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 article was presented in the McClatchy DC Bureau publication January 21, 2017. Written by Tony Pugh, it presents many impacts of phosphate mining and some of the myriad efforts being made to counter it. To review the article in the publication format, click below.
The north side of Mosaic Fertilizer’s large phosphogypsum stack at its Uncle Sam plant rises in 2015 near Convent in St. James Parish. At the time, the stack was 187 feet high. It holds phosphogypsum, a waste byproduct from processing phosphate rock to make fertilizer. State officials said Friday, Jan. 25, 3019, that parts of this wall are shifting slowly and could be at risk of collapse. The wall holds back acidic process water from the plant.
This article from The Advocate newspaper in Louisiana should raise concern for Florida. We are faced with the same issues. Hurricanes anyone? Take a look at the drone flyover of a gypstack indicated in the article. We’re not sure if it’s the one in crisis but it’s an interesting view.
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.
Support Suncoast Waterkeeper at the League of Women Voters of Florida speaker panel in Manatee County Monday, February 11th for a phosphate mining discussion. As concerned citizens we need to know more about the industry then what they are telling us! Speakers include:
Andre Mele, Suncoast Waterkeeper and Vice Chair of the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club; Charlie Hunsicker, Manatee County’s Director of Parks and Natural Resources–the county department that monitors phosphate regulation compliance; and Jackie Barron, Public Affairs Manager for the Mosaic Company
The presentation is 12 noon to 1:00 pm. Optional buffet luncheon from 11:30 to 12 noon ($5 donation). The Bradenton Woman’s Club is located at 1705 Manatee Ave. West. Reservations are not required.h
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?