Here are two excellent letters by Brooks Armstrong and Vicki Stiner published in the Desoto County Arcadian February 28, 2019 for your reading pleasure.
This link is to a rebuttal of the Mosaic Fertilizer’s aren’t we wonderful articles that appeared in an earlier edition of the Arcadian newspaper. That article (parts 1 &2) can be reviewed in a 01-29-19 post on this website. The rebuttal was prepared by Andy Mele of Suncoast Waterkeepers https://www.suncoastwaterkeeper.com
Arcadian, February 7, 2019, page A21.
Planning to move to Hardee County? Looking for a job that isn’t mine related? Or maybe you have a small business searching for a home? Well, let’s hope you don’t go to Wikipedia to find out about the county you plan to invest in. Wikipedia is one of the top 5 websites on the internet. If you type Hardee County, FL into a Wikipedia search and scroll down to the Geography section, this is what you will currently find:
“Hardee County is located in what is known as the “Bone Valley” which contains most of North America’s phosphate deposits and a large portion of the world’s deposits. Phosphate is mined in large open pit mines with massive settling ponds that contain many harmful byproducts of the mining process and its disposal and use are restricted thus leaving the settling ponds in place indefinitely and rendering the land unfit for agriculture The Mosaic company currently owns all mining land in Hardee County with around 10,000 acres near Fort Green and is proposing an expansion of around 27,000 acres in a new mine near Ona, FL. There is much controversy over the mining practice, the rezoning and conversion of agricultural land into open pit mines. Land is “reclaimed” after mining but leaves areas of mostly artificially created lakes and wetlands in addition to the slightly poisonous and radioactive settling ponds. The proposed Ona mine would surround Horse Creek, a tributary to the Peace River, thus threatening the very pristine and largely untouched natural waterway as well as the Peace River watershed.”
Well now, that sounds like just the place to raise a family or start a business. With all the beautiful, untainted areas of Florida to choose from, why would anyone want to move here? The reality is this is a beautiful area with lots of great people. Sadly, the very thing that should draw people here, the land and the water, are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
A lot of mining has already gone on and the Ona mine will be immense . Can it be stopped before it’s too late? Can the new mine overlay on the east side be prevented? Get involved and do what you can to stop this madness.
This is a link to the articles (Parts 1 and 2) in the Arcadian January 17, 2019 and January 24, 2019, both on the front page A01. An interview with Russell Schweiss, Mosaic’s vice president for Mine Permitting, Land Management and Public Affairs. How many comments do YOU agree with?
A letter in the Arcadian Jan 24, 2019, page A-4 in response to a previous interview with Mosaic on mining in Desoto County
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
See what’s happening out there
Mr. Garrett, I think you need to step out of your office and check out the protests and commissioners’ meetings in other counties, because the citizens certainly don’t welcome Mosaic with open arms (Arcadian Jan. 17). Hundreds have attended or marched in opposition. The type of fertilizer application Mosaic promotes has proven detrimental to our waterways, and considering the effects on our local fisheries, is not feeding the world. The world is fed by small farms. Sustainable farming is much less harmful to the environment.
Mosaic’s VP described a Ft. Meade that is prosperous. Yet within the city center, building vacancy rate is 27.4 percent, higher than 92.9 percent of U.S. neighborhoods. Some 18.8 percent live in poverty. This doesn’t sound prosperous to me.
Mosaic has proven itself to be a poor neighbor to those who live nearby, or were forced to move due to the loss of their quality of life. The first-hand stories I have heard are heart-breaking. Mr. Schweiss brags about Mosaic’s environmental safety record, contradicted by witness accounts, and most seriously displayed by their long delay in reporting the massive gypstack sinkhole, which he tries to divert attention from. Sinkholes in regions that are mined are not a coincidence, as Mosaic’s massive use of water is not mentioned either, nor are the outflows pumping diluted pollutants into our precious creeks. Rick Scott’s DEP has removed and lowered protections, and I am proud of our own commissioners for protecting our beautiful DeSoto County. Informed people don’t greet bullies with open arms. Behind Mosaic’s glad-handing stands a big bully.
The recent public hearing in Wauchula regarding zoning and permitting the huge Ona mine continues the downward spiral of Hardee County. Here is an excellent letter from Nancy Armstrong in which she reviews the hearing and its consequences.
Letter to the editor in July 18, 2018 Arcadian regarding the phosphate industry’s relationship with CHNEP (Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program):
Link to Letter to the Editor in July 19, 2018 Arcadian:
A New Mosaic Agreement
Last week’s edition of the Herald Advocate provided a thorough a history of the Care Sync story until the present failure. We as citizens and observers of this saga over the past few years have truly puzzled at how large amounts of money have been repeatedly sunk into this project despite unfulfilled promises, like dumping money into a black hole. Continue reading “A New Mosaic Agreement”
Side note to Debbie Taylor re your comment about how important phosphate is to get clothes clean. Phosphates were banned from use back in the early 1970s due to extreme environmental damage from water runoff into our water system. And yet, our clothes still get clean.