Members of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Tropical Audubon Society revealed on Tuesday that they are suing Florida Power and Light for polluting Biscayne Bay with industrial wastewater used to cool the Turkey Point nuclear power station.
The two environmental agencies have given FPL a 60-day advance notice of the lawsuit, their main complaint: the two-by five-mile unlined canal system that cools water used in the plant is leaking into the adjacent bay, according to the notice of intent to file the citizens’ suit.
Stephen Smith, the executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy says they are stepping in because of the regulatory safety net that should be in place. Smith says that even State Representative Javier Rodriguez said Governor Rick Scott’s Department of Environmental Protection has been derelict in siding with the utility instead of the public health and environment.
Florida Power and Light’s chief communications officer said they are already working with the EPA. FPL says that it does not allow the water to discharge directly into the bay, but recent complaints say that testing done in the canal system and bay are linked by “hydrologically connected ground water.” There is no threat to the consumption of water but the nutrients being deposited into the bay are a concern because they can lead to algae blooms that block sunlight, destroying vegetation and starving animal life.