St. Lucie County hosts emergency meeting to discuss farm's fertilizer proposal

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Leaders in St. Lucie County are holding an emergency meeting to get public input on a farm’s proposal to use fertilizer made partially of recycled sewage.

Sunbreak Farms submitted a plan with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to use biosolids as fertilizer at a 6,580-acre facility in St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

 

St. Lucie County leaders said the DEP gave them until 5 p.m. Monday to submit any comments on the permit application.

"Water is probably one of the most, if not the most valuable asset to a farmer. Any drop of water they can hold on the property, they are going to hold," said Tobin Overdorf of Sunbreak Farms. 

Biosolids partially include recycled human waste. A county spokesperson said the farm site borders the C-25 canal, which drains into the Indian River Lagoon and Taylor Creek. 

The emergency meeting is being held at the commission chambers at the Roger Poitras Administration Annex located at 2300 Virginia Ave. in Fort Pierce. 

At about 10:30 a.m., there were about 50 or 60 people are in the chambers giving the commissioners suggestions on how they want them to decide. 

Sunbreak farms wants to grow corn and produce biosolid compost on 7,300 acres on the St. Lucie and Indian River county line. 

Commissioners said at the meeting they are most concerned about water drainage and runoff on the site and how it might impact the Indian River Lagoon. 

The developer claims the site has 67 miles of internal canals and is designed to hold water in a reservoir not discharge it. 

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