403.141 Civil liability; joint and several liability.—
(1) Whoever commits a violation specified in s. 403.161(1) is liable to the state for any damage caused to the air, waters, or property, including animal, plant, or aquatic life, of the state and for reasonable costs and expenses of the state in tracing the source of the discharge, in controlling and abating the source and the pollutants, and in restoring the air, waters, and property, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, of the state to their former condition, and furthermore is subject to the judicial imposition of a civil penalty for each offense in an amount of not more than $10,000 per offense. However, the court may receive evidence in mitigation. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense. Nothing herein shall give the department the right to bring an action on behalf of any private person.
(2) Whenever two or more persons pollute the air or waters of the state in violation of this chapter or any rule, regulation, or order of the department so that the damage is indivisible, each violator shall be jointly and severally liable for such damage and for the reasonable cost and expenses of the state incurred in tracing the source of discharge, in controlling and abating the source and the pollutants, and in restoring the air, waters, and property, including the animal, plant, and aquatic life of the state, to their former condition. However, if said damage is divisible and may be attributed to a particular violator or violators, each violator is liable only for that damage attributable to his or her violation.
(3) In assessing damages for fish killed, the value of the fish is to be determined in accordance with a table of values for individual categories of fish which shall be promulgated by the department. At the time the table is adopted, the department shall use tables of values established by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The total number of fish killed may be estimated by standard practices used in estimating fish population.
(4) The damage provisions of this section shall not apply to damage resulting from the application of federally approved or state-approved chemicals to the waters in the state for the control of insects, aquatic weeds, or algae, provided the application of such chemicals is done in accordance with a program approved pursuant to s. 403.088(1) and provided said application is not done negligently.
History.—s. 15, ch. 67-436; ss. 26, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-141; s. 1, ch. 71-204; s. 3, ch. 72-286; s. 7, ch. 74-133; s. 1, ch. 76-112; s. 3, ch. 78-98; s. 370, ch. 94-356; s. 4, ch. 97-103; s. 24, ch. 2000-197.