JULIA LAW AGAINST POLLUTED BEACHES IN PASCO COUNTY - Mark Antokas

04/15/04

INTRO: In Pasco County, a concerned mother appeared before the Pasco County Board of Commissioners demanding the closure of one beach she insists, ruined the health of her child. Mark Antokas has the story.

Script: Julia Law took her infant son to the beach in Hudson only one time. She says it was the wrong time. For the past twenty months, her son Ian, now two and a half years old, has had a bacteria lodged in his stomach which causes cronic intestinal bleeding, daily diareah, and occasional vomiting. On Tuesday, Julia Law took her case before the Pasco County Commissioners demanding the closure of the Robert J. Strickland beach until a study can be completed as to why that beach has been closed twenty two times in the last year. That adds up to about six months of closures. In January of 2002, Julia Law and her infant son swam in the water as signs were posted by the Pasco County Health Department effectively closing the beach to swimming. No one told her to get out of the water. Julia Law. Roll Tape:

The county health department, division of the environment, tests beaches and fresh waterways in Pasco County on a regular basis, causing many of the beaches to be closed due to high fecal coliform bacteria and enterococcus. Julia Law. Roll Tape:

Dr. Marc Yacht is the head of the Pasco County Health Department. He says the county does an excellent job of informing the public of possible problems in the county’s waters. Doctor Yacht. Roll Tape:

After the hearing, Peter Altman, the only Democrat on the pasco County Board of commissioners and the chaiman, said that as a child he remembers finding tropical fish in the waters around Pasco County. He also said the growth in Pasco County is fueling higher incidences of pollution. Roll Tape:

In February of this year, WMNF aired a story on pollution and beach closures in Pasco County. Capt. Rick Hartley, a crabber for over twenty five years and a resident of Hudson had this to say on the clarity of the water. Roll Tape:

Closing: Julia Law has taken her case before the Pasco County Board of Commissioners and at least has this: There will be a study done on the water quality issues at Hudson Beach. What she did not get is answers to why her son is so sick. In Pasco County, this is Mark Antokas for WMNF radio news.

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