The phosphate mine agenda item he expected for Gilchrist BOCC this afternoon is not there, Mike Roth, President of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), called to say. So I’m not going. Instead I sent them the letter you see below (see also PDF).
June 18, 2018
To: Gilchrist Board of County Commissioners
Sharon Langford <email@example.com>,
“D. Ray Harrison” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Todd Gray <email@example.com>,
Marion Poitevint <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Kenrick Thomas <email@example.com>,
Cc: County Administrator Bobby Crosby <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Re: Phosphate mines
Dear Chairman, Commissioners, and staff,
While I applaud your decision to discuss opioid litigation at your meeting today, I was a little surprised to find that in the time slot where I had heard you would be discussing a “letter of concern” regarding the HPS II phosphate mine applied for in Bradford and Union Counties.
As you are probably aware, there is already a phosphate mine in Hamilton County. While that mine has always said it had nothing to do with White Sulfur Spring drying up, and maybe that’s true, why should we increase such risks by adding another phosphate mine upstream from Gilchrist County?
Hamilton County got some concessions in the five-year permit renewals for that Nutrien (PCS) Phosphate Mine, about better transparency about water quality and other issues that have arisen after the damage is done. See https://wwals.net/?p=42975 Not having another mine would be better.
Many reasons to oppose such a mine are laid out in a resolution signed by several Riverkeepers across Florida. https://wwals.net/?p=39892 As the Suwannee Riverkeeper, concerned with fishable, swimmable, drinkable water in the Suwannee River Basin, I urge you to urge Union and Bradford Counties not to permit that mine.
Let me also take the opportunity to invite you to hear new songs about the Suwannee River at the First Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, 1-5PM Saturday, June 23, at the Salty Snapper, upstream in Valdosta, Georgia: https://wwals.net/?p=43081
John S. Quarterman,
President, WWALS Watershed Coalition
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!