PPD, a controversial Florida-based chemical company, has come under fire for their pollution of the environment, including in Pensacola.
PPD was contracted by the state to install a chemical waste treatment plant on the University of Central Florida’s campus.
The plant, called PPD BioTech, has since been shut down and is not expected to reopen until 2018.
The company’s actions have drawn criticism from environmentalists, including environmental lawyer Jeffery J. Mirer.
The Environmental Working Group has criticized the facility as a “toxic dump” for the region, citing “a lack of transparency and oversight of the plant’s activities and the chemicals used.”
“The company’s plan to convert wastewater to biofuel by burning biomass to make biodiesel from fish waste is not only illegal, it’s dangerous,” said Mireer in a statement to Vice News.
“This plan is the exact opposite of a clean, renewable, sustainable future for the Gulf Coast and Florida.
This plant is not a ‘zero waste’ facility.
It is a ‘dirty’ one.”
The company has since filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against the state of Florida and several local governments.
A judge has ruled that the lawsuit cannot proceed.
The judge’s ruling was issued Monday, and a hearing has been scheduled for April 19 to determine whether to dismiss the lawsuit.
Mere hours after the judge’s decision was released, Mirear sent a statement on Twitter calling for a “full investigation” into PPD’s actions.
“We want to be clear that this is not about the plant,” Mirere wrote.
“It’s about the toxic legacy PPD has left on the environment.
PDEAs toxic legacy has harmed the communities, the fish and the ecosystem that sustains us all.”
PPD CEO Bill Miller has defended the plant, arguing that the company has not been given adequate oversight and has not shared its findings.
“The facts of this matter remain confidential, but we will not rest until we have fully answered the questions that have been raised by this lawsuit,” Miller wrote in a letter to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
“PPD and its contractors were required by law to meet EPA standards for chemical waste handling and this law was not followed.
This is not the first time PPD violated EPA standards and we will continue to work diligently to comply with EPA standards.”
The EPA said in a report in May 2016 that PPD failed to comply.
In a statement, the company’s lawyer said that the EPA “has identified a number of potential safety and environmental concerns with the facility, but that none of these issues have been substantiated by EPA data or documents.”
Miller said that PDEA’s findings do not “prove or disprove that Ppd was the cause of any harm to the environment.”
PDEAA did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment on Mirea’s statement.