Contamination notification bill passes Senate

A bill requiring expanded public notification of contamination sites passed the Senate on Wednesday.

SB 602 was filed in response to contamination at the Raytheon electronics manufacturing plant in St. Petersburg. Groundwater contamination was discovered in 1991 and the state was notified in 1995. But surrounding residents were not told until 2005 when the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said contamination began to move away from the site.

SB 602, by Sen. Charlie Justice, D-St. Petersburg, will require notification for residents living within 500 feet of the contaminated area along with elected officials and community leaders.

Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, said he has asked House leadership to withdraw his HB 207 from committees or have the House vote on the Senate bill. “It expands notification and it gives (notice to) people who otherwise aren’t legally required to be noticed,” Kriseman said.

(Story content provided by the Current, produced by The Florida Tribune. Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission.)