FL Sen. Gainer asks DEP to deny disposal well permit in Jackson County

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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG-WECP) -- Florida Sen. George Gainer (District 2) has sent a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, asking that agency not to approve the deep injection well that Waste Management wants to install at Springhill Landfill as a means of disposing of landfill wastewater, or leachate water, over 3,000 feet underground.

The letter, comes after a Jackson County Commission meeting on May 23, in which the well was discussed. Gainer was at the meeting and called it an "unnecessary test at this point." Afterwards, he says he agreed with those who opposed it.

Two weeks removed, Gainer references his constituents in the letter, writing, “I share their deep concerns that the disposal well could not only impact our water supply but question if this well is even needed at all.”

He went on to say that, at the public meeting, “it was disclosed that there is more than adequate capacity at existing locations to dispose of the leachate. It is clear that a new deep injection disposal well is not needed. For that very reason, the permit request should be denied.”

Gainer added that he has “serious issues that disposal of the leachate water in a new well could cause contamination to seep into the Upper Floridan aquifer, which is the source of drinking water for most of the state. The risk is just too great.”

Gainer also indicated he was concerned “with the number of inconsistencies in the presentation” and that he was “troubled by the entire process.”

He made a final request in the letter that the DEP brief him on findings before any decisions are made.

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