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Charlie Justice, Rick Kriseman call on Crist to get Raytheon to act

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Angry that legislation they proposed on the issue was killed, two state representatives on Saturday called on Gov. Charlie Crist to become personally involved in the proposed cleanup of contaminated groundwater under a now-closed Raytheon plant and surrounding neighborhoods.

State Sen. Charlie Justice and state Rep. Rick Kriseman sponsored legislation that would require companies to notify nearby property owners and public officials about pollutants. The bill was designed so no one would be kept in the dark about such contaminants, as residents near the Raytheon plant believe they have been.

At a news conference in the Azalea neighborhood in St. Petersburg, Justice said the legislation was killed because of “roadblocks put up by industry lobbyists.” He also blamed foot-dragging by government agencies.

The two politicians expressed frustration with the back-and-forth between the Department of Environmental Protection and Raytheon over a proposal to clean up the toxic plume, an effort that is expected to take 78 years. They suggested the DEP bring some pressure to bear on the corporation to get the cleanup going.

“The time for foot-dragging is over,” Justice said, as he was flanked by other state representatives, the Azalea Neighborhood Association president and a representative from the Sierra Club. “We’re calling on Gov. Charlie Crist to become more personally involved.” Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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