that “pose a substantial risk to public health, safety or welfare.” If any company fails to notify DEP about an incident regarding one of the published substances, it could face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per day.
For more information about the legislation, visit www.FLSenate.gov.