Call to Action: Ban Fracking in Florida: CRITICAL

Guest blogger today

This is from my friend Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson.

Call to Action: Ban Fracking in Florida: CRITICAL, please share…
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 1:30 pm in Tallahassee.
Please make phone calls or attend Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.
Frack bill, SB 1582 will allow well operators to hide the chemicals they use from the public.

Frack bill, SB 1468 will allow industry to get permitted water for each and every “high pressure well stimulation” at a time when, all over the state, we are grappling with our water supply.

Please call the Committee members below to urge them to vote NO on the bills. At this moment, phone calls are better than a mass email. Please take a few minutes to reach out to them.
SB 1582 – Pub. Rec./High-pressure Well Stimulation Chemical Disclosure Registry by Senator Richter.
Talking points:

If this bill becomes law, Floridians will not be able to find out about the worst chemicals frackers inject through their aquifer because they’ll be kept secret.
 There is no federal protection available under the Clean Water Act (which deals with surface waters) or the Safe Drinking Water Act which was amended to exclude fracking from its definition of “underground injection” in the 2005 Energy Policy Act thanks to VP Cheney’s Energy Task Force (§ 300h(d)(1)(B)(ii))
SB 1582 disguises its true intention by claiming to be about preventing one business from stealing “proprietary business information” (trade secrets) from another. In reality it is designed to gut the disclosure provisions of the bill it is linked to, SB 1468 titled Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources, also by Senator Richter.

The bill does an end run around the public interest by misappropriating the rationale for trade secrets for its true purpose of avoiding public scrutiny. 
SB 1582 is similar to the relevant parts of an ALEC model bill that can be seen here: http://www.alec.org/model-legislation/the-disclosure-of-hydraulic-fracturing-fluid-composition-act/

The ALEC bill includes the disclosure and trade secrets language in one bill, but the Florida version requires two bills because of Florida’s Constitutional requirement that public records exemptions be in a stand-alone bill.
 Here’s why the oil and gas industry wants “proprietary business information” (trade secrets) confidential. Well operators can mark the most toxic chemicals as proprietary and DEP is bound to keep them secret. If someone requests the information DEP has to tell the well operator of the request and they get ten days to go to court to get an order barring disclosure of the information. The judge has to follow what is in statute in making a determination whether it truly is “proprietary business information” or not. The outcome is a foregone conclusion because the bill defines it in statute and the judge will always have to issue an order banning disclosure.

From the text of SB 1582:
71 Section 2.

The Legislature finds that it is a public

72 necessity that proprietary business information, as defined in

73 s. 377.24075(1)(a)-(e), Florida Statutes, and relating to high

74 pressure well stimulations, submitted to the Department of

75 Environmental Protection as part of a permit application or held

76 by the department in connection with the online high pressure

77 well stimulation chemical disclosure registry, be made

78 confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes,and

79 s. 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution. Proprietary

80 business information must be held confidential and exempt from

81 public records requirements because the disclosure of such

82 information would create an unfair competitive advantage for

83 persons receiving such information and would adversely impact

84 the service company, chemical supplier, or well owner or

85 operator that provides chemical ingredients for a well on which

86 high pressure well stimulation are performed. If such

87 confidential and exempt information regarding proprietary

88 business information were released pursuant to a public records

89 request, others would be allowed to take the benefit of the

90 proprietary business information without compensation or

91 reimbursement to the service company, chemical supplier, or well

92 owner or operator.

As long as a well operator follows those simple instructions, no member of the public will ever find out what is being injected into their drinking water supply.  And if they don’t know about it they can’t try to do anything about it.
…and about water supply, from the text of SB 1468:
10 amending s. 377.24, F.S.;

11 requiring that a permit be obtained before the

12 performance of any high pressure well stimulation;

13 specifying that a permit may authorize single or
14 multiple activities; amending s. 377.241, F.S.;
1

5 requiring the Division of Resource Management to give

16 consideration to and be guided by certain additional

17 criteria when issuing permits; amending s. 377.242,

18 F.S.; authorizing the department to issue permits for

19 the performance of high pressure well stimulation;

20 clarifying provisions relating to division inspection;

21 amending s. 377.2425, F.S.; requiring an applicant or

22 operator to provide surety that performance of a high

23 pressure well stimulation will be conducted in a safe

24 and environmentally compatible manner 
In Florida, because of the nature of our Floridan aquifer and karstic soils, high pressure stimulation must not be allowed.

Our over-permitted water supply in Florida is a constant threat to our rivers, springs, lakes, agriculture, and drinking water supply. Permitting high pressure stimulation using much more than 100,000 gallons per frack, historically in other states the industry use between 1 million and 8 million gallons each frack job, will certainly strain our water supply even more, while each event contributes considerably to polluting our aquifer.
 The Water Management Districts have not even been brought into these discussions about fracking in our state. As a result of the excessive water demands, water managers must be a part of this permitting.

Please call these members’ offices today. Be polite, but make sure they know this is just plain wrong.
Thank you for Acting!
 Below are Senators’ phone numbers and suggested language:
 Senator ____
Please vote NO on these bad bills: Senate Bill 1468 and 1582 (and companion bills, HB 1205 and HB 1209). These bills would would allow hydraulic fracturing or fracking to be permitted in Florida with meaningless regulations therefor allowing industry to explore our lands even more, permit excessive water demands, contribute to pollution in our great watery state and strip local rule for counties (as seen in HB 1205, line 30).
 There is no safe fracking, we are calling for an outright ban on fracking Florida.
 I am opposed to the practice of fracking and I do not want it to be allowed in my state. I treasure my water, environment, my health and wildlife: fracking destroys all that and our way of life in this beautiful state. Please support SB 166 (and HB 169) to ban fracking. Please put SB 166 on your committee’s agenda.
Thank you and I hope you will protect and defend the people of Florida.
 Senator Phone Numbers

Charles Dean, Chair (R) 
850-487-5005

Wilton Simpson, 
Vice Chair (R) 
850-487-5018

Thad Altman (R)
850-487-5016

Greg Evers (R)
850-487-5002

Alan Hays (R)
850-487-5011

David Simmons (R)
850-487-5010

Christopher Smith (D)
850-487-5031

Darren Soto (D), (Senate sponsor of SB 166, must be heard in committee!!)
850-487-5014

Food and Water Watch has provided the call in numbers for calls into Senators Dean and Gardiner to ask that they move SB 166 to be agendaed :

Senate President Andy Gardiner 855-969-5216

Senator Charles Dean Chair 877-247-1820

p.s.
please work toward getting our counties and cities to enact Resolutions to support a statewide ban on hydraulic/acid fracturing and high pressure well stimulation.
These bills, SB 1468 and SB 1582, must be “killed”!

Sincerely,

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson
 President, Our Santa Fe River

Beach Rally and Patrick Murphy gives President Obama a bottle of dirty river water.

Yesterday we had a fun beach rally and spelled out “Buy the Land” in the sand.

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The Death Mermaid even showed up!

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At the same time this was happening President Obama landed in Port St Lucie. There was only one plane in the sky.

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You have to look really hard to see it.

Congressman Patrick Murphy greeted him and showed him a bottle of St Lucie River Water. Thank you so much Patrick Murphy for looking out for us! We know you have our backs!

http://www.wptv.com/news/region-martin-county/palm-city/hoping-to-catch-a-glance-of-president-obama-on-the-treasure-coast-this-weekend

Attention President Obama! You’re our only Hope!

Welcome President Obama!

@BarackObama

Welcome President Obama to the Treasure Coast and welcome from all of us that have been working hard to Save the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.

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We have been are being decimated by the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. What once was the most diverse estuary in North America has been destroyed. Our lagoon has lost massive amounts of sea grass and it is filled with muck.

Would you allow this in your backyard?

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People will tell you “It’s Complicated!” Its not. We need to buy this land. We need to do this now before the  option on the land runs out.

This purchase can be funded through our Amendment 1 which specifically states that the money is to buy the land.
Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 (2014)‬
The Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure was designed to dedicate 33 percent of net revenue from the existing excise tax on documents to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
The Land Acquisition Trust Fund was developed to acquire and improve conservation easements, wildlife management areas, wetlands, forests, fish and wildlife habitats, beaches and shores, recreational trails and parks, urban open space, rural landscapes, working farms and ranches, historical and geological sites, lands protecting water and drinking water resources and lands in the Everglades Agricultural Areas and the Everglades Protection Area. The fund was designed to manage and restore natural systems and to enhance public access and recreational use of conservation lands.
The campaign in support of the initiative was led by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy.
It passed with 74.96%

The people of Florida support this.
We got the money

Rick Scott  and our Florida Legislature wants to finish up existing projects which will result in the option running out and in the end Everglades Restoration will never be able to be completed.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-oped-lake-okeechobee-response-20150204-story.html

Billions of gallons of polluted water have been wasted flowing into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. All the projects that we have going now will never be complete unless we buy this land and build a reservoir and send clean water south.

This not only helps us on both coasts but will help South Florida with its drinking water which is in peril, help with salt water intrusion and sea level rise in Miami and help to save the Florida Bay which is also in peril because it does not get enough fresh water.
The Everglades is the water supply for one-third of our states Population.

Florida has negotiated a contract to purchase land, including 26,000 acres directly south of the lake. Buying this strategic parcel will provide water managers with a new option to store, move and clean water south of Lake Okeechobee before it reaches the Everglades.

We are done ask our legislators why they won’t do this.  They serve themselves. The certainly don’t serve the citizens of Florida. We have done everything in our power to make this happen.

Rick Scott ignores the Science of Climate change. Rick Scott is ignoring the science of sea level rise. There are wells in  South Florida filled with  salt water and soon be undrinkable. This is our drinking water.

Who are you going to believe? The scientists or the Governor of Florida who has muzzled free speech by not allowing people to even say the words “Climate Change.”

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/03/uproar-against-florida-gov-rick-scott.html

You cannot let this happen to us! Delay is  a self-serving position for special interests. Please help us.

Florida Legislature Steals Amendment One Money

By the time they are done with this they will spinning it upside down and inside out.

Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 (2014)‬
The Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure was designed to dedicate 33 percent of net revenue from the existing excise tax on documents to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
The Land Acquisition Trust Fund was developed to acquire and improve conservation easements, wildlife management areas, wetlands, forests, fish and wildlife habitats, beaches and shores, recreational trails and parks, urban open space, rural landscapes, working farms and ranches, historical and geological sites, lands protecting water and drinking water resources and lands in the Everglades Agricultural Areas and the Everglades Protection Area. The fund was designed to manage and restore natural systems and to enhance public access and recreational use of conservation lands.
The campaign in support of the initiative was led by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy.
It passed with 74.96%

I think that’s pretty clear and not up for debate. Let me repeat this again.

lands protecting water and drinking water resources and lands in the Everglades Agricultural Areas and the Everglades Protection Area.

http://southeastagnet.com/2015/03/19/little-land-buying-in-florida-senates-amendment-1-plan

“Sen. Alan Hays, a Umatilla Republican who is chairman of the subcommittee, said the state might already have enough land within its preservation inventory. ”

““They have done everything that they can to shift agency expenses into the Constitution,” Draper continued after the meeting. “If they could find a way to pay for the towels in the executive washrooms with Amendment 1 they did it.”

“Hays said the will of the voters is “open to interpretation” and that he’s been flooded with email and phone calls from people claiming the state doesn’t need to buy more land.”

Really Senator Hays. This ok with your constituents?

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I have to doubt that the people of

Umatilla, Nature’s Hometown, is located in northern Lake County, Florida and offers many outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, camping and hiking.

said that. Only because I spend a great deal of time on water of Lake County and have taken 100 of photos of the Dora Canal. I know the people there. They love their water and their nature and I’m sure they do not want  our water, our indian river lagoon to look like the photo above.

Do you?

“President Andy Gardiner.
The legislative leaders expressed confidence lawmakers will agree on measures that backers of the amendment will support.
“When we look at water policy, we’re really interested in that oversight, and that oversight not just on water policy but Amendment 1 as a whole,” said Gardiner, R-Orlando. “We think it’s very important that the voters that supported Amendment 1 know that decisions are being based on critical need.”
Really? We have critical need. I don’t know whats more critical than stopping this.

and finally my favorite article of the morning

Florida Legislature to Voters For Amendment 1’s Water Protection: Drop Dead

http://flaglerlive.com/76153/land-protection-dt/
Because this really is a kick in the face to the voters.
“Problem is, Republican legislators are acting as if that’s some sort of tree-hugger’s wish list, rather than the law of the land.”
“Then late this week the Senate comes out with initial budget recommendations that outraged mainstream environmentalists and threatens to make a mockery of Amendment 1 goals — and of anyone who still believes this Legislature is sincere about implementing this amendment as intended when passed into law.
The bottom line there is that the full amount of money intended to be used for land acquisition needed to achieve the law’s goals is not being appropriated. There are all kinds of confusing details to sort through, and a ton of legislative legalese being spread around to explain the massive shortfall. But rather than salve on a wound, it feels like salt. It feels like a betrayal.
Why would the legislators do this? Forget their explanations and rationalizations. Most of them are simply caving in to Big Sugar and Big Agriculture, hungry eyes on campaign contributions to come, and already banked. Can you say, “Quid Quo Pro”?”

This morning we’re sending our “Death Mermaid” to Sen. Alan Hays and President Andy Gardiner.

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Ignore the Death Mermaid at your peril

http://contextflorida.com/diane-roberts-legislators-ignore-the-death-mermaid-at-your-peril/

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE–When the Death Mermaid shows up, pay attention.

Back in 1881, she appeared to Hamilton Disston, warning him against trying to drain the Everglades. Old Ham, never the most emotionally stable of multimillionaires, shut his eyes tight and swore on his mother’s grave he’d stop drinking cologne.

Death Mermaid

In 1969, she scared the feds into killing the Everglades Jetport, a project beloved of South Florida Democrats. It would have been the largest airport in the world and bang in the middle of the Big Cypress Swamp.

Last week she materialized at the South Florida Water Management District meeting, urging the water czars to stop screwing around with the Everglades.

You’d think they would listen to a skeletal apparition with long green hair (probably from all that toxic algae gagging Florida waters) and a tail. But these are Rick Scott appointees: they don’t believe in mermaids – or measurable water standards.

Attention Congressman Patrick Murphy! Bring us Attorney General Eric Holder.

To : Patrick Murphy

@RepMurphyFL
@PatrickMurphyFL

U.S. Representative for Florida’s 18th congressional district

From Keri West
Administrator: Save The Indian RIver Lagoon
Representing 8,131 members
Cyndi Lenz and Steve Cottrell
Administrators: River of Light
Representing  1,098
Change.org
https://www.change.org/p/rick-scott-stop-the-lake-okeechobee-discharges-into-the-st-lucie-river-and-estuaries
13,771 Supporters

We are requesting that you bring Attorney General Eric Holder to see the Indian River Lagoon. We feel that there is permanent damage from the  Toxic discharges to the Indian RIver Lagoon and the State of Florida has been negligent to our lagoon, the St Lucie  River, our economy and our lives.

Here is a photo. Where is this allowed and not addressed? How can we live in the United States of America and have this happen to us?

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The State of Florida is refusing to take the steps to buy the land needed to finish Everglades Restoration. The result of this will be continued discharges and total destruction of the Indian River Lagoon,  the Caloosahatchee River, the destruction of the Everglades, the Florida Bay and the drinking water of South Florida.

We have health concerns by our local Martin Memorial Hospital.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ocxWFpi_BQ

We have tried all avenues. We have money thru amendment 1 to buy the land. The state legislators are refusing to buy the land that would end the discharges. Our Citizens and Health Officials are concerned about bacteria rates, unidentified illnesses and treatment. Local business owners and winter residents are deeply concerned about our economy and industries that rely on the lagoon.

Higher levels of bacteria in Indian River
http://savethelagoon.org/tag/harbor-branch

FORT PIERCE – There is an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the Indian River Lagoon according to a new study released by FAU Harbor Branch scientists.
To our fellow citizens and group. Please feel free to sign on with us by sending us your information and the amount of people you represent.

Congressman Murphy We need your help right now!

Representative Steve Crisafulli We need to buy the land.

To: Representative Steve Crisafulli and all the people who voted for him and  the entire area he represents:

This is my backyard in Jensen Beach, Florida

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This could be your backyard!

We need to buy the land so Everglades Restoration can be complete.  Clean water needs to go south.

We got the money in amendment one. There is a way to make this happen. Please contact him and ask him to please discuss with the scientists who understand this issue so we can fix this.

http://postonpolitics.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2015/02/18/speaker-crisafulli-dont-buy-land-south-of-lake-o/

“House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, says he opposes the controversial land deal that would enable the South Florida Water Management District to purchase 46,800 acres of land south of the lake at fair market value.”

That’s because when the option runs out the land can be sold for 5 times the amount. Big Sugar is reneging on the deal they made. And that’s ok with with the Speaker of the House Crisafulli.

“Crisafulli wrote in an email response. “At this time, I do not support spending limited state resources to purchase more land south of Lake. My priority is to utilize and care for the land we own now.

This shows his lack of knowledge on the subject. The money is there through amendment 1.

If this doesn’t happen we are going to get discharges forever. Our water will always look like this and YOU the people of Florida would have destroyed not only our portion of what was once the fabulous Indian River Lagoon and the most diverse estuary in North America but our economy, our lives. If this happens this is Florida’s legacy. The people of Florida have let this happen.

 

By not doing this you are destroying us, the drinking water of South Forida by allowing salt water intrusion, and the Florida Bay.

There are plenty of scientists at the Everglades Coalition I’m sure they would be happy to talk to you!

“Environmental groups, spearheaded by the Everglades Foundation, want the district to purchase the land. They believe that the district could use the land to build a reservoir to store water, which they say would reduce harmful discharges of water from the lake into the St. Lucie Estuary and Caloosahatchee River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the lake into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee when water levels rise and threaten the aging earthen dike that protects farmland and communities around the lake.”

Land Buy Critical for Everglades Restoration. Time is running out.

http://floridawaterdaily.com/2015/03/05/opinion-land-buy-critical-for-everglades-restoration

 

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Ignore the Death Mermaid at your peril

http://contextflorida.com/diane-roberts-legislators-ignore-the-death-mermaid-at-your-peril/

OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE–When the Death Mermaid shows up, pay attention.

Back in 1881, she appeared to Hamilton Disston, warning him against trying to drain the Everglades. Old Ham, never the most emotionally stable of multimillionaires, shut his eyes tight and swore on his mother’s grave he’d stop drinking cologne.

Death Mermaid

In 1969, she scared the feds into killing the Everglades Jetport, a project beloved of South Florida Democrats. It would have been the largest airport in the world and bang in the middle of the Big Cypress Swamp.

Last week she materialized at the South Florida Water Management District meeting, urging the water czars to stop screwing around with the Everglades.

You’d think they would listen to a skeletal apparition with long green hair (probably from all that toxic algae gagging Florida waters) and a tail. But these are Rick Scott appointees: they don’t believe in mermaids – or measurable water standards. They shrugged her off: just another crazy eco-chick.”

 

 

 


Kevin Powers “We’re your best friends!” us “hahahahahaaaa”

A few weeks ago Kevin Powers called Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch and asked about the Solidarity Fish.

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http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/02/24/helping-the-sfwmd-catch-a-fishDSC_0012-solidarity-st-lucie-riverindian-river-lagoon/

http://www.solidarityarts.com

The Solidarity Fish, painted by kids and ordinary people are an icon of the clean water movement in Florida. They have been from the Everglades to Washington, D.C., from the steps of the Capitol Building in Tallahassee to the cover of most major Florida newspapers and in the New York Times.  ” Janeen Mason

(I heard from a few people that Rick Scott sent someone

down to the rally to steal a fish (Three were missing) so if you see this on his desk you know where it came from. )

So then this happened. (thank you John Scott. )

Kevin Powers this is whats happening in our back yard! Your right its unrivaled!  Who has this in their backyard!

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As you all can see  we have no better friends than the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Legislature including Joe Negron and Rick Scott. I refer you back to the hysterical laughter in the video.

This is Kevin’s background. What gives him the right to be making decisions about our water?

This is Kevin Powers Resume
Occupation: Partner, Indiantown Realty Corp

Professional, Business and Service Affiliations:

Director, Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce

Member, Indiantown Western Martin County Chamber
of Commerce

Former Director, United Way of Martin County

Former Vice President and Director, Martin County
Taxpayers Association

Former Director, Economic Council of Martin County

here is twitter for SFWMD

South Florida Water Management

@SFWMD

and Rick Scott Let them know what you think.

@FLGovScott