Florida’s enforcement of pollution laws has dropped significantly during the administration of Gov. Rick Scott, according to a report released Wednesday by an environmental group.
The declines during Scott’s first year in office were across the board, from the number of major cases opened to the size of penalties collected, according to an analysis by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
Jerry Phillips, director of Florida’s PEER office in Tallahassee, said some falloff was expected because Scott, a former hospital executive, had campaigned on a pro-business, anti-regulation agenda.
“We all hoped it wouldn’t happen but I can’t say I’m shocked by these numbers, although if you look at the numbers in a historic context, yeah, it’s shocking,” said Phillips, a former enforcement attorney for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.