A Large Region On Earth With Particular Plant And Animal Manatee County FL Denies Phosphate Industry Permits

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Manatee County FL Denies Phosphate Industry Permits

Manatee County located on the Gulf of Mexico in west central Florida is home to one of the largest ecosystems of its kind in the world. This area is one of the largest wetlands (2) in the region and forms the headwaters of rivers in the area that supply about fifteen percent of the water flow in the Peace River basin. This particular region of Florida is used for fresh water supplies, livestock, agriculture and newly populated residential areas. This ecologically critical region is populated with pristine rivers, streams, springs, aquifers, ponds and lakes. Both flora and fauna thrive in these unique environmental habitats, from abundant marine life to healthy populations of deer, possibly bears, wild boar, along with a host of other wildlife.

However, the phosphate industry decided to buy this land with the intention of stripping this region of central Florida, despite the industry’s poor environmental record over the past seven decades. Strip mining will destroy and plunder these regions of central Florida for phosphate just below the surface. Everything mentioned before will disappear in mined areas. There will be no fresh water, pastures for livestock, agriculture, marine life, springs, aquifers, wildlife, flora and fauna. The only thing left from the mining of the earth are radioactive materials, caustics, acids and destroyed landscapes that look more like a lunar landscape. The poisons of the abandoned phosphate belt mines mentioned above will be there for decades to come, or until Florida taxpayers pay for the cleanup costs. The extraction of phosphate strips has no redeemable qualities for the environment. Historically, industry officials are environmentally untrustworthy, carry out clandestine toxic dumping of millions of tons of toxic waste, and build their business models on meticulous business practices.

This particular area of ​​central Florida is where the Florida phosphate industry decided to mine for the area’s valuable phosphate ore. Phosphate industry officials expressed their confidence to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA in the ability to reclaim the land to support a beneficial use after mining operations are completed. Interestingly, the EPA issued the permit, but Manatee County officials requested more details about the project and delayed strip mining for the time being. Every permit requested by phosphate officials was denied on two occasions by Manatee County after the EPA issued permits to begin mining. Manatee and Sarasota counties and countless smaller suits against the phosphate industry continue to fight for the environmental health of central Florida from phosphate devastation.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, DEP, stated that the plans submitted for strip mining did not provide accurate information, no proof of financial responsibility and no acceptable reclamation policy. (1) These particular items are of interest because the phosphate industry has historically left taxpayers with all the environmental havoc they produce to cover the cleanup costs. Manatee County denied the permits were denied and forced phosphate industry officials back to court. The State of Florida along with Manatee County will withhold phosphate industry officials from new strip mines in Manatee County until all required reports are filed for review and approval by the county. After all, the phosphate industry already forced Manatee County taxpayers to cover the cost of removing an abandoned phosphate fertilizer plant near the Port of Manatee at a cost of $144 million.

Manatee County is fighting a losing battle due to financial difficulties (no federal dollars) with phosphate officials over new strip mining in the Myakka River watershed, which is also one of the largest watersheds in the state. The 2,500-hectare catchment adjacent to today’s mines in the Myakka catchment is where the eight-year environmental court battle will be played out.

Florida’s phosphate industry is a financial juggernaut that will not stop mining in Florida until it is financially damaging to do so. Floridians can also help the state’s environmentalists with their votes and funding. Central Florida environmental resources such as the Manatee County Commission, the Peace River Initiative, Sarasota-Shelby County Botanical Gardens and Manasota-88 are local to the central Florida region and receive donations to preserve central Florida’s unique ecological systems.

Reference

1. Altman permission. ourphosphaterisk.com/permitting/altman-permit.

2. Michael Gallen, Manatee County Commissioner | Sarasota Bay sarasotabaytoday.com/2012/10/michael-gallen-manatee-county-commissioner/.

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