OSFR Addresses Columbia County Board of Commissioners

Commissioners Nash, Phillips, Williams, Frisina (not shown is De Pratter)

At Thursday’s regular Columbia County Commissioners meeting in Lake City, FL, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, president of Our Santa Fe River, requested that they consider creating an ordinance that would ban fracking in their county.

The following morning she sent the County Manager and BOCC this follow-up letter:

Hello Dale,

Great to see you last night.  The Columbia County BOCC meetings are always of interest to me.  Our county is forward-thinking in so many ways with respect to our land and water connection. Thank you for being the leaders in Florida.

I think it is important, now, to express our desire and interest in drafting language for a Ban on Fracking directly related to mining such as, but limited to, gas and oil in our County.  Many small communities and counties across this country are doing just that.  Please see below a compilation of actions from communities across the United States.

We have 2 cities (corrected) in Florida, Coconut Creek and Hallandale, that have drafted language in an ordinance addressing fracking.  Frankly, it is not what I had in mind, but it was a beginning for them down there.

Due to the fact that fracking in Florida is about “acid fracking” not just hydrological fracking, it is imperative that we get ahead of this and ban it in our LDR, comprehensive plan book, all together. Any chemically induced deconstruction of our pervious aquifer geology in Florida is a death sentence to all we hold dear.  Please consider drafting and imposing a Ban Fracking Ordinance for Columbia County.

I am concerned about all the mining interest being owned by entities outside the state of Florida, especially those from Texas.  It is a shame that supposedly nothing can be done about those pieces of papers.  The land conservation donor last night said ‘no one will mine his property, unless there was gold or something’.  To many in our country, oil and gas ranks right up there with that mindset of greed.

I am on a committee that is drafting a bill to ban fracking in the state through legislative action, but is important that our counties first come out against fracking all together to strongly express their objections.  Please consider starting this process with a letter of support against fracking in Florida.

Thank you for your consideration and all that you do to make the quality of life in our county a great place to live.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson
resident of Columbia County,
owner of Rum 138, LLC
and president of Our Santa Fe River, Inc., not for profit

386-454-4247 (work)


Below are local actions that have been passed against fracking:



Vickie Machado
Florida Organizer
Food & Water Watch
1044 NE 15th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL  33304

(954) 687-9224 – Office
[email protected] – Email


Back to top
Skip to content