Wakulla Commission Postpones Vote On Foley Cellulose Wastewater Pipeline

Aug 4, 2016

A proposed wastewater pipeline in North Florida is causing concern among environmentalists, and resolution against the pipeline in Wakulla County was recently postponed.

At issue is a plan by Foley Cellulose Mill to construct a system that would route polluted wastewater downstream, closer to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Fenholloway River
Credit Florida Department of Environmental Protection / http://www.dep.state.fl.us

The mill currently puts its treated wastewater into Taylor County’s Fenholloway River—a system that for decades, was the only river designated for industrial dumping. The pipeline would route the treated wastewater from the freshwater part of the river closer to its end in the Gulf—but that’s too close for neighboring Wakulla County. Linda Young heads the Florida Clean Water Network.

“Essentially what they’re trying to do now is move it somewhere else, because it’s caused so many problems, they want to spread it out more. Dilution is the solution to pollution to some people," says the Florida Clean Water Network's Linda Young.

In a 2015 article, a spokesman for Foley Cellulose told the Tallahassee Democrat the pipeline would aid in the plant's efforts to clean up the river. 

The Wakulla County Commission postponed a vote on a resolution asking the Army Core of engineers to deny a building permit for the pipeline and conduct an environmental impact study. In 2010 the commission voted to oppose the project.

If the army core approves construction, it would start in 2018.