Watchdog group says Crist edged Bush when it came to protecting the environment

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A public employees watchdog group said Monday that state enforcement of environmental violations was better under Gov. Charlie Crist than his predecessor, Gov. Jeb Bush, but the group said enforcement still was disappointing, writes Bruce Ritchie.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility also said there were some gains from 2009 to 2010 but pollution “varies widely” among Department of Environmental Protection districts. The group issued a 59-page reportanalyzing DEP enforcement trends.

“Florida still acts like a Third World country without a consistent or concerted effort to protect its citizens and environment from pollution,” Jerry Phillips, director of Florida PEER and a former DEP enforcement attorney, said in a news release.

PEER said enforcement under Crist was better overall than under Bush from 1999 to 2007, when the group said the department was “polluter-friendly.”

Continue reading Bruce Ritchie’s story here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.