Judi Kolson used to love paddling the waters of Biscayne Bay until a recent outing allegedly gave her a leg infection after her skin came into contact with contaminated water. Now, the breast cancer survivor from Key Biscayne is careful not come into contact with sea water when she hits the bay on her paddle board or boat.
In an affidavit filed in Miami federal court on Wednesday, Kolson claims Miami-Dade County is responsible for dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into the bay. Along with the nonprofit environmental organization Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, she wants to be added as a plaintiff to a December lawsuit state and federal regulatory agencies filed against Miami-Dade County for allowing the local sewer system to go to, well, crap.
In the lawsuit, the U.S. Government and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection allege Miami-Dade is in violation of the Clean Water Act and has failed to adequately maintain the sewage system, allowing it to pose an "imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of the public."
County officials have ignored fixing the aging sewer system for so long it is going to cost taxpayers $1.5 billion and take 15 years to rebuild pipes, pumps and sewage treatment plants that in some cases are almost 100 years old.
According to a December 2 Miami Herald article, one of the largest repair jobs involves a $550 million reconstruction of the controversial wastewater treatment plant on Virginia Key. Another $408 million is penciled in for replacing and rehabbing the county's 1,035 pump stations, and miles of transmission lines that run to and from the plants.
Banana Republican is waiting for a response from a spokesman from the county's Water & Sewer Department; we'll update this post when we hear back.
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Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness.