Monday, October 27, 2008

Urgent public meeting at DEP's office regarding cancellation of WCEC hearing

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition is calling for an urgent public meeting at DEP's office in West Palm Beach, 400 N. Congress, in place of the WCEC Site Certification Hearing in Wellington that was canceled. We are hoping that the officially recognized parties still have this date and time marked on their calendar. And we are also hopeful that DEP will welcome and accommodate this effort taking place in their regional office.

For those not directly involved, we apologize that the notice is so short, but feel the circumstances are extreme. We hope that some agencies, municipal and county staff, organizations and individuals can join, or send representatives, this Monday so that the meeting can be as productive as possible.

The issues here--the health of the communities in south Florida, the protection of the Everglades and its inhabitants, the reality of climate change and the importance of due process--are too important to public safety and the environment to not immediately address the detrimental cancellation of the October 27 hearing, and the implications of that, with the public involved.

Primary issues we intend to address with WCEC unit 3 application are the following:

-The failure to assess cumulative and secondary impacts of approving WCEC in a segmented manner, as suggested by Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) biologists in federal court this month

-The overuse of regional fresh water, including treated regional re-use water

-The industrial pollution of underground water sources

-The refusal to clean up the Riviera Beach FPL plant without approval WCEC unit 3

-The increased reliance on fossil fuel and the refusal to pursue available renewable options as suggested by the Treasaure Coast Regional Planning Council

-The failure to recognize ongoing legal obstacles with the required Gulfstream Phase III pipeline, such as the unresolved FWC mitigation land swap in the J.W, Corbett and a pending appeal of the Environmental Resources Permit.

-The denial of oversight from Governor's Cabinet, as the Power Plant Siting Board

We have further explained our case, with related documents, in the links below. For those unfamiliar and in need of background, please review them:

Also, please extend this invitation to all those from the public who are concerned with or in some way involved with the permitting and operating of fossil fuel power plants. FPL representatives are intentionally not invited, as we feel they have had more than enough say over this process. Although clearly we cannot deny them access to this public office. If they choose to attend, we ask that they come to listen.

Panagioti Tsolkas
co-chair, PBCEC

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