Tag Archives: FDEP

Pilgrim’s Pride to pay $1.43 million Suwannee River pollution to settle lawsuit by Environment Florida and Sierra Club 2017-11-14

Despite what we heard at the BMAP meeting Tuesday, it turns out Best Management Practices (BMP) are not all that can be done to fix fertilizer nitrate runoff in the Suwannee Rier Basin. “More than $1 million of the Pilgrim’s penalty would fund a program to help nearby farmers reduce their pollution as well.” The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) could also ask the legislature for further such funding, in addition to recommending BMPs. Congratulations, Environment Florida and Sierra Club, for doing what the state of Florida has not!

Pilgrims Pride, US 90,
Photo: Dominic Gheesling for WWALS on Southwings flight 22 October 2016, Pilgrims Pride, US 90, 30.3648380, -83.1636130

Another chicken breeder is setting up in the Suwannee River Basin, near Quitman in Brooks County Georgia, next to Okapilco Creek, which flows into the Withlacoochee River and then the Suwannee River. We’ll be watching.

Drains south, Piscola Creek

  • Video by Environment Florida, starring Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson (Sierra Club), Jeniffer Rubiello (Environment Florida), and Heather Govern (attorney, National Environmental Law Center), and Whitey Markle (Suwannee-St Johns Group, Sierra Club Florida). Continue reading

Draft Suwannee River Basin Management Action Plan 2017-11-14

Today, 6PM, in Live Oak, now with draft plan:

To: Suwannee River Basin BMAP Stakeholders
From: Terry Hansen, Basin Coordinator

The Draft BMAP for the Lower and Middle Suwannee River, Withlacoochee River, and associated springs to be discussed at the November 14th, 2017 meeting has been posted to:.

Figure ES-1. Suwannee River BMAP and PFA boundaries

http://publicfiles.dep.state.fl.us/DEAR/BMAP/Suwannee/DRAFT BMAP/

The Department requests that you please submit any comments on the draft document by COB Thursday, November 30th, 2017.

Meeting Reminder:

November 14, 2017, 6:00 PM,
Suwannee River Water Management District,
9225 CR49 Live Oak, FL 32060 Continue reading

Eric Draper from Audubon Florida to FL State Parks

Noah Valenstein, formerly SRWMD, now FDEP Secretary, has appointed Eric Draper of Audubon Florida to head Florida State Parks. The same Eric Draper who twice endorsed Sabal Trail in writing, and did nothing to stop Sabal Trail from drilling under the Suwannee, Santa Fe, or Withlacoochee (South) Rivers, nor under the Suwannee River State Park that he will now oversee.

Walton Outdoors, Blog, 2 November 2017, Audubon Florida’s former executive director Eric Draper now director of Florida State Parks,

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein today announced three key appointments to DEP’s leadership team, as part of its continued focus on the protection of Florida’s prized properties through the management of Florida’s world-renowned state park system and land acquisition and conservation. Eric Draper will join the DEP team as the Director of Florida State Parks, effective Nov. 28, and Callie DeHaven will serve as Interim Director of the Division of State Lands effective Nov. 27, subject to Governor and Cabinet confirmation. David Clark, who has previously served as Director of State Lands and has been acting Deputy Secretary of Land and Recreation, has officially been appointed Deputy Secretary.

4593 E Spruce Dr, Dunnellon, FL 34434,
Aerial west across FL 200, down Withlacoochee (South) River, across Sabal Trail Marion County drill site, and Halpata Tastanaki Preserve. Photo by Jim Tatum on WWALS Southwings flight 7 February 2017.

As Florida State Parks Director, Draper will Continue reading

Alabama sends email for sewage spills 2017-09-01

Florida does it. Alabama does it. Maybe Georgia should do it: post pollution notices online as they are received, and send out email notices to those who have signed up. That way cities and counties would not have to notify anybody but the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD), and Riverkeepers wouldn’t have to poll each and every city and county to find out what is going on.

Sewage spills in Alabama in 2016
See below for the interactive map of sewage spills in Alabama in 2016 by Alabama Riverkeepers, and see also the Florida map I drew from Florida’s Pollution Notices.

Alabama also requires reporters to include latitude and longitude in their reports, and to use an electronic reporting system. Both are great improvements on Georgia’s current methods of telephoning in a number and responding to open records requests with records that do not have GPS coordinates.

Dennis Pillion, AL.com, 1 September 2017, ADEM rolls out email notifications for sewage spills, Continue reading

Cleanup and Outing: Nankin Landing to Madison Highway: Withlacoochee River 2017-10-14

Now also a Rivers Alive cleanup in conjunction with Keep Lowndes-Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB). You can clean up, or clean up and paddle! Best to bring a rope for your boat: the Withlacoochee River is low, and there may be a few spots of dragging over shoals.

Through KLVB: Call (229)671-3698 to be assigned to Nankin Landing or another location.

Through WWALS: Come on down to Nankin Boat Ramp 9AM Saturday October 14, 2017!

State Line Shoals

Where: 6899 Clyattville-Nankin Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601, in Lowndes County, 30.675192, -83.394143

Details: See Continue reading

Florida Public Notice of Pollution

While Alabama is thinking about it (actually, Alabama already does it) and Georgia requires an open records request with slow response, Florida has already required and is publishing timely notices of spills! Among them, surprisingly few in the Suwannee River Basin from Hurricane Irma: three in Baker and Bradford Counties from The Chemours Company, and two from Camp Blanding.

Florida, FDEP
Follow this link for the interactive google map.

Daniel H. Thompson, Lexology, 4 May 2017, Florida Legislature Passes “Public Notice of Pollution Act” Continue reading

Please choose wisely about phosphate mine vs. water: Suwannee Riverkeeper to Union County, FL 2017-08-21

The biggest asset any of us, all together, will ever own, is water.

Phosphate mining is complicated, but your choice is not.

Please choose wisely and make your moratorium on phosphate mining permanent.

Sent to Union BOCC this afternoon as PDF along with copy of previous letter to Bradford BOCC.

Suwannee Riverkeeper banner at Bradford County Courthouse

August 21, 2017

To: James Tallman, Chairman
Union County Board of County Commissioners
15 NE 1st Street, Lake Butler, FL 32054
(386) 496-4241
ucbocc@windstream.net

Cc:
Scott R. Koons, Executive Director
North Central Florida Regional Planning Council
2009 NW 67th Pl, Gainesville, FL 32653
(352) 955-2200
koons@ncfrpc.org

Re: Phosphate Mine zoning and land use

Continue reading

Please accept assistance to choose wisely about phosphate mine –Suwannee Riverkeeper to Bradford BOCC 2017-08-16

Sent to Bradford BOCC this morning as PDF. You can send a letter, too, or come speak at the Commission meeting in Starke Thursday afternoon.

August 17, 2017

Danny Riddick, Chairman
Bradford County, Florida, Board of County Commissioners
P O Drawer B, Starke, Fl. 32091
(904) 966-6327
bocc@bradfordcountyfl.gov
Re: HPS II Phosphate Mine proposal

Dear Chairman Riddick, Commissioners, and Staff,

White Sulfur Springs, Then and Now Thank you for your warm welcome at your meeting of July 20, 2017. The videos I took of the entire meeting are on YouTube as promised: http://wwals.com/blog/?p=35374

I look forward to seeing you all again this Thursday at your meeting of August 17, 2017.

In that meeting and in others, I urge you not to limit your review Continue reading

State and local responses to Dunnellon Sabal Trail stink

Sabal Trail did not notify state or local officials about their “odorant” leak at the Dunnellon Compressor Station site, and Sabal Trail’s response to WWALS failed to mention local people called the same stink in to 911 two days in a row. FDEP said there’s no need so long as Sabal Trail follows various permits, but gave no indication of who is checking to see if Sabal Trail does that. Apparently we the people have to keep doing what the state and federal agencies still aren’t doing: watch Sabal Trail like a hawk.

Via FL 200
Google map of locations of Dunnellon High School and Sabal Trail Dunnellon Compressor Station. You can see most of the 100-foot Sabal Trail right of way.

Below are responses from FDEP and more details from Marion County Public Relations and Fire and Rescue, and from Dunnellon Fire and Rescue: none of them were notified by Sabal Trail, and FDEP seems OK with that. For the rest, an emergency plan would be prudent: “Run like hell” as in Spectra compressor station incidents elsewhere, is probably not adequate. Continue reading

Nankin Landing to Madison Highway: Withlacoochee River 2017-10-14

Back by popular request, 9.1 miles past two of the six second-magnitude springs in Georgia, into and back out of Florida, over numerous shoals, on the tea-colored Withlacoochee River in the fall, all on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

When: 9AM Saturday, October 14, 2017

Put In: Nankin Boat Ramp, MILE 36.3, 6899 Clyattville-Nankin Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.675192, -83.394143

WWALS banner at McIntyre Spring

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, water, snacks, trash bag, and trash picker: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup! If you do not have a boat, let us know, and probably somebody can loan you one, or contact one of the many outfitters.

Free: This outing is Free! And we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup.

Take Out: Madison Highway Boat Ramp, MILE Continue reading