One thing this pandemic has highlighted for me is the importance of our beaches and water to the vibrancy of Florida’s economy, culture and spirit. That is why I am thrilled to see the County’s plan to send millions of gallons of treated wastewater to Florida Power & Light for recycling and reuse instead of keeping the status quo, which includes disposing of hundreds of millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the ocean each and every day. Those daily discharges to the ocean can impact water quality throughout the region. It is an outdated and unsustainable practice. I applaud the County for taking this step toward treating, reclaiming and using this wastewater.
County Commissioners can take an important step toward protecting the health of our environment and the local community by moving forward when it comes before the Commission this month. The project leverages proven technology, making it a low-risk way to help protect our water resources, while investing in the production of clean, reliable energy for our growing region.
I also applaud FPL for thinking outside the box to consider changing their current operations for the long-term benefit of the region. The utility currently uses groundwater in cooling towers to cool the natural gas unit at the Turkey Point Clean Energy Center in Homestead. Their innovative decision to switch to treated wastewater, as they did in a while back in Palm Beach County, is the right thing to do for the long-term benefit of our environment and our groundwater resources.
All long journeys start with a single step, and this is would be a big step in the right direction for our environment. By approving this project, the County wins by helping protect the environment; FPL wins by protecting our groundwater resources; and FPL customers like me win by being a part of this public-private partnership. Perhaps the biggest winners are the future generations who will benefit from the actions we take today to protect the health of our community and environment for tomorrow.
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