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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

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

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:30pm]


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