Thanks to Kate Ellison for the following:
If you are available and live nearby, please show up Tuesday morning to give them an earful. Citizens expected three workshops on the phosphate mining issue. Citizens do not want this mine to ruin our communities. If you are unable to attend, you are always welcome to write a letter or call your commissioner. And keep Sept. 20, 6:30 PM open for the possibility of packing the meeting that night too!
Things are happening in Bradford and Union Counties! There will be another email soon about a second Bradford Environmental Forum on Saturday, September 8, and a Union County Update.
Take Action Tuesday!
Bradford County Commission Meeting Tuesday morning at 9:30. 945 N Temple Ave., Starke
Why? Suddenly there is a fast-track to approval
(or not) of the phosphate mining permit application.
As you may know, Bradford County has an updated Master Mining Plan and Operating Permit Application submitted by HPS II in April of this year. You may also know Bradford County hired Onsite Environmental Consultants (OEC) to evaluate the permit relative to the Land Development Regulations we have in place (since they refused to implement a Moratorium and update their regulations before accepting a complex new permit like this one).
NOW, suddenly, after slow-walking the permit application for two years, they want to finish it immediately! On Tuesday morning they will schedule a dual purpose meeting in October, to have OEC present their report, then follow it up that evening with a quasi-judicial hearing with lawyers from both sides, and make a decision.
This is remarkable, and we can only surmise they are afraid that the November election will have consequences: no more Rick Scott anti-environmental deregulation. What if our Water Management Districts and Department of Environmental Protection were willing and able to enforce the laws that should be protecting us, our land and our water? Could it be that HPS is nervous and signaled to the Commissioners they better get this approved now?
We don’t know why this is happening, but we are hoping to show citizen concern has not fallen away. We have to raise money, pay lawyers, get them up to speed, and assemble our experts. Then we will be ready for the hearing. If we have to do that before the end of October, we will really be scrambling!