Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coral Gables to study impact of proposed power lines

A story in the Miami Herald says Coral Gables city leaders are following the lead of nearby communities in looking more closely at FPL's proposed route along US-1 of 230-KV high voltage electric transmission lines, hoping to assess the impact on residents and schoolchildren of the projected power lines.

According to the article by staff writer Elaine de Valle, which appeared in the zoned Neighbors section for Coral Gables and South Miami:

Acting on the concerns of residents in the city and nearby communities, leaders in Coral Gables want to find out the impact of controversial proposed new power lines that could traverse part of the city as part of Florida Power & Light's expansion project.

City Manager Pat Salerno got approval from the City Commission to hire a consultant to analyze the impact the new lines proposed along U.S. 1 will have on nearby residents.

Salerno told the newspaper that Coral Gables does not expect to receive details from FPL until June, when the utility expects to file its application for construction in the Gables.

"It's really for us to be prepared so that, once we've received the package of information from FPL, that we don't just have to take FPL's word for it that there will be no negative impact on the residents,'' the manager said. ``We want to have an independent way to validate what they are telling us.''

Read the full Herald story online, here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

FPL gets key Miami-Dade approval for Turkey Point rock-ming project, despite opposition

Persistent lobbying efforts at the Miami-Dade County over the years paid off for FPL yesterday, as the Miami-Dade County Planning Advisory Board in a 5-3 vote approved an FPL land-use change request that would allow rock-pit mining in the south of the county -- despite strong opposition from environmentalists, farmers, Biscayne National Park and the U.S. Air Force.

The Miami Herald reported today on the approval by the board that sent to the County Commission for its approval or rejection next month a plan by FPL to rock mine near Biscayne Bay in order to provide landfill for the two new Turkey Point 6 & 7 nuclear reactors planned for the power plant.

Red the full Herald story online, here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Miami-Dade County to hear pros, cons of Turkey Point landfill plans

Front page story this morning in the Miami Herald outlines what's at stake today in the hearing before Miami-Dade Planning Advisory Board for a permit to allow rock mining for landfill purposes related top construction of new Turkey Point nuclear reactors 6 & 7.

According to the story, FPL canals criticized as health risk, by Herald staff writer Curtis Morgan:
Environmental groups, backed by Biscayne National Park, will ask Miami-Dade's Planning Advisory Board on Monday to reject a request key to its Turkey Point plan. The land-use change would clear the way for FPL to dig rock pits in up to 880 acres of nearby farmland as a source of limestone fill for future construction.
The story goes on to say that:
... spiking chloride -- a measure of salt -- in monitoring wells west of FPL's site, and new aerial electromagnetic assessment techniques used by the U.S. Geological Survey, suggest South Miami-Dade's salt concerns are the most serious in South Florida. Salt fronts typically ebb and flow, but preliminary data suggest the salt is moving inland yearly in spots.
Read the Herald story in full online, here.

Turkey Point NRC hearing: residents, environmentalists, workers voice concerns

Two very interesting pieces over the weekend at the Miami Herald on the Turkey Point hearing in Homestead on Thursday evening with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

On Friday, Herald staff writer John Dorschner framed the public hearing in terms of a debate between representatives of some fairly heavy-hitting environmentalist groups, concerned over salt water contamination of the fresh water aquifer underlying Miami-Dade county and damage to Biscayen National Park, versus workers concerned with jobs, jobs, jobs ... who were (surprise!) in favor of the expansion of nuclear units at Turkey Point.

Dorschner's story is online at: Residents get their say on FPL plans for new Turkey Point reactors.

On Sunday, Neighbors section reporter Tania Valderomo reported on the same meeting in the zoned Pinecrest/Bays edition of the paper, focused more on the local residents' concerns about the impact of Turkey Point expansion:
The question on everyone's mind Thursday is how two new nuclear reactors would affect their lives -- from safety at the proposed nuclear power plants to storing nuclear waste to water sources. Residents also wanted to know the effect of the reactors on wildlife and vegetation at neighboring Biscayne National Park.
Valderomo's story can be read online at: Feds start discussion on more nuclear facilities in South Miami-Dade.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two Turkey Point meetings with NRC on Thursday

Two Turkey Point hearings are set for tomorrow, Thursday April 23rd, with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commisssion.

The first is a meeting for local elected officials "to discuss the role that the NRC will play in the anticipated review of the Florida Power and Light company (FP&L) application for a combined license for the proposed Turkey Point Units 6 and 7."
Local Elected Officials NRC meeting
April 23, 2009 from 1 PM to 2:30 PM
Keys Gate Golf & Country Club Palm Room
2300 SE Palm Drive (SW 344 St), Homestead
The second meeting is from 7 to 8:30 pm Thursday night for the general public, at which NRC staff will provide information on the licensing process for FPL's request for the new reactors at Turkey Point and address concerns about the existing facility.
General Public NRC meeting
April 23, 2009 from 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Keys Gate Golf & Country Club Palm Room
2300 SE Palm Drive (SW 344 St), Homestead
Anyone interested at all in FPL's nuclear power expansion in Miami-Dade and in our State should turn out for this public meeting. And, don't hesitate to let your local officials know what you think about this important issue!

Monday, April 20, 2009

South Daytona challenges FPL to show them the money!

The city of South Daytona is challenging FPL to show it the money!

The city's challenge to drop FPL as its local electricity distributor, reported earlier at Stop FPL, have expanded to a demand that the power giant justify its recent request for a base-rate increase to electricity customers.

South Daytona has demanded that FPL open it's books to show why the base-rate increase is necessary and are meeting with stone silence from the publicly trade energy utility.

The ongoing saga is getting some real press coverage up in Volusia County at the News-Journal online and at the websites of WTFV-9 and CFNews-13.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Coconut Grove FPL Committee Update at Village Council Meeting

Hat tip to West Grove Political Beat blogger Stephen Murray for this item.

Seems tonight (April 16) is the Coconut Grove Village Council meeting at City Hall and on the agenda is "an update on the Florida Power and Light Committee" ...
The FPL Committee is headed by Harlene Kennedy and is trying to prevent high voltage, above-ground lines from being installed in the Grove. An ideal situation for our safety during a hurricane would be for FPL to install the cables underground.
The meeting is televised locally in the Grove on cable Channel 77 and streamed online at

FPL prominent in Eye On Miami roundup on 'Environmental Issues We Are Facing'

Genius of Despair gives a nice (well, frightening, really!) roundup today at Eye on Miami of the pressing environmental issues facing all who live in Miami-Dade.

FPL related exigencies noted, include numbers 1, 2 and 6, which we've taken the liberty of reprinting here:
1. Nuclear and Coal Technologies Need to be Removed from the Renewable Portfolio:
These two technologies will take away funding for development of real renewable energy sources like solar and wind. This week there were important State Senate Committee Hearings on SB 1154 and it will be important to be vocal on this issue.

2. Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve:
At least $10 million for water managers to buy endangered Biscayne Bay wetland is gone, and more than $140,000 has been slashed from the Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas program. As Laura Reynolds (Tropical Audubon) sees it, Biscayne National Park's fragile ecosystem is suffering a slow "death by a thousand cuts." (Hit read more).

Without management, the Bay will degrade. For example boat propeller scarring in shallow sea grass areas of the bay is a problem in the preserve. Boaters disregard markers and just plough through the flats. Eventually, these scars erode and become trenches. For history buffs, who could forget the FP&L debacle of the 1960’s, when hot water was dumped into Biscayne Bay by the Company from their nuclear reactors. Large areas of sea grass and masses of marine organisms – both plants and animals – were killed.

Action: Press county and state officials to protect the bay and South Miami-Dade's fresh water supply.

6. Rock Mining Near Biscayne National Park:
Turkey Point Nuclear Power plant needs to raise the grade to expand and build two more reactors. They need enormous amounts of fill and it is feared that they will excavate near the park, causing saltwater intrusion and endangering our water supply. Also Cemex had a permit application last year to mine 26 million cubic yards on 200 acres very close to the park, at Florida City Quarry. Rock mining near Biscayne National Park will seriously affect water quality in the Park. This is one obvious problem. There is no doubt that marine life in the park will be detrimentally impacted, counter to the Park’s Management Plan.
Do check out the full post: Rundown of Environmental Issues We Are Facing. And be sure to follow Genius's counsel to "write to the Governor about all these issues. Express your concern for the future of the environment in Florida."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Michael Mayo: FPL executive pay jolts the outrage meter

Sun-Sentinel columnist Michael Mayo has been doing some further reading into executive pay levels at FPL ... and he's outraged.

In the face of a 30% base-rate hike request, he's outraged at FPL executives' shameless "country club memberships, home security systems, leased vehicles and gasoline, even flights and lodging for an annual physical."

FPL's response? Spokesperson Jackie Anderson resonded to a query from Mayo that given record profits last year the executives' perquisites were "reasonable, appropriate and in line with the needs of the business."


Want to read more? Take your blood-pressure medicine first, then sit down at your computer screen to read Michael Mayo's full column online, here.

South Miami proposes FPL power line alternatives

The Miami Herald reported in its Gables/S. Miami neighbors section Sunday the vote by South Miami Commissioners last week to oppose FPL high-voltage transmission lines coming through their community and propose alternate routes further West.

Commissioners also voted to support bills in the Florida House and Senate that would give communities more power in dealing with utilites over selection of power-line routes.

The vote came nearly two weeks after FPL announced it had selected a preferred route for the Turkey Point 6 & 7 Transmission Lines project that would run the 230-KV high-voltage lines supplying electric power from the yet-to-be-built Turkey Point nuclear reactors 6 & 7 right down Highway US-1, through Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Coral Gables and Coconut Grove.

Read the full Herald story online, here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Repower America peititons Congress to close carbon pollution loophole

Closing the carbon pollution loophole will create jobs. It's that simple.

We need those jobs and in two days Repower America will deliver a petition to Congress to demand urgent action. More than 65,000 people have already signed.

Please sign the online petition now at RePower America!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FPL requests OK on $1.5 billion 300-mile gas pipeline from Palm Beach to Gainesville

The Sun-Sentinel's Julie Patel reported today that on Tuesday Florida Power & Light proposed to the Florida Public Service commission the construction of "a $1.5 billion underground pipeline that stretches 300 miles from Palm Beach County to Bradford County near Gainesville as early as 2014."
The exact route will be determined after a "comprehensive public outreach process to obtain feedback” about it, FPL said. The pipeline proposal comes during the annual legislative session, where lawmakers are considering requiring utilities to have 20 percent of their energy come from renewable resources such as the sun and wind by 2020.
Read the full post online at the newspaper's House Keys blog, here.