Oct 232015

water quality

The legal challenge brought by Cudjoe Gardens and Sugarloaf Shores property owners associations over the use of shallow injection wells at the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System treatment plant resulted in a guarantee for the expeditious completion of a deep injection well, a generator dedicated to that well, monthly water quality monitoring, and restricted flow as shallow wells are utilized during deep well construction.

Approval of the settlement today by county commissioners averted an Oct. 26 hearing before a state administrative judge.

“We were pleased when FKAA and the county listened to our concerns and agreed to construct a deep well. Now this settlement will stop new invitations to connect if water sampling detects pollution from using the shallow wells while the deep well is built,” Cudjoe Gardens POA President Larry Francisco said.

The settlement calls for flow to the shallow wells to be limited to 420,000 gallons per day, the same as the earlier settlement with two Lower Keys fishermen. In addition, FKAA agreed to collect surface water samples monthly from at least 12 locations nearby and surrounding the shallow wells and to increase groundwater monitoring at the adjacent landfill. Results will be posted publically on FKAA’s website. If a three-month test period shows significant increase in potentially harmful nutrients, FKAA will cease to issue invitations to connect.

“Our experts are convinced that the treated wastewater will encroach on nearshore waters creating an imbalance in the surrounding marine environment. We look to the aqueduct authority to be diligent in water quality monitoring and take prompt and appropriate actions if any degradation is detected. After all, the intention of building a central sewer system was to improve the quality of our nearshore waters,” Francisco said.

The POAs also gained approval for an onsite generator dedicated to the deep well. Concern arose during a state-mandated public meeting in September when it became clear that FKAA intended to rely on the shallow wells as a backup during electrical outages. Each side also agreed to handle their own legal costs.

“The property owners associations pursued this action because our members felt strongly that we needed to do as much as possible to protect the delicate ecosystem surrounding our islands. This settlement reflects the dedication of our communities to safeguard our unique environment, our economy and our quality of life,” said Sugarloaf Shores POA President Chuck Licis.

Cudjoe Gardens and Sugarloaf Shores property owners associations are voluntary organizations representing more than 500 members.

 October 23, 2015  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #137, Public Notice No Responses »
Jan 302015
An Open Letter to US Fish & Wildlife Services Regarding Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant

January 23, 2015 To: Cynthia Dohner, Regional Director, US Fish and Wildlife Services, Cynthia_Dohner@fws.gov CC: Ashleigh Blackford, Branch Lead, Planning and Resource Conservation –East, Ashleigh_Blackford@fws.gov; Nancy Finley, Refuge Manager, Nancy_Finley@fws.gov; Brian Powell, USFW Biologist, Brian_Powell@fws.gov; Larry Williams, State Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office, Larry_Williams@fws.gov From: Caron Balkany, Balkany@aol.com Re: Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant […]

 January 30, 2015  Posted by at 1:20 am Issue #99, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jan 302015
An Open Letter To South Florida Water Management District [re: Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System]

Dump the Pumps, Inc. P.O. Box 1956 Big Pine Key, FL 33043 January 29, 2015 Jonathon E. Shaw, P.G. Section Leader South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) PO Box 24680 West Palm Beach, FL 33406 Subject: Application No.: 150121-6 (Lower Sugarloaf Key Master Lift Station) Dear Mr. Shaw: Dump the Pumps, Inc. (DTPI) was made […]

 January 30, 2015  Posted by at 1:15 am Issue #99, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Jan 232015
Grinder Pumps Opposition Gets Hearing

by Rick Boettger The organization Dump the Pumps finally got a court hearing in its suit to halt the installation of grinder pumps up the Keys. Judge Wayne Miller heard arguments from Dump the Pumps on one side and the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, in charge of installing the pumps, and the Department of Environmental […]

 January 23, 2015  Posted by at 1:20 am Issue #98, Rick Boettger 2 Responses »
Dec 262014
The Deep Well Debate:  An Open Letter to the BOCC

The following letter was sent to the named public officials on December 18, 2014 To: Mayor Danny Kohlage; Mayor Pro Tem Heather Carruthers; Commissioners Sylvia Murphy, George Neugent, and David Rice Copy to: County Manager Roman Gastesi; and County Attorney Bob Shillinger Additional Copy to: Kirk Zuelch, FKAA Executive Director; Robert Feldman, FKAA General Counsel; Fred […]

 December 26, 2014  Posted by at 12:25 am Issue #94, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Dec 192014
Clarification: The Challenge to Cudjoe Regional Shallow Injection Well Permit

by Caron Balkany… Concerning your Guest Editorial by Harry Powell: Thank you very much for your guest editorial in The Blue Paper about the problems with shallow sewage wells at Cudjoe Regional. I think it’s really important to make these issues public, so I appreciate very much the time you’ve spent to do that. But […]

 December 19, 2014  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #93 No Responses »