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Good Reasons to Stop Phosphate Mining – Watch Video

 

Following, from the Florida Conservation Coalition, is a very poignant and informative video regarding phosphate mining in Florida.   Scroll down and see this  video.

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

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We urge our public officials to deny new permits for phosphate mining that will severely impact Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Hamilton, Union and Bradford counties.Florida’s largest mining company plans to strip mine more than 52,000 acres of native habitat and agricultural land in the Myakka and Peace River watersheds, destroying 10,000 acres of wetlands and 49 miles of streams, leaving moonscapes and wastelands.

Phosphate strip mining is the worst environmental disaster in the history of the State of Florida, with mines covering close to ½ million acres of natural and agricultural lands. The sinkhole at the Mulberry gypstack is contaminating our aquifer.

Phosphate mining has no public benefit and is detrimental to the public interest. Here’s why:

  • Mining is permitted to withdraw a yearly average of 69 million gallons of groundwater a day. This massive water use jeopardizes our future water supply and also deprives wetlands, streams and rivers of water.
  • Strip mining permanently destroys thousands of acres of native ecosystems – wetlands, forests, streams and critical habitat for endangered and threatened plants and animals, resulting in a loss of genetic diversity.
  • Reclamation is a myth. The land is never restored to its pre-mining condition.
  • Slime ponds (“clay settling areas”) will permanently cover approximately 40% of an average mine site and are useless after mining.
  • Hazardous waste created by mining goes into radioactive gypstacks that can be 200 feet high and will be here forever. There are 25 gypstacks in Florida. Approximately 30 million tons of new waste are produced each year. These are the largest repository of hazardous waste in the nation.
  • Mined lands have elevated levels of radioactivity causing negative health effects.
  • Short-term mining jobs displace long-term agricultural and ranch jobs that will not return.
  • The industry has a long history of contaminated waste and acidic water overflows and spills into waterways, soils, rivers, and bays. The Mulberry sinkhole is the latest disaster.
  • We do not need mined phosphate rock to feed the world. Alternatives are as productive and have been used successfully to produce food crops.

Watch this four-minute film that shows the real face of phosphate mining: www.youtube.com/watch?v=spzER-HYeKw

Discover beneficial alternatives to chemical fertilizer:

http://rodaleinstitute.org/assets/WhitePaper.pdf

1 Comment

  1. The thing with the Gypsracks is this . They are legally 200 ft. High until they get permits to go bigger . The Gypsum is not the only thing that’s in those stacks . Whenever the mines clean the sulfuric acid tanks and anything else that is cleaned , all that stuff is thrown in the waste pile , as well as the liquid wash from those tanks and anything else they wash . That stuff is mixed in with the sand that has already been washed . And has nothing left in it ( THAT’S THE STUFF THEY FILL BACK IN THE MINES HOLES AND CALL RECLAIMED ) .The sand and these contaminates including any other mine trash, tree trunks , garbage and whatever else they wanna discard cheaply . They mix all this with the Gypsum and take it to a stack . So its not just Gypsum.
    The mines are not allowed to transport wet gypsum across certain roadways , that’s why they mix it with the sand . And it’s not always water that’s in the Gypsum that’s wet . Like I said sometimes it’s the wash from acid tanks and whatever else they have .
    For instance what do ya think they are doing with the water that they are claiming is not contaminated from the sinkhole . Besides diluting it and flushing it down the Alafia River?
    Also wanna say that although those stacks have to be a certain height legally . People aren’t saying how many acres these things are allowed to cover . 3 , 4 , 500 acres ? Some of these near my home stretch from one road to another and that goes in all directions .
    Google earth this location for instance . Bonnie mine road , mulberry and highway 60 and highway 37 and highway. 640 . Take a peek at those stacks .

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