Originally published in The News-Press by Chad Gillis on June 15, 2019

A government watchdog organization says the state is purposely misrepresenting information about drinking water facility violations, reporting a high rate of compliance while the numbers are actually much lower.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, released a report last week that says more than half of the state’s drinking water facilities have violations that aren’t being reported to the public by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or DEP.

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said the report is concerning and that he wants to see DeSantis take a different approach to drinking water violations.

“I think everyone’s kind of desperately hoping DeSantis will break out of that mold that Rick Scott developed throughout the years, the lack of enforcement and compliance,” Cassani said. “But I want to give DeSantis a little more time to see if he’s broken out of that paradigm.”

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