At the Bradford County BOCC meeting on August 5, the silence on HPS II continued.
As far as we know, progress towards acquisition of the HPS II permit is on hold awaiting the report from Onsite Environmental Consulting of Jacksonville. It was due last September, 2018, and then promised in October. Rumor has it the delay is because a subcontracted mining report was unfavorable to the mine. Addition fees were sought by HPS and approved by Bradford County for further consultation from this subcontractor, Schreuder, Inc. of Tampa.
OEC is walking HPS through the environmental steps needed for the permit. HPS is footing the bill for the consulting firm’s services.
According to OEC’s website their services include water quality monitoring, public outreach and stakeholder engagement, gopher tortoise removal, listed species include threatened, endangered, candidate, and species of special concern which can also present opportunities for the client to preserve and enhance the quality of sensitive habitat, possible contamination of property, and wetlands tax reduction, among others.
We wonder if facilitating the mine to come into existence will encompass all these good things for sustaining a healthy environment for Bradford County.
If we compare it to Union County, a simple denial has eliminated the need for all of the above concerns.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-