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State Senator: Get Cooling Canal Fix Right

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Miami Herald
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The deadline for FPL's plan to stop a saltwater plume from its Turkey Point nuclear power plan in South Dade is June 24.

Florida Power & Light has until June 24 to provide a plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection to stop the saltwater plume that originates in the cooling canals at its Turkey Point nuclear power plant in South Miami-Dade.

On Monday, state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami-Dade,  told the South Florida Regional Planning Commission that it was important for people from throughout the region to weigh in and make sure the fix gets done right. 

"Once a consent decree is agreed upon by both parties, the only way to undo it would be through litigation," she said. "So it's very important for DEP and FPL to get this right on the first try so we don't have to waste time solving the issue through costly and timely litigation."

The cooling canals are less than 10 miles from the wellfields that the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority uses to supply water to the Florida Keys.

"This is not an issue for our drinking water today nor any time in the near future," Flores said. "However, we now know that these plumes are moving eastward and westward and that if we don't stop their movement, they will eventually affect our drinking water. So we need to stop this before it becomes a real problem to our health."

Flores said she hopes the utility will propose a series of extraction wells that would draw out the salty water, then inject it deep underground — and that the utility should consider using towers instead of canals to cool off the water.