The obvious water constitutional amendments passed resoundingly in both Florida and Georgia.
By well more than the required 60%, Continue reading
Two Georgia state constitutional amendments are relevant to clean water, of those on the ballot tomorrow in the November 6, 2018, General Election. And in Florida, vote Yes on Florida Amendment 9, to ban offshore oil and gas drilling.
In Georgia I recommend:
Below is why.
For the title, summary, and detailed constitutional changes, see Continue reading
Pollution spill maps online, up to date, with interactive links to details: Florida is doing it, and so can Georgia.
For more than a year FDEP has been posting spill reports online in a spreadsheet the same day it gets them, with email notice signup (Alabama also does that). FDEP has added a Public Notice of Pollution (PNP) Finder: Last 30 Days, which helps a lot in finding spills in our watersheds.
Seven of the fourteen Florida Waterkeepers visited the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to express our serious concern and a sense of urgency to protect and restore Florida’s rivers, coast, bays, estuaries, lakes, springs, and aquifer, especially about resiliency after hurricanes, harmful algal blooms, BMAPs, and phosphate mines. I congratulated Noah Valenstein on his meteoric rise: only two and a half years ago he was just starting as head of the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), and now he’s the head of FDEP.
L-R: Andy Hayslip (Tampa Bay Waterkeeper), Georgia Ackerman (Apalachicola Riverkeeper), Marty Baum (Indian Riverkeeper), Jen Lomberk (Matanzas Riverkeeper), Drew Bartlett (Deputy Secretary for Ecosystem Restoration, FDEP), Whitney Gray (Administrator, Florida Resilient Coastlines, FDEP), Rick Frey (St. Marys Riverkeeper), Lisa Rinaman (St. Johns Riverkeeper), Noah Valenstein (Secretary, FDEP), Shannon Blankinship (Advocacy Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper), John S. Quarterman (hat, Suwannee Riverkeeper), Tom Frick (back, Director, Division of Environmental Restoration, FDEP); Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS
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.
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
It sounded like a jet engine Wednesday evening, said a WWALS member as a pipeline let loose in Suwannee County. (Hear it for yourself in WWALS videos four days later.) Was it a leak? A planned release? A road construction break? We get no answers, just runarounds, from the federal and state agencies that permitted all the interstate natural gas pipelines into Florida. They passed the buck to Suwannee County Fire Rescue. At least Suwannee BOCC opposed the Sabal Trail pipeline and approved a solar farm.
Neighbors preparing to evacuate February 21, 2018, confirmed the location: just north of 208th Street, at Continue reading
Thanks to Jay Bushnell for the heads-up on this FDEP notice of February 6, 2018:
Impaired Waters Rule (IWR) Notification
The department announces the availability of the 2018 Strategic Monitoring Plans. These plans represent the water quality and biological monitoring needs identified by the department in preparation for basin assessments as part of the watershed management approach.
The Watershed Assessment Section developed Continue reading
Received from FDEP yesterday afternoon (not much notice), Manatee Springs State Park to Host Public Meeting,
CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us
Manatee Springs State Park to Host Public Meeting
~The public is invited to provide comments on the draft plan~
WHAT: Public Meeting
WHEN: Jan. 9, 2018
5:30 — 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Chiefland Women’s Club
825 E. Park Ave.
Chiefland, FL 32626
DEP’s Florida Park Service is in the process of updating the unit management plan for Manatee Springs State Park. Citizens are invited to attend a public meeting to learn about the proposed plans for the state park and provide their comments.Continue reading
Update 2018-11-13: Miami Waterkeeper has signed, bringing it to a round dozen Florida Waterkeepers.
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.
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, 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 leastContinue reading