According to a 2016 Florida state law, FDEP is supposed to “adopt uniform rules for issuing permits that prevent groundwater withdrawals harmful to the water resources and a uniform definition of the term “harmful to the water resources” to provide water management districts with minimum standards necessary to be consistent with the overall water policy of the state for Outstanding Florida Springs.“
The department’s writeup even says, “The rule is likely to affect consumptive use permitting in the Northwest Florida, Suwannee River, St. Johns River and Southwest Florida water management districts.”
Well, it won’t limit permitting in its current form.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is holding a workshop on development of this rule.
You can ask them to actually follow the law and protect our springs.
That’s 11 AM,
Monday, August 28, 2023, at the
Alachua County Headquarters Library, Meeting Room A,
401 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601.
Sierra Club Florida has an RSVP form
Here is the agenda:
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
August 28, 2023 – 11:00 AM EST
Alachua County Headquarters Library – Meeting Room A
THIS MEETING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
- Rule Development Overview
- Draft Rules
- 62-41.400 – Scope of Rules
- 62-41.401 – Uniform Definition of Harmful to the Water Resources
- 62-41.402 – Uniform Conditions for Issuance of Permits
- 62-41.403 – Additional Protections Consistent with Local or Regional
- Conditions and Objectives
- Public Comment
- Next Steps
The rule documents are linked in here:
FDEP does not make it easy to find the 30 Outstanding Florida Springs. FDEP’s map of them does not actually display them. But you can get it to show a table of them.
A dozen of them are in the Suwannee River Basin:
- Devil’s Ear Spring (Ginnie Springs) Santa Fe River
- Falmouth Spring, near the Suwannee River
- Fanning Springs, Suwannee River
- Hornsby Spring, Santa Fe River
- Ichetucknee Springs Group, Ichetucknee River
- Lafayette Blue Spring, Suwannee River
- Madison Blue Spring, Withlacoochee River
- Manatee Springs, Suwannee River
- Peacock Springs, Suwannee River
- Poe Springs, Santa Fe River
- Treehouse Spring, Santa Fe River
- Troy Springs, Suwannee River
Others include Rainbow Springs Group on the Rainbow River, relevant to the Levy County Sand Mine proposal.
And of course excessive water withdrawals affect all the other springs and rivers.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®