Federal judge hears arguments on $1.6B Miami-Dade sewer-repairs agreement

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On Feb. 10, a Miami federal judge said he has some concerns about a legal settlement that would require county government to spend $1.6 billion over the next 15 years to fix its dilapidated sewer system, reports Miami Herald.

Chief among them: that the penalties Miami-Dade County would be charged for failing to make the repairs are far too lenient. In some cases, the county, which has a $4.4 billion operating budget this year, would be fined $500 a day.

“These are ridiculous,” U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno said.

An attorney for the federal government said the fines are consistent with penalties imposed in other parts of the country.

The judge cannot rewrite the agreement, known as a consent decree. But since the court will have to oversee the decree’s implementation, he must accept or reject it.

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