This is an example 0f how Florida is selling off its resources to industry instead of preserving them for the public to enjoy. This process is aided by the Governor, legislature, water management districts, and its flagship university. Shame on Florida!
This article below is from the Gainesville Sun on Nov. 18, 2017.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Judge sides with Stronach on water issue
Wire and staff report
An administrative law judge on Friday backed a decision to issue a water-use permit to Frank Stronach’s cattle ranch operation, despite arguments by environmental groups about possible harm to Silver Springs and the Silver River.
Judge E. Gary Early, in a 67-page decision, recommended that the St. Johns River Water Management District move forward with issuing a consumptive-use permit to Sleepy Creek Lands, LLC.
In 2014, Sleepy Creek sought water district permission to pump an additional 1.12 million gallons per day (mgd) for its northern tract. District staffers recommended denial, noting that the withdrawal “would contribute to cumulative harm to the ecology of Silver Springs and the Silver River.”
In December 2016, staff reversed course and recommended that the board approve a 1.22 mgd increase, for a total of 2.68 mgd for 2017-2023.
The water, taken from the Upper Floridan Aquifer, would be used to irrigate pastures and crops, provide water for cattle, and for uses related to the massive cattle- processing facility near Fort McCoy in east Marion County.
The district was challenged by St. Johns Riverkeeper, the Florida Defenders of the Environment, the Silver Springs Alliance and Marion County resident Alice Gardner, who were concerned, at least in part, about water flows for Silver Springs and the Silver River.
The judge concluded that the permit should be issued. “A preponderance of the evidence demonstrated that the proposed use of water will have no material or significant adverse impact to the source of the water, to environmental resources, or to the flows and levels of Silver Springs or the Silver River,” Early wrote. “A preponderance of the evidence demonstrated that the proposed use of water will be for a productive, beneficial economic activity.” This story is from the News Service of Florida and includes information from Star-Banner files
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