FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2018
Contact: Sarah Gilliam, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]
Hydrology Expert Claims FPL’s New Cleanup Plan at Turkey Point Plant Will Take Over 60 Years
Energy advocacy group calls for modification of cooling system to expedite and increase success of cleanup and prevent further degradation of Biscayne Bay and our aquifer
SACE will hold a telepress conference to discuss new findings and overall concerns with the Joint Partnership Agreement on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 11 am ET. RSVP to Sarah Gilliam at [email protected] or 865-235-1448 to receive the call-in information.
Miami, Fla. (April 5, 2018) – Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), a clean energy advocacy group, is voicing concerns about an upcoming vote on April 10, 2018 of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners on a Joint Partnership Agreement with Florida Power and Light (FPL) regarding the utility’s polluting Turkey Point facility. While the agreement provides a solution for the ocean outfall requirement, it could substantially delay the cleanup at Turkey Point resulting in long-term impacts on the region’s drinking water resource and the health of Biscayne Bay.
SACE contends that if the Joint Partnership Agreement is approved without a commitment to closing the cooling canals and installing cooling towers, the pollution plume will be exacerbated by the addition of tens of millions of gallons every day of treated municipal wastewater to Turkey Point’s canal system.
Dr. William Nuttle, a leading expert on coastal hydrology and ecosystem restoration, with over 25 years of experience working on projects in South Florida, states that the cleanup process could succeed in a much shorter time frame if key modifications are made. SACE urges that the agreement be updated with these modifications before moving forward.
Dr. Nuttle’s analysis demonstrates that if the canals are replaced by cooling towers, the timeframe for successful remediation will decrease by many decades. Without any changes, it will take over 60 years for FPL to completely retract the plume using recovery wells, while the utility claims 10 years. This would put FPL out of compliance with a Consent Order by the State and the County and exacerbate an already concerning water pollution problem. Remediation will take far longer if FPL and the County add treated wastewater to the canals, as proposed. However, if the cooling canals are replaced by cooling towers, the time required for remediation would be cut in half. The cooling towers would use reclaimed reuse water, also providing a solution for the County’s mandate to stop dumping treated wastewater into the ocean by 2025.
“We applaud the County for addressing the ocean outfall issue, but we believe the current agreement is shortsighted and undercuts efforts to clean up the aquifer groundwater and Biscayne Bay by failing to reach for a comprehensive solution that includes the best technology for cleanup at the Turkey Point nuclear plant,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of SACE. “With the nuclear plant’s life extension on the line, now is the time to address these issues once and for all. This can be a true win-win for a comprehensive solution that solves both the ocean outfall water and the aquifer groundwater issues if the right plan is implemented.”
“The success of FPL’s plan to retract the groundwater plume depends on bailing contaminated water out of the aquifer faster than it leaks in from the cooling canals. To assure success, FPL must look for ways to reduce seepage out of the cooling canals, not increase it, these new inputs of reuse water will decrease the effectiveness of remediation,” said Dr. William Nuttle.
Dr. Nuttle is an expert in an ongoing Clean Water Act lawsuit with SACE and other local conservation organizations, Tropical Audubon Society, and Friends of the Everglades on the impact of FPL’s hyper-saline contamination plume on Biscayne Bay.
“Why would the County support FPL receiving another 20-year license extension to operate this open industrial sewer unless real progress has been shown? To date, the pollution plume has not been retracted an inch. In fact, it has now contaminated the nearby L-31E Canal which discharges directly into Biscayne Bay,” said Laura Reynolds, a longtime local environmental advocate and consultant for SACE.
SACE will hold a telepress conference to discuss these findings and overall concerns with the Joint Partnership Agreement on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 11 am ET. RSVP to Sarah Gilliam at [email protected] or 865-235-1448 to receive the call-in information. Speakers will include: Dr. William Nuttle, hydrologist, Dr. Stephen A. Smith with SACE, and Laura Reynolds, consultant to SACE.
SACE along with other local conservation groups have sent letters and information to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners recommending ways to strengthen the Joint Partnership Agreement (JPA):
-March 1, 2018 Group Letter outlining concerns with the Agreement
-March 1, 2018 Group Letter with suggested language changes to the Agreement
-April 2, 2018 Group Letter outlining and responding to misstatements made at the March 8, 2018 Chairman’s Policy Committee meeting regarding the Agreement
-April 4, 2018 Dr. William Nuttle Letter with CV
–Fact sheet on the cooling tower retrofit proposed for Turkey Point
About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.