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Suncoast Waterkeeper Wants Hearing on Palmetto Wastewater Permit

PALMETTO – Suncoast Waterkeeper has asked the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a public meeting on the renewal of the City of Palmetto's permit to operate its existing wastewater treatment facility just east of Snead Island, based on the city's "significant history of non-compliance with its existing and previous permits."

In May, the City of Palmetto applied to the Department of Environmental Protection for a permit renewal to operate an existing 2.4 million gallons per day wastewater treatment facility near the Tropic Isles RV Park. The facility, which is sandwiched between Terra Ceia Bay and the Manatee River, can discharge 1.4 mgd of effluent into Terra Ceia Bay and intermittently discharge from a stormwater storage lake system at Terra Ceia Bay Golf and Tennis Club.

The permit would also authorize the land application of 2.1 mgd of reclaimed water to a public access system and injection of 2.4 million gallons a day of reclaimed wastewater to an underground injection well system, which discharges to groundwater. FDEP has issued a notice of a draft permit for the application (click here to view).

SCWK's Justin Bloom said group members have "significant concerns about the adequacy of the proposed permit to protect human health and the environment from permitted and illicit discharges of pollutants from the collection system, treatment system and reclaimed water distribution system."

In his request, Bloom says "Palmetto regularly fails to report spills of raw and treated sewage," and that during significant rains, "...the system is regularly incapable of treating flows to the standards and requirements of the existing permit." Bloom goes on to say that recent reports and observations document the deterioration of water quality, seagrasses, and habitat function in Terra Ceia Bay, the Manatee River, Tampa, and Sarasota Bays.

Click here to read Bloom's request for a meeting in its entirety.

Citizens can join the call for a public meeting by submitting comments and/or a meeting request. The comments or request for a public meeting must contain the following information:

(a) The commenter’s name, address, and telephone number; the applicant's name and address; the Department permit file number (FL0020401-020-DW1P/NR) and the county in which the project is proposed;
(b) A statement of how and when notice of the Department's action or proposed action was received;
(c) A statement of the facts the Department should consider in making the final decision;
(d) A statement of which rules or statutes require reversal or modification of the Department's action or proposed action; and
(e) If desired, a request that a public meeting be scheduled, including a statement of the nature of the issues proposed to be raised at the meeting.

Submit to:
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Astrid Flores Thiebaud
13051 N Telecom Pkwy
Suite 101
Temple Terrace, Florida
or by email at: SWD_WF_Permitting@floridadep.gov


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