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Proposed Pasco landfill worries Tampa
By JANET ZINK
Published July 18, 2007
TAMPA - The proposed landfill is more than 30 miles away from the heart of Tampa, but city officials are concerned about the impact it may have on their drinking water.
Mayor Pam Iorio will make those worries known in a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which is reviewing a request by a Largo company to build the landfill in Pasco County near Dade City.
"I am concerned that this landfill will be so close to the headwaters of the Hillsborough River, which we rely on as the source of our drinking water. It is a very poor location for a landfill," she said.
The site is about a mile from the Hillsborough River basin, where water drains into the river.
The first phase of the proposed landfill would cover 30 acres, but Angelo's Aggregate Materials has options to expand it to more than 600 acres, according to project manager John Arnold.
He said the pit would be lined by a layer of clay 50 feet deep to prevent seepage into the water table as well as a state-required liner made of plastic. He also said Angelo's would not accept hazardous waste, would restrict acceptance of asbestos, use monitoring wells and provide for third-party inspections.
Arnold pointed out that in recent years the DEP has approved two similar landfills in the region that are close to water supply sources.
According to a memo from Tampa Bay Water, the regional water utility that sometimes withdraws from the Hillsborough River, the landfill would not affect the quality of water in its system.
But that doesn't satisfy Carl Roth, a member of a residents group formed to fight the landfill, who met with Iorio last week.
The land, he said, is prone to sinkholes, which poses the risk of a structural failure no matter what type of precautions are taken.
"We really don't believe that location is good given the geology of the site," he said.
Times staff writer Chuin-Wei Yap contributed to this report. Janet Zink can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813 226-3401.