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City Informed Bondholders, But Not Citizens About Fuel Spill. Also, “Residual Contamination Might Exist”

Posted on April 12, 2017

City Informed Bondholders, But Not Citizens About Fuel Spill. Also, “Residual Contamination Might Exist”

With every passing day new information is revealed about the major fuel spill that occurred at the City’s Hopkins Generating Station in 2012.

TR was the first to report the spill here and the beginning of what appears a concerted effort by management to conceal the spill from city commissioners and the citizens of Tallahassee.

Now it appears, as recent as 2016,  the City of Tallahassee found it important to inform city bondholders about the fuel spill, but not the citizens of Tallahassee.

The information was forwarded by a TR reader.

The City of Tallahassee reported the fuel spill to bondholders in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 “ANNUAL REPORT TO BONDHOLDERS.”

In 2016, the report stated:

A leak was discovered from diesel tank number 4 at the Hopkins Generating Station in January 2012, and a multiphase extraction remediation system was installed and operated from March 2012 to July 2012. This system collected more than 270,000 gallons of groundwater and more than 7 million cubic meters of soil vapors. Following system shutdown, the site entered into a DEP approved natural attenuation monitoring program whereby quarterly groundwater sampling would be conducted.

In addition, the report informed bondholders:

Based on the results of three years of quarterly sampling, additional low levels of contamination still exist at the site. In addition, due to the physical presence of the tank, assessment and remedial activities could not be targeted to the area directly under the tank. The City is unsure at this time of the amount of residual contamination that might exist under the tank or the extent of efforts that may be needed to address it. The City continues to sample on a quarterly basis.

With this revelation, it is beginning to look like various levels of city management were fully aware of the spill and were engaged in an effort to conceal the fuel spill from local media and the citizens of Tallahassee.

TR has reached out to the elected leaders and have not heard back from a majority of the city commission.

It now appears appropriate to ask: who knew what, when? TR will continue to investigate.

13 Responses to City Informed Bondholders, But Not Citizens About Fuel Spill. Also, “Residual Contamination Might Exist”

  1. Brad Reply

    April 13, 2017 at 6:02 am

    I guess the city wants you to think about personal pollution (TAPP) but does not have the spine to inform the public when they are negligent. Hey maybe they can frack it back out of the auquifer.

  2. Anon Reply

    April 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    The plant, the tank is physically located in Wakulla County in the St. Marks township. Technically, it never happened in Tallahassee or Leon County. The larger question becomes what did Wakulla County know or didn’t know, told or kept in the dark, do or didn’t do.

    At some point the Florida Department of Environmental Protection should have been notified, and would have been responsible for resource threat assessment and /or supervising clean up.

    I want to see the communications between the City of Tallahassee, Wakulla County, the State of Florida and the Federal Government – specifically Environmental Protection, and Energy.

    I don’t agree the problem is public notice. The concern and focus has to be the health and safety of the environment and those living near the affected areas.

    Let’s be honest. If all this shows the spill was managed appropriately, the diesel fuel was discovered according to failsafe measures, and the spill was, and is being cleaned according to State and Federal requirements, are we going to keep conjuring a villain to blame? What if we find out those responsible for doing their jobs when something “bad” happens actually DID their jobs? What if it was all done without causing hysteria? Just seems like the only thing the documents are showing so far is a spill happened after a tank failed and the people responsible for doing something about it, did their jobs. Isn’t this what we elect and pay our public officials to do?

    Things go wrong folks! And there aren’t always big, bad monsters behind it. I hoping TR will continue it’s investigation. I also hope TR won’t create false news through innuendo and publishing unanswered loose ends. Let’s let fact speak for itself leaving out the moral indignation.

  3. Sal Christiano Reply

    April 13, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    City officials are telling me that “the leak was only 5,000 gallons,” and that A BUNCH of clean-up work has been going on. So many folks knowing so much about so little makes me feel REAL uncomfortable. 90% of the folks near the plant have WELL WATER. I wonder if the city will swoop in soon and insist we pay the necessary impact fees and hook up to “OUR” City Utility’s over priced water supply as well.

    • Russell Price Reply

      April 13, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Mr. Christano,

      Did the city notify you and you neighbors in writing about the leak? Has your well water been tested for petroleum contaminant?

      • Sal Christiano Reply

        April 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm

        no

    • Ireadyou Reply

      April 18, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      would 5,000 gals, once recovered, have time to produce 7 million cubic meters of vapor ?
      The city ran a facility incorrectly, caused a mess and a danger to the community through error not sabotage and has a management system that makes the employees first think of coverup rather than “we have to warn people and get help making things safe”.

  4. News_Maven Reply

    April 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    And in related news:
    The Florida Senate moved their Pollution Notification bill along to a Third Reading today:
    https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/00532/ByVersion
    I think this was inspired by the Mosiac fiasco downstate though.

  5. Nunya Reply

    April 13, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    This spill illustrates perfectly how wrong legislative efforts are to place the potential financial burden of obtaining public records on upon those individuals or groups that would seek release of public records.

  6. Vic Aderhold

    Vic Aderhold Reply

    April 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    If the City can spill 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and get away with it, then I am not picking up any more of my dog’s poo.

    • Ireadyou Reply

      April 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      makes sense. If the soil can protect the water supply from 200,000 gals of fuel, it can handle little Fido’s contribution.
      Always knew those TAPP ads were bogus.

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