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Environmental groups sue FPL over Turkey Point nuclear wastewater

Environmentalgroups filed a lawsuit July 12 against FloridaPower & Light Co., alleging the utility violated Clean WaterAct regulations through discharges at its Turkey Point nuclear facility.

TheSouthern Alliance for Clean Energy, or SACE, and Tropical Audubon Society filedthe suit in U.S. District Court of Florida's Southern District.

Inthe complaint, the plaintiffs assert FPL has violated the terms of its NationalPollutant Discharge Elimination System permit by unauthorized discharges fromTurkey Point's cooling canal system into Biscayne Bay of pollutants includingexcess salinity, phosphorus, ammonia, nitrogen and tritium. This discharge hasthreatened the water supply for Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys, theysaid. The groups seek an injunction against FPL and civil penalties up to$37,500 per day for the alleged violations.

InJune, FPL said it would installa recovery system to capture hypersaline groundwater from Turkey Point as partof an agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection thatalso included other restoration projects.

Inan email, FPL spokesperson Sarah Gatewood described the lawsuit as, "justanother publicity stunt froman anti-utility group with a long history of spreading false information andpursuing wasteful legal action."

Gatewood added that the lawsuit, "will do absolutelynothing to help the environment. In fact, it will very likely cause delays andincrease costs of the environmental improvements by forcing countless hours ofdepositions and other activity that will divert the time and energy of thescientists and other employees who are currently working on solutions."

FPLhas been working with local and state agencies to improve the long-term healthof the canal system and groundwater, Gatewood said.

FPLis a subsidiary of NextEra EnergyInc. (Docket No. 1:16-cv-23017-DPG)