A Florida administrative law judge says a rule requiring companies to notify the public of pollution events within 24 hours is invalid.
The new rule was pushed by Gov. Rick Scott after it took weeks for the public to be notified about a giant sinkhole at a fertilizer plant that sent millions of gallons of polluted water into the state’s main drinking water aquifer.
Administrative law judge Bram Canter on Friday ruled that the new rule, which would result in fines for companies who failed to report pollution within a day, was “an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority.”
Five business groups – Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Farm Bureau Federation, Florida Retail Federation, Florida Trucking Association and the National Federation of Independent Business – challenged the rule in court, saying it would create excessive regulatory costs.
Scott’s office says he is reviewing the ruling and that he still believes the current rules are outdated and need to change.