OSFR Presents at DOAH BMAP Challenges

bmaps spontak 3 In: OSFR Presents at DOAH BMAP Challenges | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Chris Spontak of Silver Springs Alliance testifies, with Judge Ffolkes on the left and Ryan Smart of Florida Springs Council on the right. Photo by Jim Tatum

The long-awaited and once-postponed Department Of Administrative Hearings  (DOAH) for the citizens’ challenge to the woefully and pathetically inadequate sloppy work by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) took place beginning Nov. 12 through present.

bmaps mmj doug In: OSFR Presents at DOAH BMAP Challenges | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson chats with lawyer Doug MacLaughlin during a break. Photo by Jim Tatum

This sloppy work was the Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) which are mandated to be placed with the purpose of reducing nitrates in our rivers and springs.  In our area the nitrates are caused by agriculture (about 66 %) and septics (about 6 %.)

bmapsmike In: OSFR Presents at DOAH BMAP Challenges | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
OSFR President Mike Roth. Photo by Brenda Wells.

Three members of OSFR testified yesterday:   board member Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson for Sierra Club (DOAH CASE NO. 19-0645,) President Mike Roth for OSFR and Jim Tatum your historian for himself as a riparian land owner (DOAH CASE NO. 19-0648.)  Ginnie Springs Outdoors was originally among the challengers in this case, but dropped out and did not testify.

We have posted here previously about the hearings, and you can read about them here and here.

The inadequacies of the DEP’s endeavors are illustrated by the fact that the lower Santa Fe River had a  BMAP put in place about six years ago.  Instead of reducing nitrates, today we have more than before the plan was put in place.

bmaps me 2 In: OSFR Presents at DOAH BMAP Challenges | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
OSFR historian and board member Jim Tatum. Photo by Brenda Wells

Our case was skillfully prepared and presented by John Thomas and Doug MacLaughlin.

BMAPs have never been challenged before.  This is new ground for the DEP, and the outcome could  have impressive consequences for our government agencies who cater to lobbyists instead of the people of Florida.

We will report.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Since the amalgamation of an “ABC” bevy of state agencies into the Department of (so-called) Environmental Protection, environmental philosophy AND environmental practice
    has both suffered. The DEP, as a super agency, is tasked with a variety of incompatible
    objectives, economic, environmental, and political. Being now under the same umbrella of administrative oversight, environmental policy can be dictated rather than formulated. asit Best Management Practices are now corrupted by “political” (a “catch-all” term) whims from many fronts. As claimed, the proverbial compromise pleases no one–this is where we are at. KEEP UP THE PRESSURE, OSFR!

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