Florida PSC approves FPL’s request to charge families and businesses to clean up underground pollution from Turkey Point in spite over 800 letters from customers
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]
Tallahassee, Fla. –The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) ignored over 800 customer requests today by unanimously approving Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) request to charge customers for a proposed plan to remediate an underground hyper-saline pollution plume caused by a ten square mile unlined cooling canal system at the utility’s Turkey Point facility. Pollution is spreading to the west and contaminating the Biscayne Aquifer – the sole drinking water source for south Florida – and to the east into Biscayne National Park. The price tag for the plan, which experts do not believe will work, is projected to exceed $200 million over ten years – and the PSC ruled that customers will begin paying these clean up costs starting next year.
Testimony in the Environmental Cost Recovery Clause docket by an Office of Public Counsel expert witness outlined how FPL knew or should have known since 1978, or at least by 1992, that the pollution plume was growing and that the Turkey Point cooling canals were causing it. Instead, FPL sat on its hands for decades as the plume grew in size and concentration. FPL, one of the biggest power companies in the country, racked up a $1.7 billion profit last year.
In spite of that evidence, and the submission of over 800 letters by FPL customers filed with the PSC calling on the Commission to deny the request, the PSC approved FPL’s request to increase customer bills to pay for the proposed clean up. Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) was a party to the proceeding challenging the proposed recovery as were Office of Public Counsel and the Florida Industrial Power Users Group. In response to today’s ruling, SACE Executive Director, Dr. Stephen A. Smith, issued this statement:
“FPL customers should not have to pay for FPL’s legacy of negligence and mistakes in the operation of the failed cooling canal system at its Turkey Point plant. It is obscene that FPL will be rewarded for their screw-ups and even make a profit off a portion of the proposed $200 million clean-up operation all paid by hardworking Florida families. This is the very definition of “ pollute and loot.” The Commission has done a disservice to Florida bill-payers by making them pay for FPL’s mistakes. It is clear that we need bold leadership in Tallahassee to protect the economic interests of Florida’s families and businesses from the manipulative hand of monopoly utilities like FPL.”
About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.