Crist on Sprayfield Debate

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A pending DEP permit for Tallahassee's southeast spray field is at the center of debate that may be close to conclusion.

Time is running out on Wakulla County's extension from the Department of Environmental Protection to resolve talks with Tallahassee.

The county board asked for the extension in January to ensure everything is being done to protect Wakulla Springs. Some believe the sprayfield, where Tallahassee's treated waste water is spread, is contributing to the rising nitrate levels.

John Marks, Tallahassee Mayor, says, "We haven't gotten to the point where we have a solid agreement, but I'm confident if everybody put their heads together, we'll reach some sort of agreement everybody will be comfortable with."

The city has long said if the sprayfield has anything to do with the spring’s degradation, the problem would be addressed. To make sure talks continue, Attorney Gen. Charlie Crist sent a letter to Mayor Marks, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Wakulla County chairman Maxie Lawhon.

He's asking that the issue be resolved and litigation avoided.

Commissioner Ed Brimner of District 3, Wakulla County Commission, says, "It's one more indication that people in the region are concerned about Wakulla Springs and I'm very happy to see the attorney general is aware of what's going on."

Brimner says he is optimistic, and so is Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, that an agreement will be reached before the extension's March 24 deadline. Both say they're also optimistic that no legal action will be necessary.