Castor Calls on EPA to Further Review Cypress Creek Development
Sep 29, 2009 -
Congresswoman Kathy Castor, who first raised concerns about Cypress Creek Town Center when she was a county commissioner, continues to be deeply worried about the impact of the proposed new shopping mall on Tampa’s water supply. Castor has called upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a further review of the Cypress Creek Town Center development. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to look into the matter.
Castor has been working to protect Tampa’s water supply from the development’s environmental effects for several years. Castor also has been wary of the development’s impact on the surrounding wetlands.
“I ask you to give every due consideration to suspending this permit and examining the very serious environmental issues at stake,” Castor wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “The land in question is also important to the drinking water supply in Tampa, as Cypress Creek is a tributary of the Hillsborough River, one of our main sources of drinking water.”
Castor raised concerns about the Cypress Creek development when she was a Hillsborough County commissioner. In 2005, Castor managed to lead the commission to join the state Department of Community Affairs’ in objecting to the project on environmental grounds.
Castor’s fears were realized in 2007. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended the development’s permit and levied a $297,000 fine on the developers for violating the Clean Water Act. Despite the now actual detrimental impacts, the Corps reissued the permit on Sept. 4, prompting Castor to ask the EPA to review the issue.
Today, Castor received a letter from the EPA:
“Based on information received since the original public notices were issued, including your letter and input, EPA is currently reviewing the history and status of the project, and we are conducting an independent assessment to determine whether restricting the permit … is warranted,” the EPA wrote.
Said Castor: “I am grateful the EPA is going to take a fresh look at this situation. It’s been a long fight, but we must do everything we can to protect our water and our wetlands.”