Tag Archives: Columbia County

Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and soon in Columbia County? 2018-07-11

Thanks to Jim Tatum of OSFR for spotting this op-ed in the Lake City Reporter yesterday by WWALS member and Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida about Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and likely planning to expand to Columbia County.

Dennis Price explains, Down to a sunless sea
Photo by John S. Quarterman of Dennis J. Price at the Dead River of the Alapaha River, 2018-01-27.

To the Editor:

Much has been written in the last year about Sam Oosterhoudt’s mitigation bank. I was involved in permitting the bank through the Army Corps (ACOE) and The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. It took about 5 years to get all the permits. Now, 9 years after work began on the project, the phosphate company (then PCS now Nutrien) petitioned the state to shut down the mitigation bank.

I do not know for sure, but, Nutrien may tell you that during the recent sale of PCS and the review of mineral interests owned, they discovered that the mitigation bank had snuck in there and set up shop over their minerals. This probably has some truth to it but I think there is a much more involved reason.

In Hamilton County, Nurtrien/PCS is planning to run out of phosphate to mine in about 10 years, give or take a few years either way. I do not believe they are planning on shutting the doors and leaving. Occidental Chemical Company started mining in Hamilton County Continue reading

Judge rules Florida Amendment 1 funds must be used for land acquisition 2018-06-14

Acquiring lands in a springshed is one of the best ways to protect springs and rivers, and a judge just said the Florida legislature can’t divert funds from that purpose of Florida Amendment 1, which was passed by 75% of the people of Florida.

St. Johns Riverkeeper, blog, 14 June 2018, Legal Victory for Conservation Lands,

On June 15, 2018, Florida Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled in favor of environmental organizations that the land conservation constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2014 requires funding to be used for land acquisition, restoration and management, not for other purposes.

Map of county vote ranges on Florida Amendment 1

Earthjustice, Joe Litte of Florida Defenders of the Environment and the plaintiff organizations— Continue reading

LNG truck on I-75 and I-10 2018-03-26

Seen southbound on I-75: a truck carrying Methane Refrigerated Liquid, highly flammable, evacuate up to 1/2 mile downwind if broken. Wait, wasn’t Sabal Trail supposed to eliminate the need for such trucks?

KAG, 1972, Methane Refrigerated Liquid, Southbound I-75

The truck said Kenan Advantage Group, but I’d bet it was carrying Continue reading

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west. You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee. Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer.


Irwin County, 1885a, GeorgiaInfo, Rand McNally Map of Georgia, 1885

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12., quoted in Ray City History Blog, 18 October 2010, More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River,

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.

VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges Continue reading

Pictures: Fargo to Roline, Suwannee River 2017-03-18

Cold and foggy to warm and bright, a fine spring morning on the Suwannee River from Florida to Georgia. Plus Canadians!

Here are pictures by John S. Quarterman and Gretchen Quarterman and a Google map.

Pictures by John S. Quarterman

Ninety-nine pictures are on the WWALS website.

Here we go
Under the US 441 bridge.

Continue reading

Rivers Seven Days After Irma 2017-09-17

Looks like we may finally see Action stage tomorrow on the Withlacoochee River above Valdosta @ Skipper Bridge Road. This is upstream from Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, so it’s a good thing that didn’t spill during Irma. The Alapaha River at Statenville peaked Tuesday and probably would be a fine ride (what shoals?) today. The New and The Santa Fe Rivers are still flooding, and that’s still raising the Suwannee River all the way to the Gulf, and there’s minor flooding all the way up at Fargo, so another surge of high levels may follow on the Suwannee. The I-75 Santa Fe River bridge never did close.

2017-09-17 Withlacoochee River above Valdosta @ Skipper Bridge Road
2017-09-17 Withlacoochee River above Valdosta @ Skipper Bridge Road

The Suwannee River at White Springs peaked Continue reading

River Gage Projections after Hurricane Irma 2017-09-14

Update 2017-09-15: On the seventh day.

Update 2017-09-15: Added Suwannee River at Wilcox @ US 19, plus another image for the Gage Map.

Hurricane Irma flooded the Suwannee River at White Springs, the Santa Fe River especially at Fort White, with a new record for the New River new Lake Butler. It did not flood the Withlacoochee or Alapaha Rivers.

N2017-09-14 Suwannee River at White Springs
2017-09-14 Suwannee River at White Springs

FDOT says the I-75 bridge over the Santa Fe River Continue reading

Valdosta WWTP manned 24/7 with backup generators before Hurricane Irma 2017-09-09

Don’t spill, Valdosta. Don’t leak, Sabal Trail. Hurricane Irma is bad enough already.

Valdosta announced its WWTP would be “manned around the clock”, so I called down there before 8AM this Saturday morning, and somebody did answer immediately. I told him as Suwannee Riverkeeper I was concerned for people downstream who don’t want any spills during the upcoming rains, so I was glad to see it was true they were there. I asked him if they had backup generators. He said yes. Of course, that doesn’t handle every manhole cover. We shall see. Don’t spill, Valdosta! (Or Lowndes County, or Tifton, or anybody else.)

NOAA NHC Rain Prediction, Hurricane Irma, 9 Sep 2017
Currently expecting somewhere between 4 and 10 inches of rain on Valdosta. Map from National Hurricane Center, 2017-09-09 8AM.

City of Valdosta, PR, 8 September 2017, Valdosta-Lowndes County Hurricane Irma Update, Continue reading

Water low but passable, White Springs to Swift Creek, Suwannee River 2017-05-20

Update 2017-05-17: OK, the water’s gotten too low at the original location, so we’re moving downstream to Woods Ferry Tract Launch to Suwannee Springs.

Hands Across the Sand on the Suwannee Saturday! The river is quite low (48.78 feet NAVD on the White Springs gage), but it looks doable from the put-in and take-out. A ranger at Stephen Foster State Park told me paddling from White Springs to Swift Creek would be doable, perhaps with a few dry spots. I’ll also call a local outfitter or two for their opinions.

White Springs down from ramp

White Springs down from ramp

Meanwhile, bring bug spray (gnats) and a rope (to pull your boat over sand bars), and we’re still on for 9AM Saturday 20 May 2017. See the outing announcement for more details.

Plus: that’s the day of Hands Across the Sand, “Say NO to dirty fuels and YES to clean energy”. WWALS has been saying that for years, so somewhere on the Suwannee we will stop and do Hands Across the Sand against the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline and for solar power.

White Springs low spot

Continue reading

White Springs to Swift Creek, Suwannee River, 2017-05-20

Because SRWMD tells us Blue Sink Launch is closed, our May Suwannee River outing will take out slightly downstream at Swift Creek Lunch, which should be easy to recognize from the river because American Canoe Adventures has put up these nice triangular flags:

Flags by ACA
Photo: Jesse Wilkes, November 23, 2016

The put in at White Springs Wayside Park and everything else is the same; see the updated outing announcement for all the details.

We’re bringing bon-bons. See you there in May!

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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