For Immediate Release: OSFR Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2015

Contact:  Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson  386-243-0322; 352-222-8893 cell

OUR SANTA FE RIVER ADDRESSES FRACKING ISSUE
THURSDAY 1/15/15 IN COLUMBIA COUNTY
PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND  

FORT WHITE, FL – Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) has requested that the Columbia County Commission discuss banning the process of fracking for oil or gas in the Columbia County. This important meeting will be held Thursday, January 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the Columbia County School Board Administrative Complex Auditorium, 372 West Duval Street, Lake City, Florida 32055.  This is a public meeting at the Columbia County Board of County Commissioners.  All residents of Columbia County are encouraged to attend.

While there is currently no fracking going on in Columbia County, there has been oil drilling in our state in the Panhandle and in Collier County.  Fracking is not illegal in Florida and permits can be secured through the FDEP.  There have been 16 applications for fracking approved in the state this year, and a total of 37 granted in the last five years.

At Thursday’s meeting, residents and supporters of Our Santa Fe River will have an opportunity to discuss the possibility of oil and gas speculation in north central Florida, specifically Columbia County.  OSFR is asking Columbia County to be a champion for the State of Florida and to begin the process for a land ordinance that outright bans the practice of fracking and its byproduct wastewater.

OSFR is presenting a ban-fracking proposal to all seven counties that surround the Santa Fe River Basin and beyond. On Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, at the regular Alachua County Board of County Commissioners meeting, they voted to draft an ordinance or resolution to ban fracking in Alachua County, to be discussed with the public at another meeting in the near future.

There are currently two bills in Florida Legislature this year that ban fracking in the entire State of Florida.  A proposed resolution would support their efforts.

Our Santa River, Inc. is local nonprofit working to protect the waters and lands supporting the aquifer, springs and rivers within the watershed of the Santa Fe River by promoting public awareness pertaining to the ecology, quality, and quantity of the waters and lands immediately adjacent to and supporting the Santa Fe River, including its springs and underlying aquifer.

For more information, please contact Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson  352-222-8893.

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