The following article appeared in the Lake City Reporter on Dec. 16, 2016, and refers to an action by the Columbia County Commissioners, who drafted a letter opposing the Bradford/Union counties proposed phosphate mine.
OSFR commends our commissioners for having the foresight to act to prevent this tremendous risk to our river and water supply.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Proposed phosphate mine stirs concern
BOCC sends letters to SRWMD and Bradford and Union counties.
By Carl McKinney
Columbia County is formally expressing concerns over a planned phosphate mine in Bradford and Union counties and its effects on the region’s water supply.
The HPSII Phosphate Mine will likely discharge its drainage into the Santa Fe River, which the state considers an impaired water body, according to letters Columbia County commissioners on Thursday approved sending to the Suwannee River Water Management District and Bradford and Union county officials.
Columbia County intends to get involved with the permitting process, the letters state, and is asking Bradford and Union counties to provide a contact person to discuss their progress toward “addressing the development of this mine.”
“We believe it is incumbent ujpon Columbia County to engage in the local, state and federal permit review process to protect this county’s interest in maintaining a healthy, clean and attractive waterway for the use and enjoyment of our citizens and visitors,” the county wrote.
The proposed 7,400-acre mine has also been met with concerns from Alacnua County officials and regional environmental groups. When Columbia County commissioners on Thursday night approved sending the letters, Commissioner Rusty DePratter was the only one to comment.
“I think it tells them that we’re interested in what’s going on,” he said.