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State v. Hamilton

Citation: 11 ELR 20042
No. No. 55181, 338 So. 2d 561/(Fla., 09/18/1980)

The court upholds the constitutionality of Florida's Air and Water Pollution Control Act. The Act, which makes it a crime to cause pollution that harms human, animal, or plant life, is not unconstitutionally vague because it defines pollution in commonly used words that put persons of common intelligence on notice of the proscribed conduct. In addition, the criminal penalties are imposed only if the pollution causes actual harm, not for acts which create only a potential for injury. However, the section of the statute which penalizes mere negligent conduct is unconstitutional.

Counsel for Appellants
Jim Smith, Attorney General; Martin S. Friedman, Ass't Attorney General
Department of Legal Affairs
The Capitol, Tallahassee FL 32304
(904) 487-1965

Sheri W. Smallwood, Ass't General Counsel
Department of Environmental Regulation
Twin Towers, 2600 Blair Stone Rd., Tallahassee FL 32301
(904) 488-9730

Counsel for Appellee
Michael L. Bryant
Birr, Bryant & Saier
204 W. University Ave., Gainesville FL 32601
(904) 375-1000

ADKINS, Justice, BOYD, OVERTON, ALDERMAN and McDONALD, JJ., concur. SUNDBERG, C.J., and ENGLAND, J., concur in result only.