Sen. Justice calls for speedier cleanup of Raytheon chemical plume
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05/21/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

The gigantic plume of oil that has reportedly formed under the surface of the Gulf may be stealing headlines, but a smaller chemical plume is menacing some Tampa Bay area residents. For years, defense contractor Raytheon dumped toxic waste into an on-site pond. That waste seeped into the groundwater, which sits beneath St. Petersburg’s Azalea neighborhood.

When the story broke in 2008, nearly twenty years after officials knew about it, residents were outraged. Raytheon proposed a cleanup plan, but the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rejected it.

Today, state Senator Charlie Justice wrote a letter to the DEP urging them to get out of the way of the cleanup. WMNF asked Senator Justice why he wrote that letter.

In response to Justice’s letter, the DEP issued a statement indicating the department is requesting additional modeling of the contaminants’ behavior in the soil and groundwater, among other things.

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