Tag Archives: Division of Administrative Hearings

Tabled by SRWMD: Seven Rivers permit until Nestle co-applicant 2020-08-11

On a motion (by Don Quincey) seconded (I think by Virginia Sanchez), with only one dissenting vote (Richard Schwab), the SRWMD board voted to table the Seven Springs permit application for six months, because they want Nestlé to be a co-applicant.

They do not want the permit to go back to DOAH; they want it to come back to SRWMD.

[SRWMD Board and Nestle (Seven Springs) permit map]
SRWMD Board and Nestle (Seven Springs) permit map
SRWMD Governing Board, l-r, Donald J. Quincey, Jr. Vice Chair; Virginia Sanchez; Richard Schwab, Treasurer (voted nay); Gary F. Jones; Charles Keith; Virginia H. Johns, Chair.

Before they voted, they discussed that they were not in any way disparaging the efforts of SRWMD staff. The lack of Nestlé as co-applicant was the primary reason. A secondary reason was the lack of transparency. For example, there had been no public hearing, and while there were supposedly hundreds of people listening, nobody could see them.

Speaking of transparency, I had to ask to find out who made the motion, who seconded, and who voted nay. Fortunately, the staffer taking names during the fifteen minute recess for people to have sign up for public comment knew 2 out of 3. It’s not a very transparent process when the public doesn’t know who did what. Somebody else also asked could each SRWMD board member say who they were, or maybe the chair could.

Plus, the point of the WWALS letter to SRWMD this morning remains: without a SRWMD board member for the Santa Fe River, approval of this permit would be taxation without representation.

It is odd that Nestlé is not already a co-applicant, since in the board packet for today’s meeting there are 12 pages of Nestlé documents, starting with NWNA Water Consumption Estimates. Continue reading

Register to comment: Nestle water withdrawal on SRWMD agenda; staff in favor 2020-08-11

You must register for the webinar and separately register to speak at the SRWMD board meeting 9AM tomorrow morning. And for sound you must call a telephone conferencing number. It’s worth all that to oppose Nestlé’s permit request for more water from the Floridan Aquifer at Ginnie Springs next to the Santa Fe River.

When you register for the webinar:
https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3310540859352809487

You will see this:

Request Public Comment

Submit a request on the District website: www.srwmd.org/Comments

That takes you here:
https://www.srwmd.org/FormCenter/District-7/Public-Comment-Request-Form-74

That comment registration form asks you for “Agenda Item/Topic*”.

You may want to enter this:

22. Modification of Water Use Permit Application 2-041-218202-3, Seven Springs Water Company Project, Gilchrist County

That’s the agenda item for the Nestlé water withdrawal from Ginnie Springs next to the Santa Fe River.

And for audio, you will need to call 1-888-585-9008, and when prompted enter:
Conference room number: 704-019-452 #

If you think Nestlé’s planned doubling of bottling lines using that water from the already-depleted Florida Aquifer near the too-low Santa Fe River, please sign up for the webinar and to comment, and then call in tomorrow morning!

[Figure 4.2 -- High SPrings Buildout Space Allocation]
Figure 4.2 — High Springs Buildout Space Allocation

See previous post for more information and more ways you can take action.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Nestle water withdrawal on SRWMD agenda; staff in favor 2020-08-11

Update 2020-08-10: Register to comment: Nestle water withdrawal on SRWMD agenda; staff in favor 2020-08-11

Nestlé water withdrawal from Ginnie Springs next to the Santa Fe River is back on the SRWMD agenda for Tuesday morning, with staff in favor this time. Please speak up now!

[Seven Springs Water Company Project, 2-041-218202-3, August 2020]
Seven Springs Water Company Project, 2-041-218202-3, August 2020
PDF

That’s 9AM, Tuesday, August 11, 2020, online only; see below for how. As near as I can tell, the main difference is the withdrawal request is reduced by 14.58% from 1.1520 million gallons/day to 0.9840 MGD. I still don’t see why a Swiss company should profit from sucking up Floridan Aquifer water to sell us back plastic bottles that we then have to clean up from springs and rivers.

If you don’t think a 14.58% reduction is enough, you can still Continue reading

Nestle permit deleted from SRWMD agenda 2020-03-10

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.

[Nestle denial pulled from agenda]
Nestle denial pulled from agenda
PDF

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 |
www.MySuwanneeRiver.com

A few minutes before, the revised agenda arrived via email. Continue reading

Judge ruled against WWALS in DOAH case: WWALS fights on

The judge’s ruling was disappointing, but not unexpected. He found for the Respondents Sabal Trail and FDEP on every issue, even standing. WWALS and others will fight on for the Suwannee River, for the Floridan Aquifer, and for the property rights of local citizens against this pipeline boondoggle.

Recommendation Indeed, “the project would result in unavoidable temporary and permanent losses of portions of wetlands along the route.” Mitigation somewhere else, not even in the same watershed, is no excuse. Nor does such “mitigation” stop the eminent domain takings of local Florida citizens’ lands, or the bulldozing of a grandmother’s ashes, for the profit of a company from Houston, Texas.

This ruling, with its rather remarkable irregularities, appears to provide additional grounds for appeal beyond those we already knew. The judge repeatedly said in the hearing, and we quoted in the WWALS Proposed Recommended Order, that activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, and scuba diving counted for standing, yet his Order only accepts Continue reading

WWALS moves to enter EPA letter to FERC into evidence in Florida case

Everyone from the Atlanta Journal-Constition to the Palm Beach Post to the Ocala StarBanner Comes now, Petitioner... and moves.... considers the EPA letter to FERC to be of great significance. WWALS agrees, and has filed a motion to ask the judge to take notice in WWALS v. Sabal Trail & DEP.

§ 373.414 Florida Statutes, begins:

(1) As part of an applicant’s demonstration that an activity regulated under this part will not be harmful to the water resources or will not be inconsistent with the overall objectives of the district, the governing board or the department shall require the applicant to provide reasonable assurance that state water quality standards applicable to waters as defined in s. 403.031(13) will not be violated and reasonable assurance that such activity in, on, or over surface waters or wetlands, as delineated in s. 373.421(1), is not contrary to the public interest. However, if such an activity significantly degrades or is within an Outstanding Florida Water, as provided by department rule, the applicant must provide reasonable assurance that the proposed activity will be clearly in the public interest.

Not just “not contrary to the public interest”. For an Outstanding Florida Water applicant (Sabal Trail) “must provide reasonable assurance that the proposed activity will be clearly in the public interest.” The Suwannee River is an Outstanding Florida Water. And the EPA letter is pretty good evidence that Sabal Trail did not provide such reasonable assurance.

Filed October 30, 2015 4:43 PM Division of Administrative Hearings (also PDF on WWALS website): Continue reading

Come to the hearing, WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FL-DEP, Jasper, FL 2015-10-19

We aim to win through evidence and argument! If we can stop either the Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) or the Easement to Use Sovereign Submerged Lands (Easement) that the Florida Department of Environmental Resources (DEP) intends to issue for Sabal Trail, there may be no pipeline.

Witnesses can still come forward to testify for the Suwannee or other Rivers, the Florida Aquifer, or their own land, water, and air against Sabal Trail. WWALS invites the public to attend; This is a court of law, so please be polite, and silent while proceedings are in progress.

Here’s some background on the case. Below is Judge Canter’s order of this morning about place, date, and time (PDF): Continue reading

Judge assigned for WWALS v. Sabal Trail and FL-DEP

Here’s the letter DOAH sent Friday 4 September 2015 that we received on paper yesterday. Fortunately, it’s also online along with the rest of Case No: 15-004975. It’s been assigned Judge Bram D. E. Canter.

STATE OF FLORIDA
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS

 
 
 
Case No. 15-4975
15-0468

 
WWALS WATERSHED COALITION, INC.,

      Petitioner,

vs.

SABAL TRAIL TRANSMISSION. LLC AND
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,

      Respondent.
/

INITIAL ORDER

Initial Order
  1. Any document filed with DOAH by a party represented by an attorney shall be filed by electronic means through eALJ located at www.doah.state.fl.us. Parties not represented by an attorney may file by electronic means through eALJ. Any document filed through eALJ shall include the filing party’s e-mail address and be served upon all other parties. All pleadings and motions must contain the DOAH style and case number.
  2. THE AGENCY OR, WHERE THE AGENCY IS NOT A PARTY, THE PETITIONER SHALL COORDINATE WITH ALL PARTIES AND PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WITHIN SEVEN DAYS Continue reading

Sabal Trail faces opposition in Florida and Georgia –Palm Beach Post

The evidence stacks up against the three-part pipeline, Sabal Trail, Florida Southeast Connection, and Hillabee Expansion Project, despite rote denials by FPL and Sabal Trail. And this article ties the WWALS petition against drilling under the Suwannee River with the Georgia opposition to a compressor station in Albany.

Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 31 August 2015, Gas pipeline slated to supply FPL’s plants faces opposition,

A proposed $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline is either essential to Florida’s energy future or a looming disaster that has the potential to damage the iconic Suwannee River and the state’s fragile limestone Floridan Aquifer on its way to Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast….

In recent months, concerns have been raised Continue reading