“To our knowledge, we have not seen any cases in Florida, zero cases in which the DEP has stepped in and taken court action to require these facilities, these agricultural concerns to obtain a permit,” Phillips said.
Phillips has spent years reviewing the agency’s enforcement as Florida Director of the nonprofit PEER, Public Employees for Environmental responsibility.
“I think we’re at a tipping point. Where we need to make a decision as a state as to whether or not we’re going to take aggressive enforcement and require these polluters to reign in this pollution and abide by their permits,” Phillips said. “It needs to happen and it needs to happen yesterday, quite frankly.”