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EZbase debate gets attention of Clay commissioners

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Updated: 1/20 9:08 pm

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 a
ccording 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."

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

jaybo1970 - 1/21/2014 9:11 AM
0 Votes
imtellin, EZbase is the product left over from JEA's coal ash produced at the Northside power plant. JEA has been practically giving this stuff away, in my opinion, to get it off its hands. When they approached Steve before putting it on his property, they told him it was "safe as sand," and there would be no problems with it. He applied the EZbase on the numerous roads on his property. The EZbase actually looks nice and is very compact for driving on, but the real horror came when he found out just how toxic it is. He has a large pond on his property where the fish started turning up dead all of the sudden. His property also butts up against the North prong of Black Creek where the runoff can get into the waterway. He has been trying for years to get JEA to help him remove this toxic material from his property, but they have refused to lend a hand or take responsibility. EZbase has no place in Clay County or anywhere else as far as that is concerned. I work for a Civil Engineering Firm, and I cannot imagine how they could possibly keep this toxic ash from finding its way into our waterways given how much it rains in Florida. Someone needs to get a clue and stop taking back door bribes from JEA on this matter...again that's in my own opinion.

imtellin - 1/21/2014 8:00 AM
0 Votes
how about telling us what ez base is,, what its used for, where its used, & how it got on his property in the 1st place !!! did he lease his property to some entity that stored it on his property ??? did the state issue a permit for its storage on his property ??? did they even know it was on his property ???? and if it was being stored, then it wasn't applied so it could be dangerous, according to the state !!! seems someone is playing fast n loose with regulations here & methinks it might be state regulators... action news needs to uncover this issue asap !!! and point the fingers at those responsible... and get this mans property cleaned up as well !!!
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