Tonight at 6:00 the ban-fracking resolution was on the agenda at the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners, thanks to the diligent work of Amy Datz. She and a host of supporters, among them at least two members of OSFR appeared before the board in Monticello to speak against the practice of fracking and in support of the ban.
As before, Amy Datz had done her homework, along with Dr. Ray Bellamy, visiting with and educating commissioners ahead of time, and handing out information packets.
The commissioners allowed Amy Datz 15 minutes to present her talk, and then 15 minutes to David Mica, lobbyist for the fracking industry. Commissioner Barfield had invited Mr. Mica to present the other side of fracking.
Two others in the audience did not support the ban, but the overwhelming majority supported a ban and approximately ten people gave testimony.
Vice Chairman Stephen Walker launched into a strong support of this ban, outlining many of the dangers and problems inherent to fracking. Commissioner Walker was supported by Commissioner Gene Hall, who recited his concerns with health issues caused by toxic chemicals. He also expressed some concerns that the EPA were not motivated nor perhaps prepared to protect the people of Florida against the dangers of fracking.
The final vote was give by Commissioner Barfield, who voiced her opinion that the authorities in Florida have the duty to protect the state’s resources, especially one as important as water. She added that she saw fracking as a threat to our clean water, and its potential earnings were not as valuable as our water.
The Board of County Commissioners of Jefferson County are to be commended for their forward-thinking actions and their concerns for the citizens of Jefferson County and Florida. They have taken an important step in solidarity to protect our state, and they have done their duty.
More good news came from North Florida tonight, as it was learned that the City of Fernandina Beach passed unanimously a fracking ban resolution.