After many years of massive opposition, HPS II Thursday withdrew its application for a phosphate mine “without the County taking any formal action on it.”
Union County, where HPS II also wanted to mine, rejected its application there, changed the Union County Comprehensive Plan to limit mining, and, with the assistance of Alachua County, maintained legal defense against the mine, until HPS II dropped its lawsuit last June.
So it seems safe to finally say the HPS II phosphate mine is dead.
Congratulations to all the opponents, especially Bradford Environmental Forum, Citizens Against Phosphate Mining, Sierra Club, and Our Santa Fe River (OSFR).
Suwannee Riverkeeper has opposed this mine since 2017, because it drains ito the New River and the Santa Fe River in the Suwannee River Basin, above the Floridan Aquifer. Update 2023-01-24: Added detail. Our opposition has included attending demonstrations, speaking at County Commission meetings in Union and Bradford Counties, writing letters to those Commissions, organizing Southwings small plane overflights of the mine site with opposition members from Union County and OSFR, publishing photographs from such overflights, attending coordination meetings as far away as Tampa, and attending nationwide meetings against phosphate mining. See https://wwals.net/issues/phosphate-mining/. In December 2018, the first official action of the newly-formed Waterkeepers Florida was a a Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida.
HPS II withdrawing their rezoning application does raise questions about where phosphate miners will aim next. Continue reading