Today, April 2, 2018, the Bradford commissioners each received a copy of a report by SE Environmental Geology, commissioned by Suwannee St Johns Sierra Club North Florida Working Group.
Your historian changed roles today and presented the report on behalf of the working group, of which he is a member.
After his introduction of the report, Kate Ellison spoke on its importance to the board.
The report is titled “Mining, Hydrology and Water Use Opinions On The HPS II Draft ERP Phosphate Mining Permit Application To FDEP For Bradford And Union Counties.” The author, Dennis Price, is a true expert on phosphate mining in Florida
Other members of this group and Citizens Against Phosphate Mining present were Carol Mosley, Kate Ellison, and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson. Special thanks to Carol Mosley for preparing and distributing the report.
Another issue of concern was brought up by Commissioner Thompson during the comments at the end of the meeting. It seems that Triple S Plumbing of Keystone Heights had previously been issued a Health Department permit to do topical spreading of Class B sewage sludge on 30 acres located at 4581 NW CR 125, Lawtey. In 2016 the DEP began phasing out those permits and directing them to DEP for permits.
Residents have been contesting the dumping for almost two years. The dumping area is close to residential homes and 9 acres are low and in the flood zone. The area is adjacent to Alligator Creek, which flows into New River a short distance away. Nearby residents assert that the sewage migrates and is not contained on the property.
Last week the DEP issued an “Intent to Issue Permit” for the area, causing residents to be concerned for their health and the groundwater. Consequently, they complained to the county commissioners, who unanimously and informally agreed to address the situation. County attorney Will Sexton said Triple S Plumbing must acquire a special exception permit issued by the county in order to proceed.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-