This blog was written by Sara Barczak, former Regional Advocacy Director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.Guest Blog | April 6, 2018
FPL’s polluting Turkey Point facility has been all over the news again because next Tuesday morning, April 10, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners will convene a Commission meeting which includes a scheduled vote on a controversial Joint Partnership Agreement (JPA) with Florida Power and Light (FPL) regarding what to do about the utility’s antiquated, failing cooling canal system (item 11A3 on the agenda). Local organizations, including SACE, are demanding the Agreement be strengthened before the County approves, otherwise the agreement could substantially delay the cleanup at Turkey Point, resulting in long-term impacts on the region’s drinking water resource, the Biscayne Aquifer, and the health of Biscayne Bay and the adjacent Biscayne and Everglades National Parks.
“Clean It Up Now!” has been the rallying cry for concerned local organizations because FPL has also filed for a 20-year operating license extension with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). NOW is the time for the County to demand a comprehensive solution to fix a decades-long problem.
The groups have sent many letters and supporting information to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners recommending ways to strengthen the Agreement. Three requests have been consistently mentioned:
1. A commitment by Miami-Dade County to continue to seek decommissioning of Turkey Point’s cooling canal system and implementing upgrades to the cooling technology, such as the installation of cooling tower, and to maintain regulatory and operational control over the wastewater treatment facility and reuse water.
2. Any reclaimed wastewater treated for use at the Turkey Point facility must meet non-degradation water quality standards for release into Biscayne Bay.
3. A commitment to explore options to allocate a meaningful portion of treated wastewater for Biscayne Bay restoration and wetland rehydration.
Residents of Miami-Dade have a LAST CHANCE to influence this decision. Take action NOW to make a difference!
In a press release yesterday, SACE highlighted analysis from a hydrologist with over 25 years of experience and expertise in South Florida, Dr. William Nuttle, that shows that if the Agreement goes forward as written, FPL’s cleanup would be delayed, taking over 60 years versus the utility’s claim of 10 years. Find initial coverage on this analysis below:
- Miami Herald, “Could putting treated sewage in FPL nuclear canals pollute Biscayne Bay? Critics say yes“
- Miami New Times, “Environmentalists: FPL’s Plan to Fix Miami’s Polluted Drinking Water Will Take 60 Years“
- Palm Beach Post, “Expert: FPL’s Turkey Point pollution fix will take 60 years“
The final vote on this issue is April 10 – contact the Commission TODAY and ask them to amend the Partnership Agreement to better protect our resources and to speed up the cleanup of FPL’s pollution plume by requiring a comprehensive fix that includes a technology upgrade!