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Florida lawmakers are sending a invoice to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk designed to streamline the state’s reporting course of following the contamination of public waters.

The invoice (HB 165), aptly titled the “Protected Waterways Act,” would create a statewide system underneath the Division of Well being (DOH) to ship warnings and difficulty seaside, canal and pool closures inside 24 hours of a security difficulty.

It additionally establishes an official course of for metropolis and county governments to report water issues to DOH and to show well being advisory signage at affected areas.

Furthermore, the invoice requires the Division of Environmental Safety (DEP) to show its personal well being advisory indicators for state-owned seaside waters and public bathing locations in the event that they comprise elevated ranges of fecal coliform, E. coli or enterococci micro organism, which all sometimes come from sewage, fertilizer runoff and livestock byproducts.

“This invoice will forestall pointless human sickness and probably even loss of life,” stated Boynton Seaside Democratic Lori Berman, the invoice’s Senate sponsor, forward of the chamber’s 40-0 vote for it Thursday. The Home handed the invoice 113-0 on Monday.

“Members of the general public usually are not being notified of those risks,” Berman stated. “The shortage of accountability has made headlines, which is unhealthy for tourism.”

Florida’s waterway well being, notably in South Florida which can be liable to common bacterial exposure and fish kills, transcends political divides, Berman added.

“This has been an actual bipartisan invoice of the ‘water ladies warriors,’” she stated after thanking the invoice’s different sponsors, Miami Republican Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, St. Petersburg Democratic Rep. Lindsay Cross and Highland Seaside Republican Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman.

Stuart Republican Sen. Gayle Harrell counseled them on the “excellent invoice,” which kicks in July 1 until DeSantis vetoes it. She spoke briefly a few good friend who almost misplaced an arm after falling off a dock into contaminated water.

The “Protected Waterways Act” is one thing of a sequel and nominal nod to the bipartisan “Clean Waterways Act” of 2020. Sponsored by Sen. Debbie Mayfield and Rep. Bobby Payne, the regulation amongst different issues moved water monitoring from the DOH to the DEP and approved the company to preemptively examine water remedy programs.

When Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it on June 30, 2020, he referred to as the measure “in all probability essentially the most complete invoice we’ve seen in fairly a while.”

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