Read the headlines and hope. Cracking down on environmental crimes sounds good, although the DEP will likely have a steep learning curve since they are in new ballfield.
We can hope that the industrial polluters who regularly and consistently exceed limitations, such as Pilgrim’s Pride on the Suwannee River, and some dairies, will now cease to do that.
Glad to know that Gov. DeSantis will now “crack down” on them.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Read the original article here from WPTV West Palm Beach Channel 5.
Posted: 10:23 AM, Jun 25, 2019
Updated: 7:21 PM, Jun 25, 2019
By: Sabirah Rayford , WPTV Webteam
Governor DeSantis signed a new law that’s changing how environmental crimes are enforced
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Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new plan on Tuesday to crack down on environmental crimes during a visit to South Florida.
The governor held a news conference at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center in Stuart where he signed a bill that creates a Division of Law Enforcement within Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection.
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This will allow the DEP to conduct criminal investigations into environmental crimes, instead of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“We wanted to align resources that are focused on environmental protection,” said Gov. DeSantis. “That’s the agency’s mission, so it made sense that the agency in charge of protecting our natural resources is where you’d have the criminal enforcement.”
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Officials said the DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement will be made up of sworn officers.
“We understand clearly the governor expects us to enforce the laws we have,” said Noah Valenstein, the Secretary of Florida’s DEP.
Gov. DeSantis has made Florida’s environment a top priority since taking office in January.
Back in April, he visited Hobe Sound and announced the creation of a task force to study the impacts of blue-green algae. The task force will prioritize projects to reduce nutrients in our waterways. Those nutrients can contribute to harmful algae blooms and toxic red tide.
Earlier this year, Gov. DeSantis laid out his $625 million environmental budget, which includes $400 million for Everglades restoration and $25 to combat algal blooms.