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Environmental Caucus of Sarasota County Democrats

Help us campaign for a better tomorrow!

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Doreen Dupont, M.D.

Doreen is a relentless advocate for the environment.  She is a Director for the Florida State Democratic Environmental Caucus and a Director of the Environmental Caucus of Sarasota County Democrats. As a graduate of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training Corps , she lectures about it  to other groups.

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Congratulations Doreen!!

Doreen has been accepted as a media representative to attend the United Nation's Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain from 12/1-12/13, 2019.  She will be representing the WWPR 1490 AM radio station, broadcasting to Bradenton, Tampa Bay, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Doreen's Docket#1 -- Coal Rolling

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Advocating for Clean Air

PHOTO OF COAL ROLLING PROTESTORS IN COLORADO


INCIDENCES OF COAL ROLLING OUR  RALLY ATTENDEES  IN SARASOTA 

The Environmental Caucus of Sarasota County Democrats has had a presence at the bay front with SarasotaStudents4Climate since March, 2019. Weekly, vehicles have driven by spewing black smoke on us. August 1, 2019 Sarasota Police Officers told me, Dr. Doreen Dupont, that there is a loophole in Florida legislation that prohibits the police from stopping this heinous action. They directed me to the Clean Air Act and to the offices of our legislators to complain and advocate for change.


After much research, with the assistance of Rep. Vern Buchanan's Chief of Staff, Sally Dionne, we found that the Clean Air Act leaves states to set standards for vehicle exhaust emissions and that Florida hardly has any standards. In fact FL 2019 statute S316.2935 is all that we have. 


S316.2935 prohibits anyone from selling their vehicle if they, or their agents, have altered certain original parts. Altering your exhaust system is not illegal. Intentionally displaying visible exhaust is not prohibited. Car dealers do not have to certify that exhaust systems are functional, only that certain specified original parts, are still intact in the car. 


As a measure of functionality, vehicles on the road are prohibited from emitting visible exhaust only if the duration is greater than five seconds and there are circumstances where diesel powered vehicles are exempt.


 Harassing other vehicles, and protestors, with toxic smoke is not illegal. Harassing, and distracting, vehicles driving on the road is not illegal. Fumigation of protestors with toxic emissions is not illegal. Abusing FL's Air Quality is allowed due to a loophole in S316.2935.

NEXT STEPS IN CREATING AN AMENDMENT TO EXISTING BILL

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DOREEN'S BILL--HELP GET IT PASSED!

Endorsed by our caucus, The Environmental Caucus of Sarasota County Democrats, Doreen wrote a bill to amend S316.2935 to close the loophole. Throughout September Doreen has been visiting our rep's offices to lobby for the bill. On September 9, 2019 Doreen presented the bill to the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation, accompanied by our chair, Barbara Klein, and Board member Adrienne Miceli Trask. October 2,  the bill , which I call “Coal Rolling – Amending S316.2935”, was presented to the Manatee County Legislative Delegation. 


What this bill does is insert a clause that makes any nuisance display of vehicular exhaust as a moving violation, punishable as Careless Driving. While other states categorize such display as criminal, in Florida, this would be non-criminal, subject to points and fines. 

Reference S316.2935 https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2017/316.2935

Proposed Amendment to 316.2935

Substitute Subsection (4) 

No person shall operate either a gas powered, or diesel powered vehicle, in a manner to willfully emit transient visible emissions from the exhaust pipe to intentionally harass pedestrians or other vehicles on public roads or streets of this state.

Relabel subsection (4) as (5)

Substitute subsection (7)

Any person who violates subsection (4) shall be charged with Careless Driving pursuant to provisions in S 316.1925 punishable as provided in chapter 318. 

Relabel subsection (7) as (8).


Tell our Florida reps: #CloseTheLoophole in S316.2935, protect our air, protect our right to free speech, and keep our roads safe. Coal Rolling should be Careless Driving.


Margaret.good@myfloridahouse.gov   

newt.newton@myfloridahouse.gov

gruters.joe.web@flsenate.gov

tommy.gregory@myfloridahouse.gov

stewart.linda.web@flsenate.gov

will.robinson@myfloridahouse.gov

James.Buchanan@myfloridahouse.gov


EMAIL OR CALL THE REPRESENTATIVES ABOVE. 



More on Dr. Doreen's Efforts Concerning Air Quality

Dr. Doreen addressed  a Lee County, FL delegation and the video of her presentation on air quality including coalrolling  is the following youtube url:    https://youtu.be/8p65kc2nkT


Also click below for a link to a news report on steep decline in our air quality. 

https://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/2019/10/14/vehicle-emissions-are-up-sharply-and-its-fueling-climate-change/?outputType=amp

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