Working for Brevard with Results

South Patrick Shores Former Military Dump Site

Most people know about the higher cancer concerns in Satellite Beach community.  Although my name has been in the paper numerous times, most people know who I am when I tell them I am the lady who lives on the dump beachside; the lady that dug up all that old military waste in order to get my community the help it needed.

In 2018, I learned of cancer concern beachside in Satellite Beach area community and a post of an old aerial photo of a dump overlaid over top South Patrick Shores.  Seeing that my property was on the edge of the dump, I had my yard metal detected… and hence the discovery that most of my yard is military waste debris from the 1940s-50’s .

My moral compass is that with a few neighbors diagnosed with cancer and ALS… I could not walk away knowing I could have done something.  Calling the USACE, I was told that we were a Former Used Defense Site case 30 years ago that was denied; and that no case ever reopened had ever gotten FUDS eligibility.  For the next 18 months I worked hard researching and emailing my representatives.  In September of 2019 our community of South Patrick Shores got the USACE FUDS eligibility thanks to Congressman Bill Posey, who told the USACE to do the right thing.

Recently, it made Vapor Intrusion risk made front page news in Florida Today that USACE acknowledged the potential risk of vapor intrusion from the former military dump.  “What jumped out at me as I read this was the emphasis on VOCs, volatile organics, as the greatest potential pathway of exposure to the residents here,” said Sandra Sullivan. 

Oversight is needed with County testing to keep USACE honest in their investigation.  

Save the Indian River Lagoon

Scientific literature indicates that some herbicides kill seagrass, thus like fertilizer, we need local rule to ban herbicides near the lagoon during wet season but cannot due to state statute. Currently Florida Statute 487.051(2) preempts cities and counties from enacting any regulations restricting the use of pesticides including herbicide.

Since 2010, we have lost 98% of sea grass bio-mass (58% lost compounded with thinning). We need to ban Herbicides near the lagoon. In 2008, the sea grass looked better than 1943. Even where nutrient loading is good, seagrass is dying suggesting another factor at play. Scientific literature shows some herbicides kill sea grass – Banning herbicides use near lagoon would be a cost-effective way to help save the lagoon. The decline began in 2010 when the state cost saving switch from mechanical harvesting to herbicides began which corresponds the sea grass decline.

Many people are of course concerns about the dying manatees and sea turtles. Caulerpa which is replacing areas of sea grass is neuro-toxin, compounding the starvation problem. Necropsies have found Caulerpa macroalgae in the stomachs of dead manatees.

Patrick Space Force Base 3rd Highest PFAS Contamination across County

Patrick Space Force Base (PSFB) has the 3rd highest PFAS in groundwater of military bases in the Country, as high as 4.3 million parts per trillion as tested in 2018.  The base has used firefighting foams containing these chemicals since 1968.   The base has known since the 90s that their fire fighting site was the most toxic site on base.  FDEP allowed them to drain these activities to the Banana River as part of their drainage basin to Outfall 21.

I identified after IRMA that the influx and infiltration (I&I) that resulted in the sewage dumps to the lagoon following IRMA, would also result in contamination from the base going to the sewage treatment plant and spreading contamination via reclaimed water.   Additionally, with PFAS over 400 ppt in Satellite Beach, is suggestive that this very mobile chemical is being transported via groundwater.    Data drives decisions.   

I recently advocated at the State Delegate Meeting that the State needs to set a cleanup target as a regulated contaminant like other states have done.

“Sandra Sullivan, of South Patrick Shores, said there hasn’t been enough groundwater testing for PFAS near Patrick Space Force Base or in the organic muck being dredged from Grand Canal by Brevard County and deposited on Platt Ranch, west of Melbourne and near Lake Washington, a main source of drinking water for people on the city’s water system. Sullivan said she’d love to see real-time testing for how the chemicals can become airborne within homes, and that the data should drive the policy decisions.”

Stopped SR528 Toll by CFX and County to put Tolls across Brevard SR528 Economic Engine to Port and Space program

In May, 2021 D4 Commissioner, who sits on CFX Board, proposed at County Commissioner meeting for SR528 to become a CFX toll road – saying that CFX would pay for new bridge to replace the SR528 Causeway to help the flow in the lagoon.  I did record requests and this was false statement as the toll road would stop at US1.  Additionally, this east west corridor is the east/west economic engine to the Space program and Port Canaveral.   The records I requested also showed CFX modus operandi is to use Commissioners to circumvent FDOT.  I wrote State Representative Sirois, who responded that he was against a toll road through Brevard.  I launched social media campaign to expose the false statements issued by Commissioner D4, referencing the source documents.  

Additionally, not only does CFX plan toll roads to SR528 but also to acquire 192 as well as to Pineda according to their plans.  The third route through Central Florida is very controversial as goes through FCT site Split Oak Conservation area – and the area through Deseret ranches is deemed very environmentally sensitive.  The alternative of going through Viera Company’s mitigation bank is vehemently opposed as would open up with their state DRI.  Finally, with the state looking a water shortages with future growth, this area presents an additional concern as its our water basin for drinking water. 

Critical Evacuation Deficiency Central Beaches

There is an important safety issue for central beaches with regard to fast moving CAT 4-5 hurricane with a Critical Evacuation Deficiency issue.  Critical Evacuation Deficiency – state statute 163.3 even when local government ignores their Comprehensive Plan it is state law to not put our lives at risk over 16 hours to clear County.

Back in 1999 when Hightower/Pelican conservation lands were funded by FCT, the state required City of Satellite Beach and Brevard County to cap density so to protect lives as a condition of the $8.5 milllion under the F.A.C. that governs FCT grants.   The problem lies with development plans with Vue, and high density redevelopment along West A1A which put lives at risk.

Hurricane Deficiency Reports are here:
1988: 18.5 hours to evacuate
2020: 18 hours to evacuate out of county