Rep. Randy Fine Works With Department of Environmental Protection To Mandate Lagoon Repairs
By Space Coast Daily // March 15, 2018
FINE: Decree requires Brevard County Commission to complete three projects by end of 2020
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Florida State District 53 Rep. Randy Fine’s office issued a statement Thursday that the Brevard County Government would be compelled to spend more than $12 million on sewage system repairs under a consent order prepared by the Department of Environmental Protection with input from Fine’s office.
The consent order comes as a result of the illegal dumping of 22,782,439 gallons of raw sewage in 21 separate releases from September 11 to October 19 in 2017.
“I want to thank the Department of Environmental Protection for working with me over the past six months to prepare this consent order,” said Fine.
“Releasing raw sewage is illegal – there is never an excuse under the law. These illegal releases are no longer uncommon, and in order to get the local politicians to take their responsibility to protect the Lagoon seriously, I asked the Department to take the strongest possible action to compel them to do what is necessary and right.
“The proposed Consent Decree requires the County Commission to complete three projects by the end of 2020: the completion of 3.5 miles of force main on North Riverside Drive between Eau Gallie and Oakland Avenue in Indialantic; complete $1.9 million of clay pipe rehabilitation in seven collection basins in the South Beaches, and complete smoke testing of sewage pipes in Satellite Beach. Should the County Commission vote to accept the consent order, the county will further have to report to the state on its progress and actions moving forward.
“Given our some of our local politicians’ fervent efforts to prioritize non-essential pork-barrel projects and special interest giveaways over its legal obligation to stop raw sewage releases, I asked the DEP to ‘drop the hammer’ on the politicians until they own up to their responsibilities.
“The good news is the County Commission has more than $20 million of new funding available to fix these problems – $10M+ per year from the tourist tax, thanks to the legislation I championed this session, and $10M+ in unexpected excess lagoon sales tax revenues that Commissioner Kristine Isnardi has proposed spending on repairs. I look forward to seeing if the full Commission will do the right thing.
“This Consent Decree does not cover penalties for the 375,000 gallons of illegal sewage dumping that occurred last month in Satellite Beach. DEP has assured me that we will continue to increase the penalties on these ‘repeat-offender’ sewage dumps until we get the job done. I will remain relentless on pressuring not only the local politicians but state agencies to fix this existential problem.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Randy Fine is the State Representative from District 53, which is comprised of the southern portion of Brevard County and includes the entirety of Palm Bay, Malabar, and Grant-Valkaria, and portions of Melbourne, West Melbourne, and unincorporated Brevard.
In the legislature, he is the Chairman of the Brevard County Delegation and the Vice Chairman of the Careers and Competition Subcommittee and serves on the Commerce Committee, Tourism and Gaming Control Subcommittee, Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee, Joint Legislative Auditing Committee and Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee.
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