Riverkeeper, City Councilman Want State to Delay GP Pipeline | Environment

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Riverkeeper, City Councilman Want State to Delay GP Pipeline
Environment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The proposed pipeline into the St. Johns River from a plant in Palatka is facing opposition downstream.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon joined Jacksonville City Councilman Jim Love to ask the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to withhold a permit for Georgia-Pacific to build the pipeline from their plywood plant.

Love introduced the resolution to the council in September (bill 2011-0607), and Armingeon joined him in a news conference to discuss dioxin, among other potential pollutants.

Love represents District 14, which includes the west bank of the St. Johns River from Interstate 295 to Interstate 95, about 12 miles of riverfront.

GP wants to build a 4-mile pipe to discharge the plant's effluent directly into the river, rather than into Rice Creek as it has done since 1947.

Armingeon and Love cited a study from Jacksonville University that indicates the dioxin level in GP's waste stream is toxic.

GP disputes that assessment and has said the levels are within acceptable limits.

"The current testing, I don't know if it's good enough or not," Love said today.

"Let's get these questions answered before we move forward," Armingeon said, who added GP won't answer the questions because, "They're afraid of the answer."

The city council bill is currently "in committee."

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