State to fine Pinellas for utility violations
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will fine Pinellas County $5,000 and make the county pay $1,000 in related costs for wastewater violations at a landfill, according to a proposed consent order (download here).
Nitrogen and other contaminants exceeded allowed levels six times between July and August 2009, according to a memo by retiring utilities director Tom Crandall on the proposed agreement, which the County Commission will discuss Tuesday.
As part of the agreement, the county has to make $26.8 million in improvements that must starting by 2011 at the landfill and pond, which are for the county's waste-to-energy incinerator. The county says the improvements are part of its construction plans.
Heavy rains during the time the violations happened caused discharge to overflow a storage pond, causing the violations. The six violations have fines that start at $2,000, but the state agency typically negotiates consent order to mandate repairs and improvements with lower fines.
David DeCamp, Times staff writer