Tag Archives: Union County

PBS airs part of Alan Toth’s Phosphate Mining Movie 2018-10-31

Some national news about the proposed phosphate mine in Union and Bradford Counties.

If the phosphate would not be processed in Union or Bradford Counties, as Jack Hazen says, the closest place with processing capability is the Nutrien (PCS) phosphate mine in Hamilton County, on the Suwannee River.

Judy Woodruff, 31 October 2018, PBS News Hour, Battle over phosphate mining roils small Florida town,

No-phosphate-mining, Union County

Laura Newberry:

Union County commissioners recently passed a one-year moratorium on mining permits, but Bradford County commissioners are still considering the mine.

Carol Mosley:

Continue reading

Low water in Suwannee River Basin with Hurricane Michael 2018-10-11

Thursday morning, the day after Hurricane Michael passed by to the west and north of the Suwannee River Basin, only Gopher River and the New River gauge near Lake Butler were in Action Stage.

Gulf to Atlantic, After Gauges

Does a place that nearly floods even when a hurricane is a hundred miles west of it seem like a good location for the HPS II phosphate mine, in Union and Bradford Counties, Florida ? Continue reading

World’s largest phosphate company after 20 years loses to DeSoto County, FL

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Mosaic Co., market cap $11.5 billion, just lost to DeSoto County, Florida, annual budget $84.3 million. Maybe this will help Bradford County to do the right thing about phosphate mines.

Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times, 26 July 2018, Mosaic spent 20 years planning new phosphate mine. DeSoto County has rejected it,

Mosaic Co., the world’s largest phosphate company, has spent two decades lining up a new mine in DeSoto County as part of a broader effort to move its operations south.

W across PCS Phosphate Mine,
Photo: Jim Tatum on Southwings flight for WWALS, 2016-10-22: W across PCS Phosphate Mine, 30.4429360, -82.7851800

But DeSoto County commissioners last week slammed the door in the company’s face, voting 4-1 against rezoning 18,000 acres from agricultural to mining.

A major concern: Continue reading

Mining Phosphorous Trailer

U.C. Berkeley student Alan Toth made a film about environmental concerns embroiling a small town in North Florida.

Mining Phosphorus explores the subject of phosphate mining in Florida. Phosphate rock is our main source of phosphorus, one of the most critical elements in modern agriculture, but the practice of mining phosphate produces significant environmental concerns, including literal mountains of toxic waste.

You will probably recognize many of the people in this trailer. In the first view of protesters, there’s Continue reading

One phosphate mine upstream is more than enough –WWALS to Gilchrist County 2018-06-18

The phosphate mine agenda item he expected for Gilchrist BOCC this afternoon is not there, Mike Roth, President of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), called to say. So I’m not going. Instead I sent them the letter you see below (see also PDF).

June 18, 2018

I urge you to urge Union and Bradford Counties not to permit that mine., Letter To: Gilchrist Board of County Commissioners
Sharon Langford <sharonlangford@gilchrist.fl.us>,
“D. Ray Harrison” <drayharrisonjr@gilchrist.fl.us>,
Todd Gray <tgray@gilchrist.fl.us>,
Marion Poitevint <mpoitevint@gilchrist.fl.us>,
Kenrick Thomas <kenrickthomas@gilchrist.fl.us>,

Cc: County Administrator Bobby Crosby <bcrosby@gilchrist.fl.us>

Re: Phosphate mines

Dear Chairman, Commissioners, and staff,

While I applaud your decision to discuss opioid litigation at your meeting today, I was a little surprised to find 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

Phosphate mines on agenda, Gilchrist BOCC, 2018-06-18

Mike Roth, president of Our Santa Fe River, requests:

On Monday, June 18, at the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Trenton which starts at 4PM, we will get the opportunity to appeal to the Board to issue a “letter of concern” regarding the phosphate mine applied for in Bradford and Union Counties. As you certainly know, OSFR has stood in opposition to this mine on the grounds that it is a substantial threat to the health of the Santa Fe River and to all those who live by the river and all those who use the river recreationally. Further, it threatens the aquifer that is recharged by the river and as such, anyone and anything that uses groundwater.

When: 4PM (hearing 4:45 PM), Monday, June 18, 2018

Where: Board of County Commissioners Meeting Facility,
210 South Main Street, Trenton, Florida

What: Letter of concern about HPS II Phosphate Mine in Bradford and Union Counties, Florida

Gilchrist County Commissioners from left to right: Sharon A. Langford, Kenrick Thomas, Todd Gray, D Ray Harrison, Jr., and Marion Poitevint
Gilchrist County Commissioners from left to right: Sharon A. Langford, Kenrick Thomas, Todd Gray, D Ray Harrison, Jr., and Marion Poitevint

Gilchrist County is downstream Continue reading

No five-month extension for Sabal Trail, FERC 2018-01-26

Instead of giving Sabal Trail a five-month extension, FERC should revoke Sabal Trail’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, as the U.S. District Court already ordered. Sabal Trail no longer has the customers for 90+% of its gas on which that FERC’s February 2 Order depended, not since Sabal Trail dropped Duke Energy Florida (DEF) from its customer index on New Year’s Day.

Tillerson and Czaputowicz
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz shake hands during a joint press conference after their meeting in Warsaw on January 27, 2018. / AFP / Wojtek RADWANSKI

It’s time to stop the fossil fuel industry using Sabal Trail as a political tool to undermine the overall energy stability and security of the U.S. southeast for the profit of a few companies from Texas and Canada. Just like the U.S. State Department recommends for Europe, FERC should seek to diversify energy supplies by getting on with solar power onshore and wind power offshore in the Sunshine State, Georgia, and everywhere else.

Suwannee FGT M&R Yard KMI JEP, Suwannee County
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS on Southwings flight June 21, 2016, of site of Sabal Trail Suwannee County M&R Station connecting to Florida Gas Transmission (FGT).

What’s that “one additional M&R facility,” Sabal Trail? Is it the one in Suwannee County to feed your fracked gas through Continue reading

HPS II phosphate mine in Union and Bradford BOCC meetings

Steve Pieczenik called the Union County Commissioners brave, honest, respectful, efficient, and transparent public servants. Jim Tatum said they had foresight and had taken appropriate steps. Both complimented the many mine opponents who showed up and spoke their piece briefly and effectively. Here are a couple of reports from Union BOCC’s Monday workshop about the HPS II phosphate mine.

Aerial: From the New River across the HPS II mine site to Lake Butler
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS on Southwings flight, 17 Sep. 2017, N from New River across mine site: l. New River P. r. Beasley; left center prison; top left Lake Butler, 09:55:21, 29.9550800, -82.3183000

The next one is coming up 5PM Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at which Union BOCC is scheduled to vote on extending its moratorium against phosphate mining, as well as reviewing their proposed Comprehensive Plan changes.

Meanwhile, across the New River, Bradford BOCC Continue reading

A Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida –Florida Waterkeepers 2017-12-18

Update 2018-11-13: Miami Waterkeeper has signed, bringing it to a round dozen Florida Waterkeepers.

Signers, Resolution

Update 2018-08-18: Calusa Waterkeeper has also signed, bringing it to 11 of the 14 Waterkeepers in Florida. (See also PDF.)

Update 2018-08-01: Five additional signers: Suncoast Waterkeeper, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, Indian Riverkeeper, St. Marys Riverkeeper, and Collier County Waterkeeper. Seven of us delivered this resolution in person to FDEP Secretary Noah Valenstein.

Delivered via email as PDF to the Union BOCC before their phosphate mine workshop of Monday, December 18, 2017.


A Resolution
Against Phosphate Mines in Florida

WHEREAS, Waterkeeper Alliance Members are obligated and dedicated to protect the water resources, citizens’ interests, and related benefits in their jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, Resolution WHEREAS, phosphate mines have been shown to threaten and cause actual harm to these resources, interest, and related benefits; and

WHEREAS, there are several phosphate mine projects in various stages of permitting in local, state, and federal agencies including county and city governments, Water Management Districts (WMDs), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); and

WHEREAS, there seems to be no public list of current phosphate mines and related facitlities, which include at least

Continue reading