Received May 27, 2018 from WWALS member Chris Mericle:
The Hamilton County BOCC finally at its last meeting (May 15) voted on the Nutrien 5 year permit renewal.
The BOCC voted to approve the permit with the modifications recommended by the environmental consultant and attorney.
I consider this a win for us because it requires Nutrien to:
- file annual report with Hamilton County electronically. This makes it much easier for the public to view and share.
- Go through a single point of contact for all correspondence with the county. The county coordinator will be that contact and has been instructed to log all correspondence. Previously Nutrien would notify verbally whomever they wanted. Most of the time it was a county commissioner but not always, some important information was falling through the cracks and none of it was recorded.
- train county staff to use and find information pertaining to the mine on the DEP website. This will make it easier for county commissioners and staff to get answers to questions they may have.
- report the status of water quality to the Technical Working Group. This opens the door to delve much deeper into this issue.
So, not a lot of concessions made by Nutrien but, it is a start.
He sent a copy of the Nutrien annual report to Hamilton County. It’s a public record, so I have put it on the WWALS website: www.wwals.net/pictures/2018-05-15–hamco-nutrien-report/.
The maps are very impressive (in a bad way) you can now zoom in on them and actually read what they say. Prior to this permit the maps were on 8.5 x 11 paper. Can you imagine 100,000 acres on a map that size, you can’t read it!
Look for the clay settling areas on the first map, they are immense.
I have not read it all yet, hopefully soon.
It’s quite long at 259 pages, and I have not read it all yet, either. I have noticed a few things, such as:
- More transparency about Nutrien’s water quality monitoring is one thing I asked for back in January, so I’m pleased to see it’s in there.
- No doubt Nutrien has a GIS they used to produce the maps in the report, as evidenced by the detail maps.
- They even have maps with different overlays.
- I wonder whether $15 million is really enough to “reclaim” all that ravaged land.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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