MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- After years of fighting to get a product called EZ Base out of his property, Steve Johnson could be getting some help from Clay County commissioners.
Johnson's 30-acre property on Foxtail Avenue was once a pristine piece of land, but now he says it's anything but.
"It's still contaminated. It has dropped from an $830,000 value to a negative $500,000," said Johnson.
Action News first reported on Johnson's fight to get EZ Base removed from his property last year after he found out the substance could be dangerous not only to the environment but to his health.
His concerns are now getting some attention from Clay County commissioners, especially Ronnie Robinson.
"Until somebody can get me some answers that there is not a chance that it could be harmful to a child or an individual then I don't want it in Clay County," said Robinson.
But according to Clay County's chief assistant county attorney, Frances Moss, because of the state's permitting of EZ Base, the county cannot ban its sale or use.
"They're saying as long as it's put down properly, it's legal to bring it in. Well who is to say it's being put down properly?" said Robinson.
According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, if properly compacted and applied in accordance with a department permit, EZ Base can be used for commercial purposes. The state agency said its staff works to ensure proper use of EZ Base and inspects sites to reduce the potential for environmental impacts.
But Johnson said that's not enough. He claims the problem could end up impacting the environment and even people's health in the long run if something is not done soon.
"I think the state needs to step up to the plate, because the state regulates it," said Johnson.
On Jan. 14, the commission passed a motion to write letters to state representatives and senators about Clay County's concerns regarding EZbase.
State Sen. Rob Bradley, whose district includes Clay County, sent Action News this statement:
"It's my understanding that the Clay County government's management team is preparing a report regarding the use of EZ Base in Clay County for review by our county's legislative delegation. We look forward to reviewing this important information and taking any necessary actions on the state level."