Sunbreak Farms backs down from fight to use biosolids in St. Lucie County

WPTV LOGO In: Sunbreak Farms backs down from fight to use biosolids in St. Lucie County | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

 

What we need are more county commissioners with the backbone to do their jobs.  And we can say the same for the district water management board members.

Many local authorities are afraid to say no to polluters because they are afraid of being sued.  Here is a rare example of the polluter/bully losing his court case.  Three cheers to those who stood up to him.

Read the complete article here at WPTV.com.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
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– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum


Sunbreak Farms backs down from fight to use biosolids in St. Lucie County

Posted: 11:28 PM, Jan 29, 2020
Updated: 5:09 AM, Jan 30, 2020

?url=https%3A%2F%2Fewscripps.brightspotcdn.com%2F10%2F6b%2Fa67346f5441fa31e09957a0e80bd%2Fmeghan mcroberts 2019 In: Sunbreak Farms backs down from fight to use biosolids in St. Lucie County | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
By: Meghan McRoberts

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A years-long battle over the possible use of biosolids by a farm in St. Lucie County is over.

County leaders say Sunbreak Farms is no longer pursuing plans to use biosolids to produce compost on its property.

This comes as good news to St. Lucie County residents and county leaders who feared the use of biosolids on the 6500-acre property might pollute local waterways.

In 2018, Sunbreak Farms filed an application with the South Florida Water Management District to allow it to use biosolids for fertilizing.

The South Florida Water Management District denied their application, leading Sunbreak Farms to challenge that decision. The South Florida Water Management District had concerns when Sunbreak refused to provide water quality monitoring as part of its project.

St. Lucie County, Indian River County, and the St. Johns River Water Management District all supported blocking the use of biosolids by Sunbreak Farms.

County officials say Sunbreak farms filed a lawsuit against St. Lucie County because Sunbreak wanted to invalidate the St. Lucie County ordinance which governs the use of biosolids at commercial composting facilities.

Now, Sunbreak Farms is no longer pursuing that potentially costly and lengthy lawsuit. Sunbreak Farms also dismissed its petition challenging the South Florida Water Management District.

“I was elated. I couldn’t wait to share the information with the citizens of St. Lucie County,” said Commissioner Chris Dzedovsky.

He was among the county leaders pushing the charge to block Sunbreak Farms’ use of potentially harmful biosolids, containing bacteria, heavy metals and nutrients that can feed algae blooms, hurt sea life, and kill vegetation.

“Incredibly harmful. We know the seagrasses are affected on an annual basis and that comes and goes. But the sea animals- we’re seeing lesions on fish, cancers on dolphin,” Dzedovsky said.

There was no way to guarantee the biosolids would not end up in the nearby C-25 canal and Indian River Lagoon….

 

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