Florida Springs Council sent this update out today Tuesday, May 4, 2021. the final order for dismissal is on the agenda for the Suwannee River Water Management District board meeting on May 11.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
Your support of the Florida Springs Council and Our Santa Fe River’s work to protect the Santa Fe River and springs made it possible for us to challenge the Seven Springs water use permit. The water use permit allows Seven Springs to sell almost a million gallons of water per day to Blue Triton – formerly known as Nestle Waters North America – for bottling and resale. You are our partner in this effort and we want to keep you up to date on the latest developments in our case as it moves through Florida’s complex administrative law process.
Next week, we expect the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Governing Board to issue a “final order” dismissing our administrative challenge of the Seven Springs water use permit. Contrary to what the District’s order suggests, this is not the end of our challenge. It is actually an important step towards getting our issues heard in the District Court of Appeals where our lawyers feel there is a good chance that we will prevail.
The reason our case was recommended for dismissal by the Administrative Law Judge has nothing to do with the strength of our arguments against the approval of Seven Springs’ water use permit, but is due to procedural issues raised by the SRWMD’s decision to file an appeal at the same time as our petition is being considered in the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). It is noteworthy that the SRWMD filed a motion to suspend their appeal while our case is being considered and supports our case being heard in DOAH.
FSC and OSFR are committed to protecting the Santa Re River and springs, seeing this case through to the end, and stopping the Seven Springs water use permit. Seven Springs got their day in court last year and managed to overturn the SRWMD staff’s recommendation to deny the water use permit. We will do everything in our power to ensure that those who rely on a healthy vibrant Santa Fe River are afforded the same opportunity to present their case in court, as they are entitled to under the SRWMD’s rules.
We will continue to keep you updated as this case develops. If you have questions, please contact me by emailing Smart@floridaspringscouncil.org.
[rubric] Ryan Smart