While the Palm Beach Chapter recently assisted in a victory to close the Delray Outfall from sewage, now the Department of Environmental Protection wants to open a new outfall just north in Lake Worth for a new Reverse Osmosis plant’s briny by-product. The proposed outfall would allow nitrogen and phosphorus on some of the most beautiful coral reefs north of the Florida Keys including federally-listed corals.
At both a press conference and public hearing on June 18, 2007, chapter members informed the DEP and the City of Lake Worth’s consultants that permitting such a project would be in complete contradiction with the DEP Secretary’s position to close all the ocean outfalls within 10 years. In addition, the draft permit lack any discuss on cumulative impacts or the potential economic impact it could have on the diving and fishing industry that bring in over $196 million a year to the County alone.
The chapter has met with local politicians to discuss alternatives to an outfall. Lake Worth is now considering other alternatives. It goes to show, there really is strength in union. While the fight isn’t over yet, it’s a step in the right direction.