Hillsborough commissioners concerned by plan to dump human waste near Little Manatee River

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)—A plan to dump up to 50,000 gallons of partially treated waste near the Little Manatee River is drawing anger and concern from a growing number of people in Hillsborough County, including the Board of County Commissioners.

Commissioner Pat Kemp asked for the issue to be placed on Wednesday’s agenda.

Chris’s Plumbing in Ruskin is requesting permits to dump waste into an 80-acre tract of land south of State Road 64, just off of Grange Hall Loop Road. This is adjacent to a creek that runs into the Little Manatee River.

Mariella Smith, who lives on the river, told commissioners the plan is a bad idea.

“This toxic waste will obviously end up in the river and Tampa Bay. It can cause devastating stinking fish kills and human health dangers,” said Smith.

Susan McMillan also told commissioners any contamination in the river could change her way of life.

“We swim in that river. That river is my children’s playground. It’s just not realistic. Nobody is going to believe that stuff isn’t going to end up in the river and I’m not going to have my kids swim in it, I’m not going to want to eat the fish from it. Would you guys want to swim in it knowing that stuff could end up there,” said McMIllian.

County Commissioners do not have a direct vote on the issue, but several expressed concern that the plan is even being considered by county staff.

“I will be seeking at that land use meeting to remove this activity from being allowable,” said County Commission Chairman Stacy White.

A public hearing on the plan will be held on June 19.

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