Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Call for Vendors and Sponsors St. Pete Drive Electric Day on the Bay

Call for Vendors and Sponsors
St. Pete Drive Electric Day on the Bay
September 12, 2015    Spa Beach Park /The Pier   Downtown St. Petersburg

Businesses, organizations, community groups and entrepreneurs with a focus on electric vehicles, as well as supporting technology and sustainable products and services, are invited to participate in St. Pete Drive Electric Day on the Bay on September 12 in downtown St. Petersburg. This exciting event is part of National Drive Electric Week, a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of plug-in vehicles of all kinds which can serve as a means to carbon reduction and cleaner air.

St.  Pete Drive Electric Day on the Bay will feature an electric vehicle car show of new, custom designed and converted electric vehicles, a Green Tech Expo featuring exhibits and displays, and accompanied test rides-and-drives of new electric vehicles by area dealerships: the Electric Tour de St. Pete!

About the event
·      When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Saturday, September 12, 2015  Admission is free
·    Where:  Spa Beach Park adjacent to the Pier in downtown St. Petersburg

·     Green Tech Expo Exhibits:  Plug-in vehicles of all kinds including cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and golf carts; manufacturers of supportive electric and solar components and  technology; organizations, clubs and hobbyists with an interest in electric and hybrid vehicles; clubs and community groups; county and city agencies   

·     Electric Vehicle Car Show: Display area in Spa Beach Park

·    Sponsors:  Sierra Club Florida Healthy Air Campaign, City of St. Petersburg.

Sponsorships Available*
Cost:  $100 Your company’s logo on all promotional and marketing material, one free booth space
Vendor Fees*   $50 for-profit vendors/free for non-profit vendors and display vehicles   
Table and two chairs will be supplied; you must provide your own canopy.
 Planned marketing and media exposure will include posters, flyers, newspaper, radio, television, social media.

* Submission of application is no guarantee of acceptance. Sierra Club reserves the right to deny sponsor and vendor requests. For more information, please contact Sierra Club Senior Organizing Representative Phil Compton at 727-824-8814 ext. 303 or phil.compton@sierraclub.org

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sierra Club Comments on Expansion of Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant

June 22, 2015

Cindy Bladey
Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch
Division of Administrative Services
Office of Administration
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, D.C. 20555-000

Megan Clouser
Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Miami Permits Section
9900 SW 107th Ave., Ste. 203
Miami, FL 33176

Re: Comments on Turkey Point Expansion, NRC-2009-0337, 2009-02417 (SP-MLC)

Dear Ms. Bladey and Ms. Clouser:

The Sierra Club appreciates this opportunity to submit comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Combined Licenses (COLs) for Turkey Point Units 6 & 7. Our members are FPL rate payers, recreational users of nearby surface waters and lands, users of drinking water from subsurface aquifers serving Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Our members live within the evacuation area of Turkey Point, throughout the state of Florida and the United States.

The undersigned urge you to reject the application and choose the No Action alternative.

The controversial nuclear era began on the shores of Biscayne Bay in 1967 when the first of two reactors were constructed by Florida Power and Light. Even before the construction of Units 3 and 4, major problems surfaced. FPL originally planned to send its hot waste water from the reactors directly into the Bay, which was already showing harmful effects from FPL’s oil-fired generator on sea grass habitat and marine life in the U.S.’s first continental underwater national park, Biscayne
National Park. After fierce objections and legal action, FPL built in 1974 a system of “cooling canals” so massive it could be seen from space. The canals were cut through the sensitive coastal wetlands inhibiting fresh water flow the Bay and destroying important coastal wetland.

Environmental and technical problems have taken its toll on the machines built more than 40 years ago. The most recent problems threaten the continued viability of the reactors as well as the prospects for more. Rising temperatures and a boost of power have caused algae to fill the canals, and threaten to clog the system unless even more water can be brought in from the Everglades. In 2014, summer temperatures routinely climbed above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Now a giant saline plume containing radioactive elements has formed underneath the plant and is drifting west, threatening the water supply for the Florida Keys.

Florida Power and Light seeks to add two additional reactors to this location. The new reactors would not be immune from the underlying environmental and logistical problems affecting the existing reactors, in fact, they would exacerbate them. While there is a litany of concerns about the four reactors, an overwhelming factor against their future viability is climate change. According to government agencies, sea level rise will inundate the Turkey Point site within the lifetime of the proposed reactors. There can be no fair analysis that does not take into effect climate change on the
entire Turkey Point site: hotter water temperatures, significant sea level rise, increase storm surge and more severe hurricanes.

The clustering effect of four reactors in one coastal at-risk location, similar to the clustering of reactors at Fukishima is very worrisome. Should a disaster strike, there is a possibility multiple reactors will be impacted at once, considerably reducing FPL’s ability to isolate and contain the damage.

The new reactors are planned to be built on nearby mined limestone further destroying the critical wetlands surrounding them, not only important for the health of Biscayne National Park, but crucial to the community’s first line of defense against hurricane impacts. Mined pits also increase the likelihood of contamination of the Biscayne aquifer.

We are also concerned about the new radial wells and their impact on groundwater supplies and salinity levels.

Even if FPL were to elevate the new reactors with limestone rock fill, they still cannot escape the impacts of sea level rise, storm surge, increased salinization, higher water tables, and increased severity of storms. These impacts will negatively affect plant access, operation, transmission and safe storage of nuclear waste.

Because of time and stark changes to the climate, the nuclear era on Biscayne Bay and in Florida is nearing its end. Solar, which accounts for one tenth of a percent of Florida’s power, is ripe for massive expansion. FPL has indicated its intent to increase its solar generation and can easily produce enough power through this lower cost, safe and renewable technology to meet the needs of residents and businesses.

Turkey Point is located within six miles of two biologically rich natural parks, a state aquatic preserve, a national wildlife refuge, and a wetland habitat preserve. Everglades National Park is recognized as an endangered UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve and supports a unique array of ecosystems and wildlife. Biscayne National Park, located directly adjacent to Turkey Point, is one of our largest marine national parks, and home to incredible biodiversity and important marine and wetland habitat that has now enacted no-take zones to save its dwindling fish stocks. Expansion of these reactors will adversely impact these national treasures and severely curtail the public’s use and enjoyment of them.

South Florida’s water supply is a finite, dwindling resource that needs to be conserved in order to support the population. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, nuclear fission is the most water intensive method of the principal thermoelectric generation options in terms of the amount of water withdrawn from sources.

The $20 billion or more investment in two new reactors would be better spent developing lower cost solar energy. Compared to other forms of power generation, solar photovoltaic (PV) power is leading the cost decline, with solar PV module costs falling 75% since the end of 2009 and the cost of electricity from utility-scale solar PV falling 50% since 2010. (Source: International Renewable Energy Agency, http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA_RE_Power_Costs_2014_report.pdf)

Additionally, President Obama issued an Executive Order 13653 on November 1, 2013 that directs all agencies - federal, state and local - to incorporate sea level rise projections into planning and construction along US coasts (reference: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-pressoffice/2013/11/01/executive-order-preparing-united-states-impacts-climate-change).

Had that order been followed, the NRC would have automatically concluded that construction and operation of two additional reactors at Turkey Point, in an area that will be submerged due to sea level rise and to increased storm surges from stronger storms, is untenable and poses an unacceptable risk to a region that is ground zero for sea level rise. It poses an unacceptable risk for the South Florida, the state and the nation.

We are opposed to all nuclear power expansion in Florida, as it is unsafe and non-renewable, taxes limited water supplies. It is unworkable, especially in the age of climate change. Instead of wasting tens of billions of dollars on an unviable Turkey Point project, it’s time for FPL to focus on a far more viable, economical technology in the Sunshine State: solar.

We, therefore, kindly ask that you choose the No Action Alternative.

Debbie Matthews
Sierra Club Florida

Jim Teas
Sierra Club Miami Group

Stephen Mahoney
Conservation Chair
Sierra Club Miami Group

Noel Cleland
Executive Committee Member
Sierra Club Miami Group

John Scott
Sierra Club Calusa Group

Rhonda Roff
Energy Chair
Sierra Club Calusa Group

Frank Jackalone
Florida Staff Director
Sierra Club

Jonathan Ullman
South Florida/Everglades Senior Organizing Representative
Sierra Club

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sierra Club Shows its Pride and Patriotism with EV’s

Electric Cars and Solar Powered Electric Boat Featured in Parades

While many Americans took vacation or enjoyed the holiday, the past two weekends were a busy time for the volunteers of the Florida Healthy Air Campaign in Tampa Bay. We got out on the streets to show hundreds of thousands of our neighbors that electric cars, and even electric boats, are now available for sale as fun, safe and quiet alternatives to noisy, expensive cars and boats that pollute as you cruise.
St. Pete Pride is Florida’s largest Pride event, and we’re proud to be part of the business community that hosts it annually.  St. Pete’s 2015 PrideFest was the biggest yet, with ¼ million filling our state office’s home street, Central Avenue, for the annual Saturday night parade. After the Supreme Court decision the day before on marriage equality, our street was the happiest place on Earth.

For the 3rd consecutive year, after our move to the city’s 1st net zero office building a block past the end of the parade, our crew once again had a theme of Freedom from Oil with Green Transportation. But instead of electric cars as we’d featured the previous two years, this time we put the spotlight on a solar powered electric boat! 
Electric Marina owner Nancy Frainetti decorated both the
port and starboard sides with the Club’s logo and the phrase:
“Our PRIDE Shines on SOLAR Powered ELECTRIC Boats”.

Our safety monitors kept their solar powered spotlights on this sign throughout the parade as they pointed it out to spectators, getting a thrilled reaction as thousands learned for the first time such a thing existed. We danced on the boat and on the street to songs like The Electric Slide and Electric Avenue, as we waved a rainbow flag off the bow next to our sign: “I HEART Clean Air!

The next day folks who’d attended the parade saw us and a representative of The Electric Marina at our booth at the Pride Street Festival. As passes for free rides on the electric boat on nearby Tampa Bay were given out, we told hundreds to save the date for our September 12 St. Pete Drive Electric On The Bay event, which will take place near the home of The Electric Marina. We’ll include free Ride & Drives with the electric boat along with rides in various EVs provided by local dealerships.

Ready to roll in Temple Terrace with a Volt and a Leaf. 
But it’s hard to stop with just one parade when it’s parade season. The following Saturday our crew joined the Temple Terrace 4th of July Parade with two our EVs capturing folks’ attention there. Temple Terrace, next to Tampa & the University of South Florida, leads the region in policies supporting green transportation options, from making streets safe for bikes, legal for electric golf carts, to installing the region’s first Fast Charge station at City Hall.

Our crew told hundreds of families on the 2 mile route that today is the day to “Declare Your Independence from Oil”. Many told us they had no idea cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were available for sale, that they looked so great, and that electric cars are real cars – not just odd little experimental models still impractical for everyday commuting. Our Uncle Sam passed out flyers about St. Pete Drive Electric Day On The Bay. We’re sure some won’t wait for Sept. 12th to go to a nearby dealership and find out how they can get a car that frees them from the tyranny of the gas pump.

Phil Compton, Senior Organizing Representative
Sierra Club National Beyond Oil / Florida Healthy Air Campaign Lead Organizer
1990 Central Avenue    St. Petersburg, FL 33712      phil.compton@sierraclub.org