Bill Would Require "Prompt" Notification of Pollution Spill to Public

A new bill would require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to promptly notify the public when a pollution spill occurs. 

The Florida Senate unanimously passed the bill Tuesday. 

Its development comes in the wake of a massive sinkhole at a fertilizer plant that sent millions of gallons of contaminated water into Florida's main aquifer. Under the Senate bill, those responsible for a spill would need to notify the DEP within 24 hours of the hazard being discovered. 

The DEP would then be mandated to issue a public emergency notice. If operators do not comply, they could be penalized $10,000 for each day the spill goes unreported.

The House version of the bill has yet to go through a committee hearing.

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