Since 2004, PEER has examined Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) data to assess state trends in pollution enforcement.
Despite a population boom and a proliferation of toxic algae blooms, sewer overflows, and the die-off manatees in Florida waters, state records show Florida’s environmental enforcement actions are well below historical averages and have declined significantly in the last two years of the DeSantis administration.
Florida DEP enforces a wide array of laws that protect the state’s environment and the health of its residents. These include laws that protect air resources from industrial pollution, laws that protect the quality of Florida’s water, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands, and preservation of the state’s beach and dune systems, and laws that protect the environment from the improper handling and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes.
In a state heavily reliant on its natural beauty and water quality for tourism revenue, the lack of environmental enforcement is threatening water quality and the state’s long-term economic health. Stronger enforcement of environmental laws is needed to help address Florida’s looming environmental crises.
View the report below or click here to download.