Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the toll road bill, SB 7068, Suwannee Riverkeeper — which was among the 90 organizations throughout Florida that asked him to veto it — continues to oppose that boondoggle and propose actual benefits to Florida’s economy and waters.
Google map of one likely route of the Suncoast Connector.
One of these three unneeded turnpikes would have to cross the Suwannee River, plowing through counties where we have many members. All this very poorly written bill says about its route is: “Suncoast Connector, extending from Citrus County to 164 Jefferson County.” Apparently that means from Crystal River to Monticello, and on to Thomasville, Georgia, through farms, forests and swamps. If this toll road builds its bypasses, bye-bye local businesses in Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Old Town and Cross City.
Yes, the turnpike bill has a “project development phase” for $45 million and increasing each year, with a Continue reading
A Florida Senate Committee has scheduled a Workshop on Valdosta Sewage Spills.
The same session this Wednesday afternoon will hear three water bills, SB 1100 about funding water well testing, which is relevant to the recent detection of E. coli in for example Hamilton County wells, SB 1758, which includes some changes to Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) requirements and requirements for wastewater treatment plants to notify customers of unlawful discharges, and SB 1552 about Red Tide mitigation.
When I went by Senator Bill Montford’s office last Wednesday, his staffer said they would be scheduling this workshop, with public input. They have done so. Senator Montford is the Chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. His District 3 includes Hamilton, Madison, and Taylor Counties, all of which are members of the twelve-county Florida Rivers Task Force and signatories on its Resolution asking for assistance from Florida and Georgia about Valdosta sewage spills. The Withlacoochee River, into which much of Valdosta’s raw sewage spills have gone, is the border between Madison and Hamilton Counties, and the Alapaha River, into which basin other Valdosta spills have gone, runs through Hamilton County. Taylor County is not on either of those rivers nor on the Suwannee River, yet its economy is affected by the stigma of Valdosta’s sewage spills.
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Senator Montford, Chair
Senator Albritton, Vice Chair
MEETING DATE: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
TIME: 4:00—6:00 p.m.
PLACE: Mallory Horne Committee Room, 37 Senate Building [404 S. Monroe, Tallahassee, FL 32399]
AMENDMENT DEADLINE: Continue reading
Three of the Waterkeepers of Florida were at the Capitol in Tallahassee Wednesday, two of them for Reclaiming Florida’s Future for All, an annual event organized by ReThink Energy Florida and others. Of course Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) was prominently represented. Banning fracking was top of the long list of issues on the agenda. Water Quality and Quantity included Valdosta (and other) wastewater.
Lake Worth Waterkeeper Reinaldo Diaz advocates for the Lake Worth Lagoon and its watershed, a coastal estuary running along the eastern edge of Palm Beach County.
Scariest of all to polluters is St Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman, seen here with Continue reading
This popular meme has lacked any indication of who wrote those words. Words that are relevant right now, when we need you all to support Florida SB 314 to ban fracking.
Here are the authors of those words: Jim Tatum and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Pensacola News-Journal, online 11 May 2015, on paper the next day, Anyone who understands fracking opposes it,
Anyone who understands fracking is opposed to it. If they understand it but still support it, then they must be gaining profit from it. There is no “gray area” with fracking. There is nothing good about it. There is no such thing as safe fracking.
Millions of gallons are used for each and every frack, polluted Continue reading
Water quality testing of drinking wells and rivers is needed, and not just when there is a spill. Maybe the state of Florida will help fund it. Or maybe Valdosta should. It doesn’t seem right that Hamilton County should have to pay for it.
For the WWALS automated updates on GA-EPD Sewage Spills Reports, see wwals.net/issues/vww/ga-spills/.
The main newspaper of Suwannee and Hamilton Counties, Florida, is getting into the act, but seems to only know part of the picture. Editorial: It’s time for support with sewage spills, The Suwannee Democrat, Jan 24, 2019, Continue reading
Tonight Hamilton County, FL residents (or others) have an opportunity to express their concerns to their Florida statehouse delegation, for example about FL-DEP’s dismissal with prejudice and refusal to consider the real issues in WWALS’ amended petition against Sabal Trail drilling under the Suwannee River.
According to the Jasper News last week,
The Hamilton County Legislative Delegation consisting of Senator Bill Montford and Representative Elizabeth Porter will be holding a public hearing in Jasper on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 5:30 p.m. in the Hamilton County Courthouse, 207 Northeast First St., Jasper.
All residents and elected officials are invited to attend. This hearing will allow residents of Hamilton County the opportunity to meet their legislators, discuss concerns, ask questions and offer comments for the 2016 legislative session, which convenes Jan. 12.