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.

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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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