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Initiative for ‘clean and healthy waters' proposed in Florida

Metromover going over the Miami River
Wikimedia Commons
The proposal aims to provide "equitable remedies against the actions or inactions of state executive agencies that harm or threaten harm to Florida waters," including lakes, rivers, wetlands and other types of water bodies.

A political committee has filed a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a “fundamental right to clean and healthy waters” and allow lawsuits against state agencies for harm or threatened harm to lakes, rivers, wetlands and other types of water bodies.

The committee Florida Right to Clean Water has proposed the initiative for the 2024 ballot, according to newly posted information on the state Division of Elections website.

“State executive agencies are instrumental to the effort to protect Florida waters from harm and threatened harm,” part of the proposed amendment says. “Consequently, to promote the interests of Florida’s people, businesses, organizations, communities, and economies in clean and healthy waters, this section (part of the proposal) provides for equitable remedies against the actions or inactions of state executive agencies that harm or threaten harm to Florida waters, with the goal of clean and healthy waters and the aspiration that waters in the state will one day flourish.”

To reach the 2024 ballot, the committee would need to submit 891,589 valid petition signatures by a Feb. 1, 2024, deadline and receive approval of the ballot wording from the Florida Supreme Court.