Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Florida District 7 Representative Halsey Beshears has sent a letter to V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator for the Atlanta office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In his letter, dated Wednesday, Feb. 8, Florida District 7 Representative Halsey Beshears urged the EPA to “take all necessary action to ensure unauthorized and unlawful discharges from the City's [Valdosta] wastewater treatment plant are prevented.”
Beshears reminded Heard of the numerous wastewater plant failures that have resulted in untreated sewage being discharged into the Withlacoochee River. The latest event took place in January resulting in health advisories being issued warning people not to come into direct contact with the waters of the Withlacoochee River and portions of the Suwannee River. Testing confirmed that contamination had indeed occurred. “This incident clearly warrants an incident review and compliance review of the consent order between the EPA and City of Valdosta. Furthermore the EPA must review the City's response to the sewage spill,” Beshears stated in his letter.
Florida's House District 7 includes Madison County as well as other counties directly affected by the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers.