The water was a bit high at the Withlacoochee River Hagan Bridge Landing, east of Hahira on GA 122.Skipper Bridge USGS Gauge showed about Continue reading
WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman had a great idea of setting up the WWALS booth in the woods (with gnats and mosquitos), since we can’t take it to festivals right now.
She says, “Welcome to the booth. Unfortunately because we are quarantined, we can’t have the booth out anywhere, and y’all can’t come to visit us even if we were out somewhere, but we thought we could give some information and have our educational information available for you for however long you are at home.” Stay tuned for more episodes!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hahira, Georgia, March 16, 2020 — The coalition of supporters of the Okefenokee Swamp against anything that would harm it stands ready to stop the new strip mine application, same as the old one.
Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) of Birmingham, Alabama, in its new application claims its proposed titanium strip mine less than three miles from the Okefenokee Swamp would be on a “reduced mining area,” which is actually 86% of what they proposed last time. They say they want to do a “demonstration” mine.
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman says, “Let their foot in the door and it will be even harder to get rid of them later. TPM is under a Florida Consent Order along with Chemours for violations at four mines due south in north Florida. Chemours now wants a fifth Florida titanium mine on Trail Ridge. Why would we think TPM would stop with just a nibble of Trail Ridge in Georgia? Our Okefenokee Swamp with its fishing, boating, birding, and hunting nearby, is much more important than any mine, especially since it is the headwaters of the Suwannee River and the St Marys River.”
Despite TPM’s assurances, the miners have not proven their mining would not affect the groundwater, the underlying Floridan Aquifer, surface streams, or the Okefenokee Swamp.
Their application form proposes to mine 1041.7 acres, the same size tract as in their application of last year that they retracted in early January of this year. But their actual application says “TPM now wishes to conduct a demonstration mining project for a reduced mining area of approximately 898 acres.”
86% of the original acreage is not much reduced. And how is that just a demonstration?
No doubt you will hear more about that and other problems with the miners’ application from the coalition supporting the Swamp and opposing anything that would harm it. That coalition includes a wide range of organizations, Continue reading
How does Nestlé appeal a decision that hasn’t been made yet? I guess we’re about to find out.
Meanwhile, I plan to go speak anyway, 9AM Tuesday 10 March 2020 at SRWMD HQ in Live Oak. How about you?
For inspiration, see the WWALS videos of the 32 speakers from December.
Received via email about 4PM today, Monday, March 9, 2020:
March 9, 2020
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT OF AGENDA
NOTICE IS GIVEN that Agenda Item No. 20—BCS Page 61—Authorization to Deny Water Use Permit Renewal Application 2-041-218202-3, Seven Springs Water Company Project, Gilchrist County has been pulled from the agenda.
The Applicant has filed a petition for administrative hearing on this denial and the District has forwarded the petition to the Division of Administrative Hearings (“DOAH”) for consideration by an Administrative Law Judge as required by law.
The District does not have jurisdiction to act on the petition until the administrative process is completed before DOAH and the Administrative Law Judge issues a recommended order. Upon issuance of the recommended order, the Governing Board will re-agenda this item for final agency action.
Suwannee River Water Management District |
Update 2020-03-09: Nestlé pulled from the agenda.
Update 2020-03-09: Citizens about Nestle at SRWMD 2019-12-10.
9 AM, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at SRWMD HQ in Live Oak, Florida is the Nestlé decision day.
- Consideration of Agenda Item No. 20 – BCS Page 61 – Authorization to Deny Water Use Permit Renewal Application 2-041-218202-3, Seven Springs Water Company Project, Gilchrist County
(Public comment on this item will be allowed at this time)
That agenda item says Seven Springs, but it’s for Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA).
Tired of cleaning up plastic bottles from our springs and rivers?
Want to remind SRWMD they have statutory authority to revoke this permit?
Come on down to 9225 CR 49. Live Oak, FL 32060. That’s east going out of town on US 90, turn right at the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) sign.
You don’t even have to wait for Tuesday. You can go ahead and file your own comment against.
Feel free to recommend they revisit the Nestlé permit for Madison Blue Spring, as well, especially now that we know there are waves of fecal bacteria contamination coming down the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers.
SRWMD staff recommend denial of this Ginnie Springs renewal water withdrawal permit. But staff recommended denial that back in 1995, when this permit was originally decided, and the SRWMD board approved it anyway.
In a memo obtained by the St. Petersburg Times dated Nov. 15, 2002, “the water management district staff recommended reducing the amount of water Nestlé could draw under the permit it would obtain from 1.47-million gallons a day to 400,000 a day.” The spring’s flow had been reduced from 55-million gallons day to just 34 million gallons a day. The St. Petersburg Times reported: “ The current drought has reduced the flow of Madison Blue Springs to record lows,’ Jon Dinges, director of resource management, wrote to the water management district’s governing board. “The drought has become severe since the permit was issued, thus requiring a reduction of the (average daily withdrawal) to ensure resource protection.”
But in January 2003 when it came before the regulators — all appointed by Jeb Bush — they refused to follow water staff recommendations after Nestlé threatened to reduce the size of the plant it would build in Madison if their water allotment was reduced from the Bruic allotment.
Enterprise Florida, the governor’s politically appointed business development agency supported Nestlé’s argument at the meeting….
So come make your voice heard, or send a comment in advance.
Details start on Continue reading
On Friday, February 14, 2020, Waterkeepers Florida (WKFL) passed this valentine in support of local environmental measures and in opposition to statewide pre-emption:
WKFL to take a position in opposition to state preemption of local governments’ ability to regulate local environmental protections, including, but not limited to, those related to Rights of Nature, single-use plastics or polystyrene, fertilizers, and sunscreens.
This motion was partly provoked by two bills in the Florida legislature right now that would pre-empt the rapidly growing Florida Rights of Nature movement. You can help stop the bad parts of those bills; follow the link.
But the motion goes beyond that, to other topics, and any pre-emption part of any bill.
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Equipment zoom 2020-02-12.
The miners said they would be back, in Mining company withdraws permit application for project near Okefenokee by Nedra Rhone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 9, 2020,
“In an effort to be even more conservative in our approach than we were in our initial application, we have agreed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the size of the permit area and resubmit new documentation for Continue reading
The two days John Moran spent writing his talk paid off, along with the years of photographing what was and what is left of the waters of Florida. If you watch none of the rest of these videos from the Florida Bill of Rights for Nature, the three with John Moran’s talk are well worth your time.
Below are links to each WWALS video. I didn’t video everything; mostly a few speakers whom I had told in advance.
Doug Shields explains how he got the Pittsburgh, PA, City Council to be the first in the U.S. to ban fracking, and how it spread from there, and what that has to do with Rights of Nature.
Chuck O’Neal of WEBOR explains the three ways you can get a Bill of Rights for Nature passed in a Florida County, and how he did it in, Orange County
As already posted, David Moritz explains the one that may have started it all in Florida, Santa Fe Bill of Rights (SaFEBoR).
You should be able to follow the demonstration of Tools not working for Florida’s environment even if you don’t know FDEP from a WMD, or if you’re familiar with a different state or country. The problems are the same everywhere: laws, agencies, and rules rigged against nature. That’s why we need a Bill of Rights for Nature, in each county, state, and country. Continue reading
Update 2020-02-09: Videos: John Moran, Doug Shields, Chuck O’Neal @ FL RoNCon 2020-02-08
What Santa Fe Bill of Rights (SAFEBOR) started only nine months ago has blossomed into a dozen county or river Rights of Nature movements across the State of Florida.
Here is WWALS video of what David Moritz said about SAFEBOR. More will follow, especially of what John Moran said. Continue reading