Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

Pollution cleanup at former Hernando public works site awaits commission vote

BROOKSVILLE — The state-sanctioned job of cleaning up the contaminated old public works site in south Brooksville is about to begin — decades after the original pollution was discovered.

The County Commission on Tuesday will be asked to approve the next step for its engineering consultant, Cardno TBE, and that step is to begin to implement the state-approved Remedial Action Plan for the site.

The job will cost $282,346 and includes testing and writing the technical specifications that will begin the process of cleaning and capping the site.

The water and soil there were fouled by contaminants, including petroleum products and arsenic, which leaked into the site at 201 W Dr. M. L. King Jr. Blvd. when the county ran its public works and fleet maintenance operations there years ago.

The county has previously tested the site and removed and replaced dirt, but that was before the action plan was approved in 2010. Putting that plan into place was delayed by the need for a public meeting with residents of the largely African-American neighborhood.

Residents expressed concern that the plan didn't go far enough and argued that the poisons on the site had seeped into their entire neighborhood, sickening and causing the deaths of some residents.

After that meeting, several residents of the neighborhood challenged the plan but an administrative law judge rejected their arguments in March.

In May, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection gave its final approval to the remediation plan and the county staff negotiated the contract with Cardno TBE.

If the contract meets muster with the commission, work begins July 17. The job will focus on three specific activities.

The site has three specific spots where shallow pollution sources must be addressed, said Brian Malmberg, interim transportation services director. Dirt has been dug up at one location in the past and replaced with clean fill, so new testing is needed at that spot. The two other places will need to be excavated.

Cardno TBE will write the specifications for another firm to come and handle that excavation, he said. It will also write the specifications for the second phase of the clean up which involves treating deep plumes of contamination with a product which breaks down the dangerous chemicals.

The third part of the job involves capping the site. This will include using the existing concrete on the site to keep people apart from the soil and will also involve making sure there are no areas where stormwater can wash away contaminants.

Throughout the process, the county will be monitoring and testing. The hope is that the simple first steps outlined in their remediation plan will produce positive test results, but the plan also has back-up activities if the first batch of actions don't work, Malmberg said.

The work could be done by July 2015 if all goes according to plans, the tests show that the county has taken care of the problem and the DEP signs off on the completion of the project.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

USF's expanded partnership with Yuengling — including naming rights to the Sun Dome — is only the latest part in an evolving relationship between college sports and alcohol, as my colleague, Joey Knight, wrote on the front page ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Hometown Pasco for June 22

Hometown Pasco for June 22

We want your news!Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. You c...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northwest High grad return home

Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northwest High grad return home

ST. PETERSBURG — In November 1969, at a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, Air Force Capt. James White and his wife Sharon enjoyed their last night out together, dining on hotel room service with family friends Neil and Janet Armstrong.It was four months af...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
He told his friends his vest was stab-proof and offered to demonstrate. It wasn’t.

He told his friends his vest was stab-proof and offered to demonstrate. It wasn’t.

Five days after his 22nd birthday, Jordan Easton was celebrating with friends at a house in northeast England when he began talking about the vest he was wearing. It was stab-proof, Easton allegedly announced. He offered a demonstration.But the vest ...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Tampa Bay gas prices keep falling

Tampa Bay gas prices keep falling

The summer reprieve in gas prices is continuing.After flirting near the $3 mark, Tampa Bay gas prices fell another six cents a gallon over the past week to an average of $2.65 for unleaded, a wide gap with the national average of $2.91 a gallon, acco...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

ST. PETERSBURGThere are a lot of decommissioned gas stations across the country. Some have been reinvented, cleverly made over as upscale restaurants. There’s Big Star in Chicago, Elaia & Olio in St. Louis, Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Va., even Bi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Puerto Rico struggles with jump in asthma cases post-Maria

Puerto Rico struggles with jump in asthma cases post-Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shortly after he turned 2, Yadriel Hernandez started struggling to breathe. His doctor prescribed an inhaler and an allergy pill for asthma, and his symptoms were mostly under control.Then Hurricane Maria devastated Puert...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

The Rays lose three of four games in New York as Rick Stroud says they fail to figure out the Yankees' pitching. With Christian Arroyo injured, they activate Adeiny Hechavarria — one of the stars of Sunday's win — from the disabled list a...
Updated: 2 hours ago