Largo (2020 - present)
Our team has been investigating Largo’s pollution problems for years, and monitoring the state’s ineffective and disappointing efforts to address persistent nitrogen pollution and repeated sewage spills impacting local waters.
Largo’s wastewater treatment plant is the largest point source surface water discharger for total nitrogen loading in Old Tampa Bay. Old Tampa Bay suffers from a chronic harmful algal bloom and has failed to meet its chlorophyll-a attainment in four of the last six years, including the last two years in a row. Recent seagrass study results for 2020 show an alarming drop in seagrass in Old Tampa Bay generally as well as at Feather Sound.
We sent a notice of intent to sue in May 2020 followed by our Complaint in Federal Court and resolved the case via a stipulated order in April 2021. The settlement requires compliance with the City of Largo’s permit and all applicable pollution standards via reduced nitrogen pollution, improvements to the wastewater treatment and collection systems, and addressing infiltration and inflow problems throughout the city. Our coalition will monitor compliance with all requirements and deadlines between now and 2028.
In lieu of penalties for past pollution, Largo will also provide a $100,000 payment to the Tampa Bay Estuary Program to support water quality monitoring and ecosystem restoration projects in Old Tampa Bay.