Category Archives: FDEP

Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash –WWALS to NCFRPC 2023-01-26

The meeting is 7PM tonight in Lake City, with remote participation options; see:
https://wwals.net/?p=60792


January 26, 2023

To: Scott Koons, E.D., North Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Re: Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash

Dear NCFRPC,

Thank you for the opportunity for public input.

I would like to bring to the attention of the Council three issues:

[Three topics for NCFRPC from WWALS 2023-01-26]
Three topics for NCFRPC from WWALS 2023-01-26

  1. Deadline January 31st for public comment on the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP), Continue reading

Agenda: North Central Florida Regional Planning Council 2023-01-26

Update 2023-01-26: Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash –WWALS to NCFRPC 2023-01-26.

Tonight I will ask them to take up Valdosta trash as an issue like they previously successfully took up Valdosta sewage.

I will ask them to oppose the proposed titanium strip mine and to support the Okefenokee Swamp, the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, and the Floridan Aquifer.

And I will ask them to ask SRWMD and SJRWMD to add a water budget and constraints on water withdrawals to the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP).

[When and Where NCFRPC 2023-01-26]
When and Where NCFRPC 2023-01-26

Now I am composing a letter to send them before the meeting. Continue reading

Forever chemical residue can even be in your house lot 2022-11-27

That house you bought may come with forever chemicals, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which can harm human (and wildlife) health in many ways.

Florida permits shipping sewage sludge from south Florida to north Florida for agricultural fertilizer. It’s not clear how prevalent the same practice is in Georgia. But from fields it can wash into waterways, and subdivisions may be built on fields that had sludge applied.

[Human health, house PFAS sources]
Human health, house PFAS sources

Marina Schauffler, The Main Monitor, November 27, 2022, Forever exposure, forever anxiety: Coping with the inescapable toxicity of PFAS: Found in water, air, soil, food, consumer products and work settings, “forever chemicals” pose risks to both physical health and mental well-being.

At the end of Joy Road in Fairfield, a steep dead-end road climbs a hillside to a scattering of homes with distant mountain views and some of the higher concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) the state has found to date in groundwater. The neighbors here live under what one resident, Nathan Saunders, called the “cloud of an unknown future,” fearing how PFAS exposure may erode their health.

Continue reading

EPA gives Florida 12 months to fix its water quality standards 2022-12-05

This month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required the State of Florida to update its water quality standards within twelve months, or EPA will do it instead.

This is an outcome WWALS and other Florida Waterkeepers have been pursuing since at least 2016, before we got the Suwannee Riverkeeper license and before the formation of Waterkeepers Florida.

[Determination, Map]
Determination, Map

Douglas Soule and James Call, Tallahassee Democrat, December 5, 2022 (updated December 7, 2022), EPA: Florida must change water quality standards to protect citizens’ health

TALLAHASSEE — The United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined that Florida’s antiquated water quality standards do not go far enough in protecting its citizens — particularly those who consume fish — from pollutants and adverse health effects.

Continue reading

SRWMD Lands to reject conservation easement offer on Withlacoochee River 2022-12-13

One item on the Lands Committee agenda seems slightly different from business as usual at the $68 million-annual-budget Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).

[Agenda and Stafford Tract, SRWMD Lands, 2022-12-13]
Agenda and Stafford Tract, SRWMD Lands, 2022-12-13

As near as I can tell, even though this offer checks almost all the boxes, SRWMD doesn’t want to deal with it because it adjoins Suwannee River State Park (SRSP), while it’s across the Withlacoochee River from the SRWMD-owned land in the Twin Rivers State Forest Ellaville Tract. So SRWMD has sent the landowner to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

If you want to attend, it’s Tuesday December 13, 2022, at District Headquarters, or via gotowebinar. The Board meets at 9AM, and the Lands Committee meets afterwards, usually around noon. Continue reading

Geology in …the Real Florida ℠ – Big Shoals State Park –FGS 2022-11-17

WWALS Science Committee Chair Dr. Tom Potter found in the November 2022 issue of FGS News and Research this article: Geology in …the Real Florida ℠ – Big Shoals State Park

[Upstream and Downstream, Big Shoals, Suwannee River, FGS]
Upstream and Downstream, Big Shoals, Suwannee River, FGS

Over a length of nearly 600 feet, the Suwannee River loses 10 feet of elevation. That’s 1 foot down for every 60 linear feet as one travels downriver. Though this may not sound like much, Continue reading

Video: Summary of water quality testing at Lowndes County Commission 2022-10-11

Most of the Lowndes County Commissioners were not familiar with the water quality testing WWALS is doing, and now they are.

[Summary of WWALS water quality testing @ LCC 2022-10-11]
Summary of WWALS water quality testing @ LCC 2022-10-11

Here’s the video: Continue reading

Forever chemicals in rainwater everywhere 2022-08-02

U.S. EPA may get around to mandatory limits for drinking water later this year.

[Worldwide, graph]
Worldwide, graph

Georgia and Florida have no mandatory limits for these per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Georgia EPD is monitoring drinking water (mostly clean) and some surface water (in north Georgia, with some bad results). FDEP “ continues its efforts to investigate and understand PFAS in the environment and the ecological and human health risks associated with PFAS contamination.

My backup drinking water is rainwater collection. Probably the charcoal filters I use remove PFOAS, although Continue reading

High Springs 500-gallon sewage spill, mostly cleaned up 2022-07-07

Update 2022-07-29: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-07-28.

Well, I missed this one. FDEP says it was reported on July 7th, but it wasn’t in their 30-day map last time I looked, so I’m not sure when it showed up.

[FDEP report, aerial, WWALS map]
FDEP report, aerial, WWALS map

At only 500 gallons, 200 of that recovered, it probably didn’t have much effect on the Santa Fe River or its springs.

The address given seems to be a typo. The real address appears to be Continue reading

Five Rivers Clean 2022-07-07

Update 2022-07-15: Withlacoochee River OK, Cat Creek bad 2022-07-14.

According to ten WWALS Thursday test sites on five rivers, and Madison Health lifting their Withlacoochee River Health Advisory, five rivers tested clean Thursday.

There was substantial rain yesterday, but since previous rains probably washed off the worst stuff, most likely there won’t be much effect on the rivers.

Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend!

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

The most recent Valdosta data Continue reading