Miami Herald reporter Jenny Staletovich has written two strong stories recently on blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) upstate. But the same algae and toxins are present in the same or greater concentration in the Turkey Point cooling canals.
The dying cyanobacteria yields ammonia, which has killed and is killing mangroves and polluting the aquifer for miles around outside the canals. The crocodiles are long gone and 600,000 pounds of industrial toxic chemicals and salt descend into the Everglades daily.
The solution for Turkey Point and Lake Okeechobee? Shut down the canals, stop growing sugar cane and stop allowing cattle run-off. It would take many years for the waters to recover, but if you never stop the source of the problem, it will never be solved. No amount of remediation will make a dent in the pollution.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the final arbiter in this matter, but has yet to fulfill its statutory mandate and responsibility in any meaningful and effective way to address the challenging issues. The Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) cited FPL, issuing a Notice of Violation in October, 2015 for Turkey Point, which has yet to result in any effective reversal or end to its pollution there, although RER understands it better than any agency in the state.
How much longer will citizens be limited to hand-wringing and angst with no leadership or enforcement? When will we see any individual or office at any level willing or able to confront polluters to achieve an effective and lasting solution to this blight and insult to our rare, precious and once beautiful state? Will we always be patsies and victims on this and so many more issues?
Barry J. White,
Citizens Allied for Safe Energy