MIAMI (CBSMiami) – State officials approved an emergency request for more water to control the temperatures in the cooling canals at Turkey Point on Thursday.
CBS4 News partner the Miami Herald reports the approved plan would require 14 million gallons of water from the South Florida Water Management District.
The water will be brought in daily from the brackish Floridan aquifer to cool the canals at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point power plant.
However, the request still needs to pass though the Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday.
Reportedly, the rising temperatures were brought on by below-average rainfall, which fueled algae to bloom, trapping heat in the canals.
Florida Power and Light (FPL) along with nuclear regulators said the rise in temperature does not pose a public safety risk.
The paper reports critics worry diverting more water to the canals could affect efforts to revive Biscayne Bay, which also has suffered from algae blooms and high salinity.
“We’re very concerned that this is going to be a precedent-setting action,” Biscayne National Park Superintendent Brian Carlstrom told the water management district’s governing board. “We’re also concerned that the conditions in the cooling canals are symptomatic of a bigger problem.”
The new proposal is not the first action taken to alleviate the temperature problem. In June, FPL tried treating the canals with chemicals to control the algae bloom. FPL reported that the bloom would not subside and by July temperatures in the canals reached 102 degrees.
Normally, temperatures over 100 degrees would require a shutdown of the plant according to federal standards. However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted FPL permission to operate the canals at 104 degrees.
Critics, such as Carlstrom, have asked the water management district to require FPL to gather an independent team of scientists to examine the cooling canal system.
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