Dark Day in Bradford

bradfordChemourscrowd In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

 

The Bradford County Commission’s  disappointing 3-2 vote  on Thursday night to allow mining by Chemours  left plenty to scrutinize and criticize.  There was a typo in the newspaper public notice with the word “telecommunication tower” inadvertently thrown in, which at first glance may have caused  momentary confusion.

bradfordChemoursmmj In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida bradfordChemoursjsq In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson              John Quarterman

 


   

bradfordChemoursmosley In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida   bradfordChemourskrstin In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Carol Mosley                                                         Kristin Rubin

More disconcerting to those wishing to speak was the arbitrary  change to the agenda by placing the mine item from number 10 to the very first item.  This disrupted the plan for those filling a speaker card for public comments and also one for an agenda item.  For those planning to address the mine in both categories (your historian included,) finalizing the vote before the public comments effectively  dealt the issue moot and eliminated the second speaking opportunity.

 

BradfordChemourslyons In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida bradfordChemoursparker In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida bradfordChemourspczanik In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Mark Lyons                 Becky Parker         Dr. Steve Pieczenik

bradfoudChemoursBurton In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida bradfordChemoursstgasia In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Carol Burton                          Stasia Rudolph

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson              John Quarterman

bradfordChemoursgermano In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida bradfordChemoursgallagher In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida bradfordChemoursCathyStill In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Tom Germano                       Kate Gallagher                 Cathy Still

 

Lack of foresight by Bradford County rendered the meeting useless for those not arriving early, as both the meeting room and hallway were overflowing.  There were no overflow rooms with TV so those not inside were unable to hear what was going on.

Poorly planned or not, Chemours was not caught off guard, as there were a large group of employees there for support.

This lack of access prompted Commissioner Riddick to call for a 90-day postponement in order to facilitate better accommodations for the public, but he was quickly overruled.

These glitches, legal or illegal, occurred in the process but they were far overshadowed by the emotionally-charged fast tracking of the board.

Several speakers pointed out the many flaws and contradictions of the proposed mining expansion, any one of which might seem sufficient to deny the  permit.  In addition, Chemours has a long record of violations showing them to be a repeated non-complier disregarding safety and concern for the environment, which has resulted in their being placed under a Consent Order.

In addition they are in close association with Twin Pines Minerals, who also has serious violations and their intent here is unclear and not explained.

Dr. Paul Still gave a long list of specific omissions and deficiencies in Chemours’ plan, all of which were ignored by both the board and their legal advisor Mr. Sexton.

Although Chemours’ attorney stated they did not consider Dr. Still an expert in the issue, his was the only science anyone saw at that meeting.  Chemours did not present any, and conveniently neglected to say they were operating under a Consent Order.

bradfordChemoursstill In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Dr. Paul Still hands out information to the board. It was ignored by some in favor of childhood memories.

In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Will Sexton

Certainly the board did not consider any science before they made their decision.  What they (except for two) considered was a long ago memory of swimming in a lake which did not seem polluted and which did not make them sick.  That seemed to be the deciding factor, along with Mr. Sexton assuring them all was well.  Mr. Sexton was satisfied that the permit was adequately and correctly prepared.

This is frightening.  This is all their constituents get from their elected leaders.

The commissioners did not question the assertions that the permit did not comply with Bradford County’s own LDRs.  If they did any research at all, it was totally unapparent.

bradfordChemoursmmjinterview In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson is interviewed by WUFT

Thanks to Commissioners Riddick and Chandler for having the intelligence to see what is before you and for caring about your county.

Thanks to all who attended and spoke to the issue.

bradfordChemourscommsvote In: Dark Day in Bradford | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Commissioners Chandler, Thompson, Durrance, Dougherty and Riddick at the moment of voting.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


6 Comments

  1. This is very scary .Bradford County already seems to have a high level of cancers in its people. I don’t feel like enough information was given. I hope people remember this come voting time.

  2. I’m so tired of hearing what Chemers & HPS II IS doing till I’m sick of it and could care less really because it’s in a way really the least of your worries about the Santa Fe River if you folks really have a bigger worry than Chemers & HPS II and thats is New River Solid waste Association which is digging & mining wet lands over here in Raiford on State land for free dirt and clay to cover 160 ac Landfill with a giant drainage ditch running straight in New River off of landfills it self into the River & then as far the mining operation part on state land being leased for $100.00 for 334 ac of land in a floodplain for the mining of dirt and clay free of charge that totally surrounds the whole Landfill itself and will be a 334 ac lake with a 160 ac island of garbage in the middle with just an entrance off of SR 121 And the bad part of this is this ain’t going to be covered up at least Chemers and HPS II is covering their hole up when they are done So folk all I’m saying we got a bigger issue here than Chemers and HPS II Thanks Wayne Griffis.

  3. It ‘aint over yet! Dr. Paul Still is now a party to the challenge and we’ll see where it all lands next. We believe we have 90 days to file the appeal docs and that it will go before a Board of Adjustment next which is… the Bradford County Commission, of course. So we get to see if they learned anything from the last round.

    Anyone who showed up and left, especially if you signed up to speak, we would like to get statements from you. Notarized would be best, but we need to know how many were denied opportunity to listen and/or speak.

    Please email and/or call the county and ask them to post the powerpoint presentation and binder docs to the county website, as they did with HPS. And we are trying to get the most important docs from both HPS and Chemours posted to the website at http://www.BradfordEnvForum.org.

    Thanks Sierra Club and Jim for this great overview of the debacle. See you in the next round! Carol Mosley

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