Tag Archives: Our Santa Fe River

FERC Requests Comments on Rulemaking for small inland LNG export facilities

Hahira Georgia, July 26, 2022 — At the request of WWALS Watershed Coalition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has opened a process that could correct its mistakes of eight years ago when it disclaimed oversight of dangerous compressed methane export facilities as long as they did not load directly onto ocean-going ships. Those decisions produced environmental, safety, and economic problems. The request provides FERC with an opportunity to “revisit” and “revise” those old decisions, as FERC Chair Richard Glick has recommended.

LNG tanker truck, Southbound I-75, 2018-03-26; Photo John S. Quarterman
LNG tanker truck, Southbound I-75, 2018-03-26; Photo John S. Quarterman

Anyone can comment and organizations can intervene on this new FERC docket for potential Rulemaking on Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export. The deadline is September 20, 2022. That’s Docket RM22-21 on ferc.gov. Detailed instructions are below.

Please also contact your state and national elected officials and ask them to ask FERC to resume its oversight.

The Introduction of the Petition lays out the problem we want to get solved: Continue reading

FERC requests comments on WWALS Petition for Rulemaking on FERC Oversight of Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities 2022-07-22

Update 2022-07-26: Press release, FERC Requests Comments on Rulemaking for small inland LNG export facilities.

FERC has created a docket for our petition and has filed in it a notice requesting comments by September 20, 2022.

[Notice and map]
Notice and map

Interested parties can file in that docket RM22-21 to intervene and then file comments and motions.

Also on Friday, FERC asked if we wanted to file the cover letter in the docket, so I did. It feels very strange to have FERC politely asking us to file things.

Thanks again to Continue reading

Petition for Rulemaking on FERC Oversight of Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities 2022-07-22

Update 2022-07-23: FERC requests comments on WWALS Petition for Rulemaking on FERC Oversight of Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities 2022-07-22.

FERC has filed our petition in a new docket, RM22-21. We shall see what they do from there on this request to open a Rulemaking to revisit, as FERC Chair Richard Glick has suggested, FERC’s decisions of 2014 and 2015 that left small inland LNG export facilities without environmental oversight.

[What and by Whom]
What and by Whom

Many thanks to Cecile Scofield for keeping after this issue for years, and to the rest of the WWALS Issues Committee.

And thanks to each of our co-signers, Continue reading

HPS II drops Union County phosphate mine lawsuit 2022-06-23

Last Thursday, Kate Ellison posted on her facebook page the news that HPS II had dropped its lawsuit against Union County, Florida, which had been going on since 2019.

The miners were attempting to overturn Union County’s rejection of their phosphate mining permit applicaiton, and Union County’s changed land development regulations that prohibited such mining except in a small area. This is big news, although there may be more to come, and there are implications as far away as the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

[Union County Times, Nutrien Phosphate Mine]
Union County Times, Nutrien Phosphate Mine

Suwannee Riverkeeper has opposed this mine since 2017, because it is uphill from the New River which flows into the Santa Fe River and then the Suwannee River, and above the Floridan Aquifer. Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) has been in the middle of this opposition all along, so, not surprisingly, OSFR has posted an extensive review, see below, naming many of the other people involved.

I’d also like to mention that, Continue reading

Videos: Florida Right to Clean Water, Poe Springs Park 2022-04-21

Update 2022-05-01: Florida petition online now for Right to Clean and Healthy Waters 2022-05-01.

Five of us spoke about the new Florida Right to Clean and Healthy Waters (RTCW) statewide petition for a constitutional amendment. We said saying extraordinary problems demand extraordinary solutions, water supports everything, RTCW is needed like the First Amendment, flow and nitrates in the Santa Fe River and springs need RTCW, and drinking water needs RTCW.

[RTCW, Poe Springs]
RTCW, Poe Springs

That press conference at Poe Springs Park on the Santa Fe River was covered by CBS4 News out of Gainesville. Here is the TV news story, WWALS video of the speakers, and the full text of the petition amendment.

TV News

Julianne Amaya, CBS4, Gainesville, Florida, Thursday, April 21, 2022, Petition calls for ‘rights to clean and healthy waters’ in Florida, Continue reading

OSFR kayaktivism at Ginnie Springs, Santa Fe River 2021-05-29

Not a WWALS outing, but we recommend it: Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) is doing kayaktivism tomorrow, Saturday, May 29, 2021, on a mile and a half of Santa Fe River frontage next to Ginnie Springs.

This is to protest the recent ridiculous award of a water withdrawal permit by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) to Seven Springs Water Company (SSWC) and Nestlé or Nestle Water North America (NWNA) or BlueTriton as NWNA is called after being bought by One Rock and Metropoulos. It’s so ridiculous SRWMD is appealing its own decision, in addition to three or more other lawsuits.

Paddle if you can, with signs.

Group of paddlers at Ginnie Springs

For all details about outing, see this OSFR blog post: KAYAKTIVISM Sat. May 29, 11am-2pm On The River By Ginnie Springs Campground.

WWALS has contributed financially to the lawsuit OSFR has brought against SRWMD.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Help SRWMD reject Nestle permit 2021-02-23

You can help the Suwannee River Water Management District Board uphold the public interest and reject Nestlé’s water withdrawal permit application.

[Agenda, Board, No Permit]
Agenda, Board, No Permit

Even SRWMD’s legal counsel only recommends approving the Seven Springs permit “under protest.” The DOAH judge’s Order is actually only a RECOMMENDATION, and the District filed eighteen pages of exceptions to that Order. The judge disallowed most of those exceptions, but SRWMD is still holding open the possibility of appeal with that “under protest”.

The Judge’s Order dances around the basic question: is putting water in plastic bottles after taking it from the Floridan Aquifer next to a depleted river and springs, all for profit of a Swiss company, in the public interest? Florida law and the judge attempt to narrow what can be considered down what can be considered for the public interest to what is in Florida rules or a handbook, even though none of those adequately address the real issues. The plain fact is that a contract to sell water does not determine any public interst in cleaning up plastic bottles from our springs and rivers, nor does it determine any public interest in lower springs and rivers, with bad effects on wildlife, public use of those waters, and eventually on drinking water.

The SRWMD board can deny this permit because it is not in the public interest. You can help them do so.

It almost looks like the SRWMD counsel is asking people to come protest, since he repeatedly mentions that Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) filed legal motions and both Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Michael Roth spoke in the legal hearing. Disclosure: WWALS has provided some financial support for OSFR’s legal actions in this matter.

If you’re going to attend this Special Meeting in person, get there early to get a spot. To attend online, be sure to sign up for both the webinar and cal in for audio. If you want to comment, you must also sign up for that separately. Don’t wait for the second day: if that happens at all, there will be no public comment.

So come early on the first day, in person or online, Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

The entire SRWMD Special Meeting Board packet is on the WWALS website: https://www.wwals.net/pictures/2021-02-23–srwmd-nestle-special-meeting-packet/

Here is the agenda, with how to attend online: Continue reading

Letter: WWALS to FDEP and SRWMD: acquisitions, invitations, withdrawals, water quality testing 2020-11-10

Sent yesterday afternoon after the morning SRWMD board meeting.


November 10, 2020

To: Noah Valenstein
Secretary, FDEP
Noah.Valenstein@floridadep.gov

Hugh Thomas
Executive Director, SRWMD
Hugh.Thomas@srwmd.org

Sen. Keith Perry
Perry.Keith@flsenate.gov

Cc: Scott R. Koons
E.D., Rivers Task Force
koons@ncfrpc.org

Re: land acquisitions, event invitations, water withdrawals, and water quality testing

Dear Secretary Valenstein, Director Thomas, and Sen. Perry,

This morning I spoke via gotowebinar in the SRWMD Board Meeting. This letter expands on what I said.

[WWALS letter to FDEP and SRWMD]
WWALS letter to FDEP and SRWMD
PDF

I offered compliments, a suggestion, and a recommendation on the FDEP press release of yesterday: Continue reading

Columbia County, FL, Parks Ordinance, No. 2020-08, 2020-06-18

Columbia County Attorney Joel Foreman sent a copy of this ordinance (see PDF) within minutes of being asked, along with this explanation:

Attached is the version of the Ordinance that was signed. The amendment was made at adoption to 78-3(B), adding that the Board would approve any supplemental rules by resolution.

Columbia County, FL BOCC Special Called Meeting 2020-06-18

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson posted the below explanation on facebook (reposted here with permission): Continue reading

Rum Island absorbed within Columbia County Park Ordinance: BOCC vote 2020-06-18

Update 2020-07-03: As amended and passed, Columbia County, FL, Parks Ordinance, No. 2020-08, 2020-06-18.

Tomorrow, Thursday, June 18, new rules for Rum Island Park will be voted on by the Columbia County BOCC. This park with its public boat ramp is a popular access to the Santa Fe River and its springs.

[Cover Sheet]
Cover Sheet

At the previous meeting in which they scheduled this meeting, Columbia County Commissioners were heard complaining about kayak and canoe outfitters being some sort of problem.

June 4, 2020, Columbia, County, FL, BOCC Regular Session video

The greatly expanded definitions in the ordinance add permits, with a limit of a total of four permits for “regular commercial uses of parks or recreational facilities”. It’s not clear what “uses” means. Does that include dropping off customers at a public boat ramp? Parking outfitter vehicles? Other?

Presumably issuing permits for fees will affect later budgets. Note that the agenda sheet only says “This item has no effect on the current budget.”

You can comment if you attend, or you can send email beforehand; see below.

WWALS has no official position, although we will send a letter asking the BOCC to be sure such permits don’t interfere with Sec. 78-6(C):

“(C) Boats, including human-powered craft and boats of common horsepower motors, shall be allowed.”

So far as I know, Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) also has no official position.

When: 5:30 PM, Thursday, June 18, 2020

Where: Columbia County School Board Administrative Complex Auditorium, 372 West Duval Street, Lake City, Florida 32055

What: Special called meeting of the Columbia County Board of County Commissioners

Purpose: To adopt a Rum Island Park Ordinance within a broad Columbia County Park Ordinance that includes all of the recreational holdings of the county.

To comment: Attend in person. Or send email to:
To: Board Secretary Penny Stanley <penny_stanley@columbiacountyfla.com>
Cc: County Attorney Joel Foreman <jforeman@columbiacountyfla.com>
Subject: Columbia County BOCC Park Ordinance

Thanks to Continue reading