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The Santa Fe River was named recently by an industrial phosphate consulting firm as being at risk on two separate counts from the proposed HPS II Enterprises mine .
Schreuder Inc. of Tampa was hired by Onsite Environmental Consulting, who is working for HPS II, to help them get their mine permitted. Schreuder’s first report was severely critical of the Master Mining Plan (MMP) as outlined by HPS and their other consultants, Kleinfelder, also of Tampa.
So much so that HPS requested that Bradford County throw out the report, and when that didn’t happen, they requested that the county spend $12,000 more to pay Schreuder to do another study. This the county agreed to, but now a 14-page letter from Schreuder indicates that the MMP is still far from sound. We could add here that Schreuder is a respected and experienced consultant with 35 years working with phosphate and environmental issues.
The following is taken from Schreuder’s letter of Jan. 16, 2020, and here is a link to the entire letter.
Large volumes of surface water with a heavy or moderately heavy concentration of suspended solids is a major concern for the quality of downstream surface water in the New River, Santa Fe and possibly the Suwannee Rivers. p8. [bold mine]
There is an existing three-mile underground passage of the Santa Fe River between Worthington and High Springs (Cooper, Kenner and Brown, 1953). During low flows the Santa Fe river is fed by groundwater from the UFA. It is therefore possible that any mine pit collapse draining pit water into the underlying UFA will affect the quality of the groundwater flowing to the Worthington -High Springs ground water/Santa Fe River system.[bold mine] p9.
Insufficient data and supporting information has been presented to define the capacity of the deeper and shallower horizons of the reclaimed subsurface soils to transmit groundwater.
Because of this lack of information SI was not able to evaluate the possible long-term effects of the ground water resources on the environment after mining. The concerns expressed in this letter should be taken into account and discussed prior to the evaluation of the HPS II application for a special permit. p 10.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum