TALLAHASSEE – Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. conducted a tour of three Gulf Coast facilities on Wednesday. Vinyard visited the Navy Federal Credit Union, Military Point Advanced Wastewater Plant and Coyote Disposal Facility to witness first-hand what Department staff is doing in concert with these sites to benefit these Gulf Coast communities and protect Florida’s natural resources.
Department staff have been working with these facilities to improve the environment through proper permitting, regulating and ensuring compliance.
“Seeing these facilities first-hand shows the work that DEP staff is doing to ensure that the Department’s stringent environmental standards are being applied to successful businesses and projects throughout the Panhandle,” Vinyard said.
The Secretary joined Representatives Mike Hill and Clay Ingram to visit the Navy Federal Credit Union, a LEED certified facility distinguished for its innovative building design that reduces energy and costs and operates using other eco-friendly improvements. In January, the Navy Federal Credit Union announced a $200 million expansion to its Pensacola headquarters that will create a minimum of 1,500 new jobs by the end of 2015 and an additional 4,700 jobs by 2020. The Department has been engaged throughout the permit application process by working on the design and implementation of the project in order to ensure the highest degree of environmental protection.
“Navy Federal is a great partner to State of Florida, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the area and contributing millions to Escambia County’s economy,” said Representative Ingram..
The tour continued at the Military Point Advanced Wastewater Plant in Bay County, which provides treatment services to Tyndall Air Force Base and Bay County. This facility provides 7 million gallons per day of treatment and disposal capacity to St. Andrews Bay. For its innovative water treatment practices and conservation solutions, this facility was awarded a 2012 DEP Plant Operations Excellence Award.
The Secretary finished the tour at the Coyote Disposal Facility in Panama City. This site was approved in May for a project to remove and dispose of more than 19,300 cubic yards of waste. The Department approved this in-kind project, proposed by Phoenix Construction Services, Inc. as a joint effort between the state, county and city to resolve environmental concerns at the site. The pollution prevention project began June 19.