Cypress Spring

It seems that there’s rarely good news in the Florida media regarding our natural resources and how well we are (or aren’t) taking care of them and this week was no exception. After the disappointing decision by Judge Canter on whether the four Petitioners would get a hearing on the toxics rule, we learned that a radioactive phosphogypsum stack in Mulberry imploded into a sinkhole, and into the Floridan aquifer which provides drinking water for millions of people. Read about it here:

The owner of the disaster is a phosphate company called Mosaic and it is a serial polluter. You can read about their recent $2 billion settlement with EPA in the article above. Leaks and spills from these monstrous stacks of hazardous materials is a regular occurrence that DEP chooses to ignore.

Mosaic is also one of the companies that always has a lobbyist at DEP’s public workshops on water quality standards. They sit in the back of the room with the other lobbyists from pulp and paper, electric power companies, developers, etc. and snicker and act like middle-school class clowns. Mosaic’s lobbyist is always very vocal about what they want, which is always weaker standards that allow more pollution. He is so certain about his power over DEP employees (through the Governor and key legislators) that he will sometimes even use thinly veiled threats to ensure that the changes he wants will happen. And they usually do. I could almost feel sorry for the DEP employees who stand humiliated and have to kow-tow to such truly small people.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE GOOD NEWS FOR THIS WEEK . . . The first of potentially four appeals was noticed on the DOAH (Div. of Administrative Hearings) website. The City of Miami is appealing Judge Canter’s decision on a very narrow issue, but it is still an appeal. This is great news and I’m hoping that the Seminole Tribe and Martin County will also file appeals on the other issues involving DEP’s very illegal notice that they used to alert the public about their new rule (Cancer Lottery) to allow polluters such as Mosaic to dump more toxic chemicals into our waters.

PLUS I AM EXPECTING TO HAVE MORE GOOD NEWS TO TELL YOU ABOUT IN JUST A FEW DAYS – COMING FROM FL-CWN.   Watch for another update from me by Wednesday because that is when I should be able to share some REALLY good news with you.

Meanwhile many of you are working on local government resolutions that express opposition to the toxics rule. Thank you for doing that. The City of Jacksonville should be voting soon on a resolution proposed by Councilman Jim Love. Please send encouragement to the Jax city council members to support this resolution. Here’s a column by Ron Littlepage that you will enjoy reading:

That’s all for now friends. I’m headed out to my garden and I hope that everyone has a fun, relaxing weekend. Life is too short for us to worry and fret all the time. We need to spend time with our friends and loved ones doing the things we enjoy.

For all of Florida’s waters,

Linda Young


About the Author

Linda Young has been the executive director of the Clean Water Network of Florida since 1994. From 1989 to 1997, she founded and published a monthly statewide environmental newspaper. Over the past twenty three years, she has co-founded some of the most long-lasting and effective environmental organizations in the Southeast, including the Gulf Restoration Network, Gulf Coast Environmental Defense and C.A.T.E. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Southern Oregon University and a M.A. in Political Science/Campaign Management from the University of West Florida.

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