A new mining operation near the southeastern and southwestern corners of Union and Bradford Counties, respectively, has been in the works for two or three years. Not a small operation, the projected area is about 7,400 acres, or 11.56 square miles. Reportedly, some of the operations will be within one quarter mile of the Santa Fe River, and most if not all lies within the New River/Santa Fe basins. Thus an immediate concern is for the aquifer and springsheds, as well as direct, physical flow into these streams. Radioactive water entering New River and the Santa Fe is a concern.
While OSFR fully recognizes the advantage of new jobs and boosting the economy of this rural area, someone must speak for the river and the fragile karst system which houses our most precious natural resource, the aquifer. Maintaining its purity and viability is paramount and far supersedes any monetary gain by the mine owners or the counties.
The current mindset regarding “Public Interest” held by our judges, DEP and water management authorities of necessity must be turned around and re-interpreted to actually define the public as the inhabitants of the environment, and not one or a few individuals who would seek to gain money by destroying what rightfully belongs to all. Even though they may own the land, they do not have the right to pollute, contaminate and use up our springs, rivers, and groundwater.
What can concerned citizens do to help protect the Santa Fe River from this threat? You can attend county commissioner meetings as follows:
Monday Feb. 15, 4:30 pm, 55 W. Main St. #103, Lake Butler, Florida
Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:30 pm, Bradford Co. Courthouse, 945 North Temple Ave, Starke, Florida
Sign the petition: The link to this petition is: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/313/461/031/citizens-against-phosphate-mining-in-union-and-bradford-counties/