City of Apopka officials, Florida Department of Environmental Protection representatives, and Anuvia Plant Nutrient executives met this afternoon for approximately 90 minutes at the Apopka Public Works Building in an attempt to resolve their differences and find a way to get Anuvia back online with the wastewater treatment facility after receiving a Cease Discharge Order from the City on Monday.
But at the conclusion of the discussion, Anuvia remained offline and no clear timetable for a re-start was reached.
"Today's meeting was an encouraging step towards restarting service with the city of Apopka," said Anuvia Chief Executive Officer Amy Yoder. "While a firm resolution has not been developed, many ideas were exchanged between the city, Anuvia and the Department of Environmental Protection. We look forward to working through these ideas to come to a resolution as quickly as possible and we are exploring every solution available to Anuvia."
On Friday (March 3rd), the City sent Anuvia a proposed permit to replace the original one which was due to expire on March 6th. However, on Monday (March 6th), the City changed courses and sent a Cease Discharge Order to Anuvia, which caught Anuvia by surprise.
"We received the proposed permit at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Friday and the cease letter approximately noon on Monday," Yoder said on Monday. “It’s unfortunate the city decided to issue this less than one business day after providing a proposed permit and without any warning. As the letter is quite ambiguous, we are working through exactly what that means for us. But, we designed this facility and invested $100 million based on levels the city mistakenly thought they could handle. They have had three years and have been paid more than $1 million to ensure they could process our water. Obviously, that did not happen and now we feel we are being punished for their internal issues."
The Apopka Voice contacted Apopka Public Information Officer Robert Sargent for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication. He did release a statement on Monday:
"We as staff view this is an unfortunate set of circumstances, but ordering Anuvia to discontinue sending discharge to the City’s wastewater system is unavoidable. As we have made clear for weeks, the City has been working with the company for quite some time to avoid this decision, but it is no longer an option and should not be a surprise to Anuvia. Elements of Anuvia’s waste exceed the plant’s capacity. Allowing them to continue would put the City in violation of DEP regulations. We appreciate their investment in northwest Orange County and hope to resolve this issue as soon as possible."
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