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Gov. Scott Orders DEP Investigation Of St. Pete Sewer Crisis

Sep 22, 2016
Originally published on September 22, 2016 7:58 am

Gov. Rick Scott has ordered the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to investigate a sewage spill in St. Petersburg.

Heavy rain during Hurricane Hermine overloaded the city's sewer systems, sending millions of gallons of sewage to flow into streets and waterways.

In a news release Wednesday, Scott's office said the City of St. Petersburg dumped about 150 million gallons of raw and partially-treated sewage and wastewater into Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay.

Also on Wednesday, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced he was replacing two top city wastewater officials. Kriseman has put the city head of engineering and water resource manager on administrative leave.

This after a document surfaced showing city officials received a consultant report in 2014 saying the city should not shut down the Albert Whitted treatment plant until the South West Plant expanded capacity.

The city shut down the Whitted plant in 2015 and that is being named as a major reason St Petersburg has not been able to handle the sewage during the recent storms.

Kriseman told a Pinellas County legislative delegation Monday he never saw the $94,000 study. However, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection says it saw the report last year.

And U.S. Rep. David Jolly's has called for a federal environmental probe.

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