Mayor, FPL Execs Meet on Turkey Point Pollution - NBC 6 South Florida
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Mayor, FPL Execs Meet on Turkey Point Pollution

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    Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez met with executives from Florida Power & Light to discuss pollution at Turkey Point. (Published Monday, March 14, 2016)

    For a moment Monday morning, it was as if Florida Power and Light's executive suite had relocated to the 29th floor County Hall offices of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

    The company's president and four vice president's spent about 90 minutes trying to persuade the county they had things under control at the Turkey Point power plant.

    That's where studies are connecting water from the plant's cooling system to high levels of nutrients in tidal waters of Biscayne Bay adjacent to the plant.

    The two-by-five-mile cooling canal system is also adding salt to groundwater that has migrated miles off the property, toward wells that provide water for irrigation and drinking.

    After the meeting, Gimenez said no violation notice was issued to FPL by the county at that time, but that they discussed possible solutions to the problems.

    "They’ve come up with certain solutions that we think may work, but we need to analyze it  and make sure it does work," Gimenez said.

    Specifically, FPL has a plan to reduce the high levels of nutrients from near the bottom of a dormant canal the company dredged into bay waters, and prevent them from reforming.

    The high levels of nutrients in the bay were connected to the plant through the detection of tritium, an isotope of hydrogen that is found in elevated levels in water that passes through a nuclear power plant.

    As NBC 6 Investigators reported last week, the highest tritium levels found in the water are only about 20 percent of the minimum levels allowed for even drinking water -- not a health concern, according to all involved.

    "No one is dipping their glass into Biscayne Bay and drinking the water," said FPL President Eric Silagy. "But if you did, it would be perfectly safe."

    Still, a county study found levels of one nutrient, ammonia, exceeded county water standards in almost all of the Biscayne Bay surface water wells tested.

    "There is ammonia that comes from decomposition of plant life and material," Silagy said. "We’re not happy about that. We’re actively addressing that."

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