Category Archives: Aquifer

The Floridan Aquifer is our main drinking water source under our entire WWALS watershed, east to south Carolina, west through Alabama to Mississippi, and under all of Florida.

GA-EPD issues draft permit for TiO2 strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp 2024-02-09

Update 2024-02-21: Okefenokee bills, Georgia legislature 2024-02-21.

Updated 2024-02-12: Today GA-EPD updated its Public Notice to day 60 days (instead of 30 days) for the public comment period. So that appears to mean the revised final comment date is April 9, 2024.

Four years after the original application, and two weeks after publishing the miners’ revised mining plan, GA-EPD has published a draft permit for the strip mine for titanium dioxide too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

You have 30 60 days from today, February 9, 2024 to comment to GA-EPD:
twinpines.comment@dnr.ga.gov

There will be an online zoom public meeting at 6PM on March 5, 2024.
https://gaepd.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ff7nrdELQPOr0DaPwfxK3A

You can encourage the Georgia legislature to pass legislation to prevent more such mines:
https://www.gawater.org/okefenokee-swamp

And it’s a safe bet that if GA-EPD approves the final permits, lawsuits will fly.

[TPM Saunders Mine Site Layout and WWALS Aerial]
TPM Saunders Mine Site Layout and WWALS Aerial from January 10, 2021

Two weeks ago GA-EPD published the Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) Revised MLUP and Associated Documents.

Today, GA-EPD published Continue reading

Nashville, Georgia, resolution opposing strip mining in or near the Okefenokee Swamp

Thank you, Nashville, Georgia, Mayor and Council, for passing a resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp against the proposed strip mine.

[City of Nashville Resolution and Okefenokee NWR sign]
City of Nashville Resolution and Okefenokee NWR sign

For the increasing number of these resolutions, see:
https://wwals.net/?p=57248

Please ask your Georgia statehouse members to pass HB 71. Floridians, ask your friends and relatives in Georgia to do that. And ask your city or county in Florida to also pass a resolution.

For more about this issue, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

The resolution

Continue reading

SWFWMD and 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, Rainbow Springs springshed 2024-01-04

As Craig Pittman pointed out, SWFWMD issued a permit for the 3RT Sand Mine in Levy County. But that ERP says nothing about Rainbow Springs or FDEP’s Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) for the Rainbow Springs springshed. That ERP does not even mention that the mine site is in an aquifer recharge zone.

What is the use of BMAPs, or of Rainbow Springs being an Outstanding Florida Water, if FDEP’s own SWFWMD can issue a permit for a strip mine without mentioning either?

[SWFWMD ERP for 3RT Sand Mine does not mention Rainbow Springs springshed]
SWFWMD ERP for 3RT Sand Mine does not mention Rainbow Springs springshed

Maybe you’d like to ask about that at FDEP’s meeting about Outstanding Florida Springs Basin Management Plans 2024-01-23. Sure, such meetings are usually public tellings at which the state ignores what citizens say.

But you can use that meeting as a forum to demonstrate opposition to the mine, so you can bring that up at the February 6 Levy County Commission meeting.

Craig Pittman, Florida Phoenix, January 4, 2024, Florida observatory may be forced to shut down if county OKs sand mine:
Neighbors and astronomers join forces to ask Levy County to nix mining proposal
UF’s Rosemary Hill Observatory in Levy County would be next door to the proposed sand mine.

Pittman set up his story with an aside about Jake from State Farm and good neighbors, and then:

The idea of what constitutes a good neighbor came up last week when I first heard about a dispute that’s been going on in Levy County. It involves a wealthy farmer, a dirty mine, a lot of trucks, and the stars in the heavens.

Continue reading

SWFWMD ERP 43046299.000 for 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, FL 2023-04-19

Update 2024-01-16: SWFWMD and 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, Rainbow Springs springshed 2024-01-04.

It makes no mention of the Rainbow Springs springshed or its Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

[Collage, SWFWMD ERP 43046299.000 for 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, FL 2023-04-19]
Collage, SWFWMD ERP 43046299.000 for 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, FL 2023-04-19

That’s Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) No. 43046299.000 issued to Ryan Thomas for the 3RT Sand Mine on April 19, 2023, by FDEP’s Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).

Maybe you’d like to mention that to the Levy County Commission before or at its February 6 Levy County Commission meeting.

Before then, maybe you’d like to ask about that ERP at FDEP’s meeting about Outstanding Florida Springs Basin Management Plans 2024-01-23. Sure, such meetings are usually public tellings at which the state ignores what citizens say. But you can use it to build your case for the Levy BOCC.

You can find that ERP in http://www18.swfwmd.state.fl.us/erp/erp/search/ERPSearch.aspx or on the WWALS website.

For more, see SWFWMD and 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, Rainbow Springs springshed 2024-01-04.

 -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!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Levy County sand mine proposal tabled until February 6 2023-12-05

Update 2024-01-16: SWFWMD ERP 43046299.000 for 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, FL 2023-04-19.

According to local citizens and WCJB 20 ABC TV, yesterday the Levy County Commission failed to decide on the proposed special exception, even though the meeting went on for more than six hours.

[Levy County Commission failed to decide if sand mine trucks could head for cows]
Levy County Commission failed to decide if sand mine trucks could head for cows

This is about the proposed Special Exception for the 3RT Sand Mine.

Next it will be back at the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, 9 AM, Tuesday, February 6, 2024, in the Levy County Government Center Auditorium, 310 School Street, Bronson, FL 32621.

Meanwhile, you can still Continue reading

Sand Mine Special Exception Levy County Commission 2023-12-05

Update 2024-01-15: Meeting: Outstanding Florida Springs Basin Management Plans 2024-01-23.

It’s back: the proposed Special Exception for the 3RT Sand Mine.

This time it will be at the Levy County Board of County Commissioners, 9 AM, Tuesday, December 5, 2023, in the Levy County Government Center Auditorium, 310 School Street, Bronson, FL 32621.

[Cows, mining trucks, and Public Notice]
Cows, mining trucks, and Public Notice

Meanwhile, you can still sign on to this change.org opposition petition by Kim Wheeler:
https://www.change.org/p/no-special-exceptions-for-mining-in-rural-neighborhoods

And you can send written comments up to five days before the Public Hearing; see below.

The mine site is still in the springshed of Rainbow Springs.

You may not think that these are enough: Continue reading

Packet: Agricultural Water Use Monitoring Report and Practical Community Resilience @ SRWMD Board 2023-09-12

There are a couple of interesting items in the SRWMD Board agenda for next week.

[Agricultural Water Use and Practical Community Resilience @ SRWMD 2023-09-12]
Agricultural Water Use and Practical Community Resilience @ SRWMD 2023-09-12

The Agricultural Water Use Monitoring Report says most agricultural water wells 8-inches or larger in diameter are being monitored. But it doesn’t say what the results are. More flow? Less? To be continued, I suppose.

The SRWMD Practical Community Resilience through Enhanced Risk MAP Outreach for the Suwannee River Water Management District is a plan based on federal funding. It has a map showing all the Florida Suwannee River Basin counties are Florida Statute Fiscally Constrained Counties. Maybe it will have some results later.

What: SUWANNEE RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARD MEETING AND PUBLIC HEARING
The Public Hearing is about millage.
The PDF for that, as well as the board packet, is on the WWALS website.

When: 3 PM, Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Where: District Headquarters, Live Oak, Florida

GoTo Webinar Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1360284333254296661

Public Comment Form Link: www.MySuwanneeRiver.com/Comments

Pictures of the two reports mentioned, plus the agenda, are below. Continue reading

Levy county sand mine petition 2023-08-11

Update 2023-11-07: Sand Mine Special Exception at Levy County Commission 2023-12-05.

Follow this link for the petition:

https://chng.it/kNchfFP5Kn

[Mining trucks and cows]
Mining trucks and cows

NO Special Exceptions for Mining in Rural Neighborhoods,

Started August 11, 2023, by Kim Wheeler

Why this petition matters

Currently, Levy County allows major mining in Agricultural/Rural Residential and Forestry/Rural Residential zoned areas of the county by ‘Special Exception’, which is a lengthy and cumbersome process for the county, and a great problem for the rural residents that might be impacted by such mining and the resulting traffic generated. Therefore, we are requesting that the major mining use no longer be allowed in Ag/RR and F/RR areas of the county. Existing mines would be ‘grandfathered’ in, but no new mines allowed. Mines would still be allowed in Industrial zoned areas. There are some 12-15 mines in the county now.

Hazards presented by mining include Continue reading

Proposed prohibition of mining in certain Levy County zones 2023-08-07

Update 2023-08-14: Levy county sand mine petition 2023-08-11.

Going for code changes to prohibit mining in relevant zones seems like a good tactic.

[Letter, Map to Rainbow Springs, Map to Suwannee River]
Letter, Map to Rainbow Springs, Map to Suwannee River

This is a cover letter for a packet of materials sent to the Levy County Commission.

I’m told the packet included the WWALS letter about Levy County 3RT Sand Mine is in Springshed of Rainbow Springs 2023-07-23.

Yaylisis Perera
3991 NE COUNTY ROAD 337
Bronson, FL 32621
yaylisisperera@gmail.com
08/07/2023

Levey County Board of County Commissioners

Subject: Serious Impact on Health and Well-being of Our Community Due to Proposed Mine in Residential Area and Prohibition of Mining in Ag/RR and F/RR.

Dear Levy County Board of County Commissioners,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you as a deeply concerned citizen about the well-being and future of our beloved community. The purpose of this letter is to address an issue of utmost importance directly affecting the health and quality of life of those residing in this residential area.

Undoubtedly, the proposal to establish a mine in our community has caused unease and distress among residents. While economic development is vital for the progress of any locality, we cannot ignore the potentially devastating consequences it could have on the health of our fellow citizens.

Throughout this missive, I aim to Continue reading

Draft Conditions from the Planning Commission to the BoCC on SE 23-01 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, FL 2023-07-20

Update 2023-08-14: Levy county sand mine petition 2023-08-11.

The Levy County Commission is meeting tomorrow morning, Tuesday, July 25, 2023, at 9 AM. It’s always good to show up and be seen, maybe say a few words, even if your item of interest is not on the agenda. Or contact your Commissioner via telephone or email.

There will be no decision about the 3RT Sand Mine tomorrow. The agenda includes:

16. PUBLIC HEARING: Requesting the Levy County Board of County Commissioners grant the request for continuation by applicant for PETITION NO SE 23-01: Ryan Thomas for 3RT Sand Mine. Requesting a Special Exception for a major mining operation pursuant to Sec. 50-719; Mining and excavation of minerals, or natural resources, and site reclamation of the Levy County Land Development Code to allow a sand mine (no blasting) on approximately 1,100 acres (includes mine property and access to CR 337) of land located in Section 35, Township 12 S, Range 17 E, Levy County Florida. These parcels are located in Agriculture/Rural Residential (A/RR) Land Use and Zoning district. Parcel Number(s) 0359701600, 0359700400, 0359700000, 0359700300, 0360400600, 0360400000, 036040040B, 036040040A, 0360400400, 0360400500, 0360600500, 0360600300, 0360600000, 0359400000, and 0359200000.The applicant has requested a continuation to a date uncertain to evaluate the Planning Commission conditions with his project. This item will be continued.

[All 22 draft conditions]
All 22 draft conditions

These appear to be the 22 draft conditions from the Levy County Planning Commission about the proposed Special Exception for the 3RT Sand Mine. See also PDF.


Draft Conditions from the Planning Commission to the BoCC on SE 23-01 3RT Sand Mine

Continue reading