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2019 Florida Statutes
Violations; damages; penalties.
Violations; damages; penalties.
378.211 Violations; damages; penalties.—
(1) The department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive or other appropriate relief to enforce compliance with this part, for the assessment of damages, or for both injunctive relief and damages.
(2) The department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to impose and recover a civil penalty for violation of this part or of any rule adopted or order issued pursuant to this part. The penalty shall not exceed the following amounts, and the court shall consider evidence in mitigation:
(a) For violations of a minor or technical nature, $100 per violation.
(b) For major violations by an operator on which a penalty has not been imposed under this paragraph during the previous 5 years, $1,000 per violation.
(c) For major violations not covered by paragraph (b), $5,000 per violation.
Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), each day or any portion thereof in which the violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
(3) The remedies provided for in subsections (1) and (2) shall not apply to the failure to comply with the requirements of s. 378.209. However, if an operator has failed to comply with the requirements of s. 378.209 and the department determines that the operator is unable or unlikely to come into compliance with those requirements within a reasonable time, then the department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover against the security provided pursuant to s. 378.208.
(4) As a condition precedent to the institution of any action authorized by subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3), the department shall issue a written notice of violation to the operator setting forth in detail the alleged violation and specifying a reasonable time, not to exceed 90 days, in which to initiate corrective action. If the operator disputes the matters contained in the notice of violation, the operator may request a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. If a hearing is requested, the time for initiating corrective action shall not begin to run until a final order is entered. The civil penalties provided in subsection (2) shall not begin to accrue until the expiration of the time for initiating corrective action provided in the notice of violation issued by the department. Upon the expiration of the period provided in the notice, the department, in its discretion, may institute the action provided for under subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3), if the violation specified in the notice of violation has not been corrected.
(5) Penalties collected pursuant to subsection (2) shall be deposited to the credit of the Phosphate Research Trust Fund.
History.—s. 1, ch. 86-294; s. 110, ch. 96-410.