Around the state
DEP seeks more time to dump Piney Point waste
By Times Staff and Wire Reports
Published October 22, 2003
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection officially asked Tuesday for permission to continue dumping treated waste from the old Piney Point fertilizer plant into the Gulf of Mexico for another six months.
Federal officials allowed the dumping on an emergency basis earlier this year, but that emergency permit expires Nov. 30. In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, DEP Deputy Secretary Allan Bedwell said the gulf dumping has not disposed of as much of the waste as the DEP had hoped, and the state needs more time to complete the job.
Extending the permit would allow disposal of up to 75-million gallons a month from the site just south of the Hillsborough-Manatee County line, Bedwell wrote. The DEP has hired a second vessel, a 680-foot tanker, the Capt. H.A. Downing, from Texas.
If the permit is not extended, DEP will have to discharge up to 3-million gallons of treated waste a day into Bishop Harbor, an aquatic preserve at the mouth of Tampa Bay, to avoid a catastrophic spill of untreated waste, Bedwell wrote.
DEP officials took over the Piney Point phosphate processing plant two years ago when its owners went bankrupt.
Girls 5 and 6 drown while boating with brother, 10
STARKE - Two girls, ages 5 and 6, drowned Tuesday when they fell out of a boat on a small lake, authorities say.
Nicole Salah, 5, and Natalie Salah, 6, were in a fiberglass boat with their 10-year-old brother when the girls fell out in Crosby Lake near Starke, the Bradford County Sheriff's Office said.
Starke firefighters dove into the lake and found the sisters in about 8 feet of water. The girls were rushed to a hospital in Starke, but could not be revived.
The sisters attended Brooker Elementary School and had gone to the home of an elderly relative after school while waiting for their mother, deputies said.
The siblings had no adult supervision and no safety devices, deputies said. The Sheriff's Office said it would investigate why the children were unsupervised.
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