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Compliance & Enforcement
Overview
The Wetlands Management Division's Enforcement and Compliance Sections work jointly to provide firm, fair, and consistent application of the Wetlands Rule. These sections are responsible for timely and effectively resolving violations from beginning to end.

The Enforcement Coordinator meets on a weekly basis with the sections to review problem cases, monitor progress on existing cases and ensure adherence to the established Wetlands Division and procedures. Administrative, civil, or criminal actions may be initiated at any point in the process.

Goals
Restoration of the wetland to its original condition is the Division’s ultimate goal. Violations, which cannot be resolved through standard warning notice negotiations, are transferred to the Enforcement Section.

Enforcement Action
The choice of enforcement action depends on a variety of factors including violation characteristics, compliance history of the violator and after consult with EPC's Legal Department.

The choice of enforcement action, whether administrative, civil, or criminal will depend on a variety of factors, characteristics of the violation and the compliance history of the violator.

Wetlands compliance / enforcement activities are implemented with the foremost objective of correcting violations of Chapter 1-11 of the Rules.

Enforcement Process
Enforcement activities are implemented according to a weighing of a combination of the level of environmental harm, the violator’s prior history of environmental violations, and level of cooperation throughout the warning notice stage by the responsible party.

This process allows the division to select the most appropriate level of enforcement after a careful analysis of the particular circumstances of each case.

Administrative Enforcement Process

  • Administrative enforcement is initiated through issuance of a document outlining the laws violated and the specific steps required to correct the environmental damage caused to the wetland.
  • The violator is given a reasonable timeframe in which to respond to the document.
  • A Consent Order is an example of document used to amicably settle all aspects of a violation.
    • Such a document includes mutually acceptable corrective actions, reimbursement of the Commission’s costs of investigating the case, and a negotiated penalty to the Hillsborough County Pollution Recovery Fund.