New PCB outfall project stirs controversy, city leaders respond

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG / WECP) – Executives in Panama City Beach are working to bring the first outfall offshore to the Gulf of Mexico.

The town currently has two outlets flowing onto the beach near Calypso Towers and Lullwater Condominiums. They may not be the prettiest, but officials have said they are effective at draining stormwater from the island.

This new project would combine them into one that would extend approximately 1,500 feet into the Gulf. It would be paid for with a $ 21 million community development block grant and a disaster recovery grant.

But a project of this scale has sparked controversy among residents.

“You say you have support for this outlet, who? There are over 260 comments on your Facebook page on your post. Maybe a positive, ”said a Panama City Beach resident.

“How much nicer will it be not to watch any natural outfall and the resulting breakage,” said another Panama City Beach resident.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the proposed outfall will drain underground and eliminate potential erosion on sandy beaches.

City officials agreed that this project would only benefit the region.

“I know there are those who oppose the outlet. Unfortunately, it is based on bad information. We’ve been looking at it for years, we just didn’t have the funding, ”said Michael Jarman, Panama City Beach City Councilor.

DEP officials said the city had not submitted a permit application for the project, but held a pre-application meeting in June.

Copyright 2021 WJHG. All rights reserved.


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