After stormy term, Florida's environmental chief steps down

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Posted at 4:38 AM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 04:38:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's chief environmental regulator is stepping down from his job.


Jon Steverson, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, submitted his resignation letter Friday to Gov. Rick Scott. His last day is Feb. 3.


Steverson, first hired in 2014, did not say why he was leaving now. In a statement, Scott thanked Steverson and pointed out that during his tenure the state had increased money on several programs including one to clean up the state's troubled freshwater springs.


But Steverson came under fire after he suggested raising more money from state parks by expanding cattle grazing and timber harvesting.


DEP last year did not immediately notify the public that a huge sinkhole formed under a fertilizer plant and sent contaminated water and fertilizer into Florida's main drinking water aquifer.