0 Lawyer dies
By JEAN HELLER ,
TAMPA Water lawyer Ed de la Parte has
termed "absurd" reports that memoranda he wrote
might have been intended to influence the conclusions
of environmental consultants measuring the effects of
well field pumping.
De la Parte said the reports in the Times were
unfair and biased and "part of a setup orchestrated by
the Southwest Florida Water Management District to
discredit me and Pinellas County" during an ongoing
legal proceeding involving the status of four pumping
A 1986 memorandum addressed to a representa-
tive of the Tampa environmental consultant, Biological
Research Associates, involved a report to be prepared
in connection with applications to renew pumping
permits at the Cross Bar and Cypress Creek well fields
in Pasco County.
The memorandum said, in part: "Your report must
show that the water table impact will not significantly
and adversely affectt vegetation outside the well field
De la Parte also instructed the consultant to "rely
on prior ecological reports of the well field to the
greatest extent possible."
Biological Research Associates had monitored the
Cross Bar well field from 1977 to 1985 and concluded
there were no environmental ramifications to pump-
ing, de la Parte said in a letter to the Times on
Thursday. He said he wanted the consultant "to
include his previous findings" in the new report.
Further, de la Parte said, scientists working for the
water management district, or Swiftmud, had come to
the same conclusion about the conditions on and near
Cross Bar from 1977 to 1985.
As evidence of Swiftmud's agreement, de la Parte
appended to his letter a report from Dr. Ted Rochow,
one of Swiftmud's environmental scientists, which
does mirror the consultant's conclusion.
Rochow's memo says, however, that he was basing
his opinion entirely on data produced by Biological
At the time of the 1986 memorandum, de la Parte
had been retained by the West Coast Regional Water
By the time he wrote a second memorandum in
1995 outlining for his legal associates the roles of two
consultants in fighting an emergency pumping order
from Swiftmud, de la Parte had been retained by
In that memo, the lawyer wrote of the role of
Biological Research Associates that the firm would be
"proving that well field withdrawals are not the
primary cause of the environmental impacts taking
place in the NTB (northern Tampa Bay) area."
In his letter Thursday to the Times, de la Parte
said: "Contrary to your article, the memorandum did
not order or instruct Pinellas County's consultants as
to theit opinions. It outlined what I believe the evi-
dence would show."
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