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Code Enforcement Preserves Fuel Remediation Site

Published on Aug 31, 2021

Bartow, Fla. (August 31, 2021) — U-Haul trucks with exposed engine blocks sat leaking fuel and oil at a property off Snively Avenue in Winter haven, jeopardizing a nearly $300,000 fuel remediation cleanup project.

The moving trucks that sat on the Snively Avenue property were part of Sky’s Auto Collision and threatened to ruin the progress made on the fuel remediation site, which is funded by taxpayers and overseen by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Polk County’s Code Enforcement officers received a complaint about the site June 21 to investigate a complaint and found numerous violations at the site. In addition to the company parking its U-Haul vehicles without the proper permits, there were also two damaged vehicles found on the site. And some of the vehicles were leaking fluids. Thankfully, the leaks on the site had been minor and were caught before they became a significant environmental problem.

The case was discussed with officials from the Florida Department of Health, which is the agency conducting the remediation program on behalf of the FDEP. Since the county has a close relationship with the state agencies, it was decided Polk County would oversee the corrective action to protect the remediation project before a significant problem occurred.

Working with the owner of the property and the company, the county required the company to remove the vehicles since there was no concrete to catch any of the leaks and it required them to clean up any spills that may have occurred. By July 1, the site had been cleaned up.

By working with the county, the landowners and the company, the progress on an active fuel remediation project was able to be preserved, hefty fines avoided, the environment protected and corrective actions taken to prevent this from happening again.