Tag Archives: Floridan Aquifer

Benefits must outweigh harms –WWALS to FERC Re: Pipeline Certification NOI 2018-07-25

Here’s the WWALS response to FERC’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI) about “Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Facilities”. A few excerpts:

FERC should approve no more pipelines without comparing not just coal plants to natural gas plants, but also comparing sun and wind power. If that means no more pipelines, so be it….

In one of the most egregious cases, Sabal Trail commenced construction on the land of the Bell Brothers in Mitchell County, Georgia, and when they countersued, Continue reading

Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and soon in Columbia County? 2018-07-11

Thanks to Jim Tatum of OSFR for spotting this op-ed in the Lake City Reporter yesterday by WWALS member and Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida about Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and likely planning to expand to Columbia County.

Dennis Price explains, Down to a sunless sea
Photo by John S. Quarterman of Dennis J. Price at the Dead River of the Alapaha River, 2018-01-27.

To the Editor:

Much has been written in the last year about Sam Oosterhoudt’s mitigation bank. I was involved in permitting the bank through the Army Corps (ACOE) and The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. It took about 5 years to get all the permits. Now, 9 years after work began on the project, the phosphate company (then PCS now Nutrien) petitioned the state to shut down the mitigation bank.

I do not know for sure, but, Nutrien may tell you that during the recent sale of PCS and the review of mineral interests owned, they discovered that the mitigation bank had snuck in there and set up shop over their minerals. This probably has some truth to it but I think there is a much more involved reason.

In Hamilton County, Nurtrien/PCS is planning to run out of phosphate to mine in about 10 years, give or take a few years either way. I do not believe they are planning on shutting the doors and leaving. Occidental Chemical Company started mining in Hamilton County Continue reading

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: Continue reading

Fragility of monoculture agriculture in varying water conditions

They don’t want to say “we don’t know,” but they don’t know. At least they have a working hypothesis about the collapse of the 2017 peanut crop in much of Florida: it has to do with variations in rainfall.

Bob Kemerait, Southeast Farm Press, 22 January 2018, Peanut collapse: Something happened but it’s not clear exactly why,

…For months, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agents led by Anthony Drew, Mace Bauer and Dee Broughton had been sounding the alarm that an unprecedented collapse of the peanut crop was occurring across large areas of Florida’s production region. Symptoms of this collapse included stunted plants, late-season yellowing and leaves with distinctive marginal leaf necrosis. Where most severe, entire fields wilted in the weeks prior to harvest. Abysmal yields, off by as much as 45 percent, forced some to consider their future in farming if solution could not be found.

During the latter third of the season, Continue reading

A Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida –Florida Waterkeepers 2017-12-18

Update 2018-08-18: Calusa Waterkeeper has also signed, bringing it to 11 of the 14 Waterkeepers in Florida. (See also PDF.)

Update 2018-08-01: Five additional signers: Suncoast Waterkeeper, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, Indian Riverkeeper, St. Marys Riverkeeper, and Collier County Waterkeeper. Seven of us delivered this resolution in person to FDEP Secretary Noah Valenstein.

Delivered via email as PDF to the Union BOCC before their phosphate mine workshop of Monday, December 18, 2017.


A Resolution
Against Phosphate Mines in Florida

WHEREAS, Waterkeeper Alliance Members are obligated and dedicated to protect the water resources, citizens’ interests, and related benefits in their jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, Resolution WHEREAS, phosphate mines have been shown to threaten and cause actual harm to these resources, interest, and related benefits; and

WHEREAS, there are several phosphate mine projects in various stages of permitting in local, state, and federal agencies including county and city governments, Water Management Districts (WMDs), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); and

WHEREAS, there seems to be no public list of current phosphate mines and related facitlities, which include at least

Continue reading

Sasser Landing to Jennings Bluff & Dead River Sink 2015-06-14

See three sinks, a waterfall, and a distributary in these videos from the WWALS Outing to Turket Creek Waterfall, the Alapahoochee River, the Alapaha River Sink, and the Dead River Sink, June 14, 2015. A WWALS video playlist follows the links to each video below. Continue reading

Permit-less Sabal Trail pipeline risked by new sinkhole

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(See also PDF and previous blog post.)

Live Oak, FL, October 5, 2017 — Sabal Trail, operating without a permit, is at risk from a new sinkhole within 60 feet of its 36-inch diameter, high-pressure, fracked methane pipe under Suwannee River State Park (SRSP), between the Suwannee River and the drill site in Hamilton County. Such sinkholes are among the geological risks WWALS warned about that have happened in the fragile karst limestone containing our drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer. We were assured in October 2015 by Sabal Trail and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) that sinkholes and frac-outs would not happen or would be detected and fixed. They keep happening, and Sabal Trail has done nothing about this one. Sabal Trail should not even be continuing operations after the DC Circuit Court vacated its permit six weeks ago.

jsq over sinkhole, SRSP
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman at new sinkhole in Suwannee River State Park, 2017-10-03.
Photo: Christopher J. Mericle, Chair, N. Florida Working Group, Suwannee-St. Johns Group, Sierra Club Florida.

In WWALS vs. Sabal Trail & FDEP (October 2015), FDEP’s one witness, Lisa Prather, said under oath (see http://wwals.net/blog/?p=27799):

Well, the Suwannee River crossing doesn’t, in fact, have any impacts to an outstanding Florida water, because the directional drill commences in uplands and terminates in uplands. So there are no surface water impacts at that crossing that would affect the outstanding Florida water.”

“Well, any work within, or could have adverse effects on OFW, is considered.In this case, we determine that there would be no impacts to the OFW.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman says:

“Email to Ms. Prather’s address now comes back with an error message, while the rest of us are left Continue reading

SWIM Plan Meeting, Live Oak 2017-10-03

Nitrates, agriculture, and silviculture were already in, and sewage, phosphate mines, and the Floridan Aquifer got added yesterday afternoon in Live Oak in public comments on updates to SRWMD’s SWIM Plans, plus new SRWMD E.D. Hugh Thomas spoke.

Audience with back of Hugh Thomas, Coastal Rivers Basin Presentation

Thanks to presenter Tom Singleton, the slides presented are on the WWALS website. Here are a few notes and pictures.

Floridan Aquifer

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Sierra Club Florida noted Continue reading

Bradford County, FL Comprehensive Plan 2012-04-19

Apparently you can mine almost anywhere in Bradford County, Florida, according to the Bradford County Comprehensive Plan:

Illustration A-X Bradford County MINING AREAS
Illustration A-X Bradford County MINING AREAS

That map is about as bad as the one in Continue reading

Union County Proposed Mining Areas 2017-08-30

Update 2017-08-31: More maps and other information in the Phosphate Mining page.

Here’s a much better map:

Proposed Mining Areas, APplication CPA 17-02, 2017-09-18
Proposed Mining Areas, Application CPA 17-02, 2017-09-18
PDF of this map

I was confused by the mining areas map in the NCFRPC materials for the recent Union County Comprehensive Plan workshop Monday 21 August 2017. That map in the previous post appears to show almost all of Union County as mining areas. So I asked NCFRPC E.D. Ed Koons. He clarified: Continue reading