St. Pete neighborhood says paint chips are polluting their waterway

5:18 PM, Feb 25, 2014   |    comments
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Shore Acres, Florida - Polluting our waterways?

That's what people living in the Shore Acres neighborhood of St. Petersburg believe is taking place.

It's all because of a paint job taking place along the 40th Ave. North East Bridge.

Kelly Anderson lives in the Shore Acres neighborhood and says a new paint job on the local bridge is nice, but isn't worth the price.

"It's unacceptable. We're polluting the marine environment," says Anderson.

He says the new paint job isn't just coloring the bridge, it's leaving a picture of trouble in the water.

"We saw manatees yesterday and if they take in air, they will breathe in paint chips," says Anderson.

According to the water resource department of St. Petersburg, the contractors are hired by the city.

"There are procedures they are supposed too follow. There is a tarp underneath the bridge and the paint chips are suppose to fall in there," says Steve Leavitt, director of the city's water resource department.

But that is not the case.

"It's not good. We take steps to be environmentally cautious, and to hear that is concerning," says Leavitt.

It was concerning for Anderson, who hopes now the waterways here will be a little more protected.

"We have responsibility to wildlife," says Anderson.

The city says they will do better next time and beef up inspections when it comes to work like this.

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