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2015 Florida Statutes

F.S. 376.16
376.16 Enforcement and penalties.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to violate any provision of ss. 376.011-376.21 or any rule or order of the department made pursuant to this act. Violation shall be punishable by a civil penalty of up to $50,000 per violation per day to be assessed by the department. Each day during any portion of which the violation occurs constitutes a separate offense. The penalty provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any discharge promptly reported and removed by a person responsible, in accordance with the rules and orders of the department, or to any discharge of pollutants equal to or less than 5 gallons.
(2) In addition to the penalty provisions which may apply under subsection (1), a person responsible for two or more discharges of any pollutant reported pursuant to s. 376.12 within a 12-month period at the same facility commits a noncriminal infraction and shall be cited by the department for such infraction.
(a) For discharges of gasoline or diesel over 5 gallons, the civil penalty for the second discharge shall be $500 and the civil penalty for each subsequent discharge within a 12-month period shall be $1,000, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(b) For discharges of any pollutant other than gasoline or diesel, the civil penalty for a second discharge shall be $2,500 and the civil penalty for each subsequent discharge within a 12-month period shall be $5,000, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(3) A person responsible for two or more discharges of any pollutant reported pursuant to s. 376.12 within a 12-month period at the same facility commits a noncriminal infraction and shall be cited by the department for such infraction.
(a) For discharges of gasoline or diesel equal to or less than 5 gallons, the civil penalty shall be $50 for each discharge subsequent to the first.
(b) For discharges of pollutants other than gasoline or diesel equal to or less than 5 gallons, the civil penalty shall be $100 for each discharge subsequent to the first.
(4) A person charged with a noncriminal infraction pursuant to subsection (2) or subsection (3) may:
(a) Pay the civil penalty;
(b) Post a bond equal to the amount of the applicable civil penalty; or
(c) Sign and accept a citation indicating a promise to appear before the county court.

The department employee authorized to issue these citations may indicate on the citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and shall indicate the applicable civil penalty.

(5) Any person who willfully refuses to post bond or accept and sign a citation commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) After compliance with paragraph (4)(b) or paragraph (4)(c), any person charged with a noncriminal infraction under subsection (2) or subsection (3) may:
(a) Pay the civil penalty, either by mail or in person, within 30 days after the date of receiving the citation; or
(b) If the person has posted bond, forfeit the bond by not appearing at the designated time and location.

A person cited for an infraction under this section who pays the civil penalty or forfeits the bond has admitted the infraction and waives the right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the infraction. Such admission may not be used as evidence in any other proceeding.

(7) Any person who elects to appear before the county court or who is required to appear waives the limitations of the civil penalties specified in subsection (2). The court, after a hearing, shall make a determination as to whether an infraction has been committed. If the commission of an infraction is proved, the court may impose a civil penalty up to, but not exceeding, $500 for the second discharge of gasoline or diesel and a civil penalty up to, but not exceeding, $1,000 for each subsequent discharge of gasoline or diesel within a 12-month period.
(8) Any person who elects to appear before the county court or who is required to appear waives the limitations of the civil penalties specified in subsection (2) or subsection (3). The court, after a hearing, shall make a determination as to whether an infraction has been committed. If the commission of an infraction is proved, the court may impose a civil penalty up to, but not exceeding, $5,000 for the second discharge of pollutants other than gasoline or diesel and a civil penalty up to, but not exceeding, $10,000 for each subsequent discharge of pollutants other than gasoline or diesel within a 12-month period.
(9) At a hearing under this section, the commission of a charged offense must be proved by the greater weight of the evidence.
(10) A person who is found by a hearing official to have committed an infraction may appeal that finding to the circuit court.
(11) Any person who has not posted bond and who neither pays the applicable civil penalty, as specified in subsection (2) or subsection (3) within 30 days of receipt of the citation nor appears before the court commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(12) Any person who makes or causes to be made a false statement which the person does not believe to be true in response to requirements of the provisions of ss. 376.011-376.21 commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.ss. 10, 16, ch. 70-244; ss. 7, 14, ch. 74-336; s. 20, ch. 90-54; s. 12, ch. 96-263; s. 18, ch. 2012-88.