Update 2023-04-13: More materials: Hamilton County Planning Commission on Nutrien phosphate mine permit renewal 2023-03-28.
Update 2023-04-12: The County Commission meeting will be April 18th.
The Nutrien Phosphate Mine in Hamilton County, Florida,
is up for renewal by the Hamilton Board of County Commissioners
on Tuesday, April
28 18, 2023, at 6 PM.
There will be a Public Hearing.
Since time to speak will be limited, best to send written comments in advance.
The renewal request has already been reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Board (PNZ), on March 28, 2023. PNZ recommends renewal with some conditions.
Private landowners, a number of whose property is inside the mine boundary, object that some of Nutrien’s plans for disposal of waste such as clay will adversely affect those landowners’ businesses as well as wildlife and waters.
Dennis J. Price, P.G., of Hamilton County filed a page of questions.
Bienville Outdoors filed a a request to find other options for settling areas.
Maybe you would like to comment on effects of this mine on the Suwannee River, Swift Creek, the Floridan Aquifer, or public health.
Private landowners, Clay flows, aerial: Nutrien Phosphate Mine, Hamilton County, FL
On the WWALS website are a hundred pages of documents that were filed with PNZ.
There are more docuements, which Hamilton County found too big to email. I will pick them up in the next few days.
General questions from Dennis J. Price, P.G.
See also PDF.
GENERAL QUESTIONS REGARDING RECLAIM SETTLING AREAS AND END OF MINING WATER FLOW AND WATER QUALITY IN GROUND WATER AND STREAMS.
SE ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY
DENNIS J. PRICE, P.G.
WHITE SPRINGS, FL 32096
Cell 362-8189, firstname.lastname@example.org
GENERAL QUESTIONS REGARDING RECLAIM SETTLING AREAS AND END OF MINING WATER FLOW AND WATER QUALITY IN GROUND WATER AND STREAMS,
Numbers that describe density of clays in settling area and at what density is clay suitable for heavy equipment on its surface.
Ideal thickness of material on top of clay that allows surface use.
Estimated time frame for when majority of clay settling areas will be reclaimed.
Density of clay after which reclamation can begin.
Cross section through typical expected reclamation of clay settling area. Or several typical reclamation schemes.
- Current permitting status is of Settling Area 14
- Reclamation status of New Lake
- Map detailing which parts of the Bienville property are mandatory and non- mandatory for reclamation
What does alternative reclamation standards mean?
Location of monitoring wells showing high arsenic levels, location of wells and the chemical analytic results where parameters are above acceptable levels.
What are the more concerning contaminants
Map of every control structure at the mine, what water basin they control water flows in and out of.
At end of mining, 2029, what control structures will be left intact to facilitate water flow?
How will these control structures stay working for the next 100 years.
If removed, how will we ensure that discharge points will not erode and entrench stream
What is expected residual levels of phosphate, sulphate, radium and arsenic in ground water and surface water discharge
Bienville Outdoors request
See also PDF.
Lee Spears … representing Bienville Outdoors … requesting your support in saving lake 14 from becoming a clay settling area also known as “Proposed SA14” in the reports before you.
Good evening board, my name is Lee Spears I am here representing Bienville Outdoors located in white springs. I’m here before you this afternoon requesting your support in saving lake 14 from becoming a clay settling area also known as “Proposed SA14” in the reports before you.
Many of you may not know, but lake 14 is and has been the heart of Bienville for many, many years. Lake 14 consists of approximately 1000 acres of surface water and hundreds of miles of shoreline. There are four other lakes under the same footprint of lake 14 known as Widgeon Hole A, B, and C. These lakes will also be affected by allowing a clay settling area through this permit.
Not being able to use this body of water has placed an economic burden on Bienville and has lost tax revenue to Hamilton County. Please keep in mind that we are well aware that it’s not just us that is losing now it is also the local businesses that are affected by our guest use frequently.
I would now like to provide you with some data to support my last statement:
The revenue previously generated from utilizing lake 14 by fishermen from all around the world was approximately $1.5 million dollars annually. This lake can comfortably fit 50 bass boats with two individuals and sometimes more on each boat. So, when we look deeper into this by not allowing us to continue using this lake the county will also lose the bed tax from the people that would be using our lodging accommodations as well as other lodgings available in the county. Please understand the long- term revenue that can be produced by proposing a new location for Nutrien to utilize their clay settling plans.
Not only do we use this area for fishing we also use the area for hunting animals such as alligator deer duck and Turkey that generate approximately $200,000 just by leasing the lake. This would be an additional loss in bed tax and be a long-term economic impact to Hamilton County.
A little bit more about us and the history of lake 14 Is every year we hosted a tournament raising money for Shands Children’s Hospital where we donated all the proceeds back to Shands Children’s Hospital.
Now I would like to take the time to give an overview of our current clay settling areas. Nutrien currently has five existing permitted clay settling areas on Bienville property SA5, 6A, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 13. Combined all of this area involved is approximately 3,600 acres. If the proposed SA14 becomes a part of this (measuring at approximately 1,600 acres) it would then be a total of 5,200 acres which will be unusable for the foreseeable future. Lake 14 was not always a proposed settling area until recently.
Looking at this from an environmental standpoint we would also like to mention the established wildlife habitats surrounding this area as well as aquatic life within the lake itself. It is often we find Bald Eagle nesting, Osprey, American White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, multiple species of Duck, sparrow, Sandhill Crane, Armadillo, Opossum, Alligator, Whitetail Deer, just to name a few above the surface. All of these will be grossly affected and ultimately result in a species reduction.
In short, we are requesting the County to pursue other options for settling areas with Nutrien that does not include Bienville property for the sake of long-term revenue purposes, taking in consideration both parties.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
A little bit more about us and the history of lake 14….
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!