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Tighter Requirements Sought For Environmental Panel

Andreas Swensson

After a controversy this year about new water-quality standards, a Democratic senator Tuesday filed a proposal that would tighten requirements for the state Environmental Regulation Commission.

The bill (SB 198), filed by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, would require approval from five of seven commission members before proposed rules could go forward on several types of issues such as water-quality standards, air pollution and regulation of the consumptive use of water.

The commission was in the middle of a controversy when it voted 3-2 in July to approve water-quality standards that drew criticism from environmentalists, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and some industries.

Adding to the controversy about the standards, Gov. Rick Scott at the time had not filled two vacancies on the commission. Stewart's bill, which is filed for the 2017 legislative session, would require that vacancies on the commission be filled within 90 days.

Copyright 2016 Health News Florida

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