Farmers hear good news as Florida's Water District and FDEP permitting empires crumble.  Farmers to recieve fairer treatment by once all powerful permitting bureaucracy.
Gainesville Florida
Marion Sun Times: Mimi Lash
Food production is relieved of abusive permitting
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FDEP and Florida's Water Districts Benefit from new aggressive Permitting Reform 
 
One size no longer fits all situations when it comes to wetlands and regulation by environmental authorities.  
Farmers and the community from across the State of Florida learned that the rules have changed and permit processors will have new rules to follow themselves.
For years, a water district official could drive up to a farm situation and demand that a permit be applied for even as all parties suspected petty empire building under the excuse "wetlands involvement must automatically be permitted". 
Requests for information would be seemingly endless and more than one farmer "threw in the towel" over the abusive nature of petty regulation.
 
Now the "game has changed" according to Ag and FDEP officials as they presented the new rules for wetlands permitting and a new prioritizing 3 tiered system of problem resolution. 
Wetlands are not strictly held harmless.  This is the term used to communicate that not all impact of wetlands must be permitted.
Everything done in a wetland doesn't need a permitt under new rules explained by Florida Department of Agriculture officials at Gainesvile meeting.
 
 
Every meal, every side dish, every steak grilled to perfection costs dollars to produce by Florida's Farmers.  Government permitt processers had become able to add unreasonable cost to every meal just because they could.
Now, under new rules by Florida's regulators, permits must be resolved according to universal rules that apply and are consistant for all water districts.  Reportedly a permit processor may ask for additional information once or perhaps twice, and then the request must have management approval.   A permit request doesn't have to be years of abuse in an unending request for costly information. 
 
Answering the question, "what is a wetland, and do I need a permit" just got easier to understand for all parties.  The new clarity will lower prices consumers must pay for a meal.  How good is that? 

Springs Protection . Com is the people's Environmental Center.  Our mission is to educate Legislators and Concerned Citizens.  We love the environment, our state of Florida, and America.  Bureaucracies can sometimes lose track of their mission.  FDEP and DCA have become overly involved in the problem of disposing of Utility Waste.  Pollutants must be disposed of daily in vast amounts.  A conflict of interest develops around the need to discard nutrients and the need to reduce nutrients in the Aquifer.  10 times the concentration of nitrates is currently discharged into the aquifer.  Labeled as beneficial recharge, the disposal of utility waste has reached the tipping point and now shows up as a major source of Algae Blooms in our springs and shore lines.

Government workers are not authorized to discuss pollution by utilities.  Speaking anonymously, workers at all levels of Government are asking that standards be set to stop pollution. After years of bureaucratic rule making, local elected officials are powerless to stop pollution.  DCA rule making about land use code issues is becoming difficult or impossible for citizens and officials to wade through.  Even Legislators find it difficult to stop the direct discharge of vast quantities of sewer waste from going into the drinking water supply.

Once it was thought that "springs are in trouble because of population growth outside of urban areas, Cities".  We now know that just the opposite is true, urban areas have too much contaminated water that is sent into the groundwater to end up at our springs.   Small family on site septic systems are now seen as the salvation because of very low volume distributed over wide areas of land.  Nitrates are "de-nitrified" within a few hundred feet of a properly installed OSDS.

Sewer Plants discharge billions of gallons of nutrient rich wastewater into the aquifer daily.  Almost in panic mode to not fall behind in disposing of each day's waste, Utilities are scrambling to keep up with Urban Discharge Requirements.  (UDR's)  Processed Sewer Waste discharge, along with storm sewer systems insure increased algae in our springs.  Algae in our springs is a financial driver  for DEP, DCA, DOT, Cities, Counties, and Water Districts.  The problem with Utility Regulation seems to grow larger, year after year.

We hope to break the cycle of disinformation by Turing on the light, letting everyone know what is really happening.  Bad information seems to somehow become embedded in environmental protection systems.  A recent ruling by Federal Judge Hinkle to require standards for utility discharge should help bring the nitrate pollution problem under control.

FDEP and DCA are showing signs of correcting the problem.  Perhaps with actual standards it will be possible to break the utility waste discharge cycle.

What could happen.

1. The springs could be lost to algae from the contamination.

2. State and Local taxes will increased to fund these exploding agencies.

3. Trust in government will further erode as disinformation is released to the public.

 

We are not in this fight alone.  Many excellent organizations are working to expose the campaign to blame the people for Utliity wrong doing.

 
 
EPA and Florida Citizens demanded to know why FDEP, St Johns River Management District, The City of Gainesville, Alachua County, the City of Ocala and Marion County all could operate utilities without nitrate standards.  Thankfully the Federal Courts helped clarify the question.  Judge Hinkle is an environmental hero of the highest order.  With a single ruling we now have Nitrate Standards to measure the Daily Max Loads Allowed into our Aquifer.  
 
Citizens are thankful that they are no longer blamed for the pollution of Utilities. 

Surface Water Quality

Estrogenic Activity in the Environment: Municipal Wastewater Effluent, River, Ponds, and Wetlands


Surface Water Quality Alachua County Gainesville Florida, Neighboring Marion County Residents express concern about Kanapaha Sewer Plant daily discharges of millions of gallons of Sewer Effluent into drinking water aquifer. Studies show there is reason for concerns.Estrogenic Activity in the Environment: Municipal Wastewater Effluent, River, Ponds, and Wetlands

Here are some of the receiving waterbodies into which Alachua County reported discharges.  Most Citizens don't know how extensive polluted discharge has become.  EPA is stepping in requiring Nitrate Standards for Cities and Counties in Florida.
 Example of reported discharge byAlachua Utilities:
Alachua Name of the Phase II MS4 Operator:Alachua County
B. Name of the Phase II MS4 Responsible Authority:Randall H. Reid
Title:County Manager
Mailing Address:12 SE 1st Street
City:Gainesville Zip Code:32601 County:Alachua
Telephone Number:(352) 374-5204
 
Alachua reported their utilities dump into Turkey Creek, Hidden Lake, Hatchet Hammocks Lake, Newnans Lake, Alachua Sink, Calf Pond,
Creek, Blues Creek, Fox Pond, Little Prairie Creek, Moon Lake, Calf Pond Creek, Perch Lake,
Hatchet Creek, Gumroot Swamp, Lake Forest Creek, Kingswood Pond, Boulware Springs, Boulware
Possum Creek, Hogtown Creek, Sweetwater Branch, Hogtown Prairie, Springs Branch, Paynes Prairie
Terwilliger Pond, Clear Lake, Sugarfoot Prairie, Bivens Arm,
Kanapaha Lake, Lake Meta, Tumblin Creek, and Colclough Pond.
 
It isn't difficult to see why Dr Knight is upset with the polluting of the Lime Stone Pipeline under ground.
 
Notice for example Alachua Sink, that is a direct link to the Limestone Pipe line that Dr. Knight is refering to in his concerns.
 
Add to this level of pollution discharge, the Kanapaha Sewer Treatment Plant that discharges 6.8 million gallons of Processed Sewage Waste directly into the aquifer daily and you begin to see why Florida Citizens are concerned with FDEP's handling of utility pollution in Florida.  

Springs Protection
 
(2009; Don Browning, director)

Example of a sink hole used to drain storm water
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Citizens are beginning to wonder acid rain will "fizz the Lime Stone under Central Florida.

Favorite movie is Springs Protection by Environmentalist Don Browning.

Favorite Movie

In this Area,  I'll talk about what I think is this star's best movie. I'll try to explain why I think it's their best work and why it's important to me personally.
 
Don Browning has captured the message we all wish would be told on the Web Sites of The Department Florida Environmental Protection.  
Avoiding higher utility bills and higher taxes later as the pollution builds up is why I could just hug Don around the neck for producing and directing this important movie.
 
To to Springs Protection on Google and study the pages of Florida Spring Protection by the State of Florida.  You have never seen an account of the Big Polluters.  We classify big polluters as those who exceed 1,000,000 gallons of contaminates annually.
Check with your friends and neighbors, do you even know anyone who is a big polluter, yet every effort by FDEP and the Water Districts blames little people like you and me as the "big problem polluters".
 
Don Browning may win the Nobel Prize for environmental product SPRINGS PROTECTION.
 
Susan Wilson
Reporting for Springs Protection.Com Movie Review