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DEP Finalizing Agreement With St. Pete Over Sewage Spills

Robert Neff (Flickr)
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

St. Petersburg has a plan to minimize sewage spills during major rain events and the Department of Environmental Protection wants to ensure it follows through.

The DEP's local director Mary Yeargan said her agency is finalizing a consent order that will ensure 58 million dollars in proposed upgrades to St. Petersburg's sewage system will occur.

Yeargan said the DEP started drafting the agreement after major rain events last year and then again in early June forced the city to release millions of gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay.

Then came Hurricane Hermine.

“Because it happened last year and then it happened again this year, we see that obviously this has not been a one-time even and therefore we like to have a plan in place that will alleviate some of the problem,” Yeargan said.

After Hermine, the city pumped 78 million gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay. Another 58 million gallons of treated effluent overflowed from the city's treatment plant near Walter Fuller Park.

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.