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Phosphate Letter

August 8, 2001


We wish to speak out strongly against any further expansion of phosphate mining in western central Florida until it can be done in a way that certifiably does not in any way pollute the Peace River , Horse Creek and any other water bodies of Southwest Florida .

For years, the phosphate mining companies, many of them foreign owned, have used the quickest, cheapest ways of extracting phosphate to maximize their profits then, selling it nationally and internationally.  They then left huge mountains of tailings, a pitted, scarred landscape that is reminiscent of lunar photographs, and polluted lands and nearby waterways.

In short, they have been making money by taking it from public resources, with no penalties, and no responsible paybacks. The land they spoiled could have been developed for sustainable ranching and the growing of food for Florida ’s increasing population.

We urge that approval for the extension of further mining be withheld for the following reasons:

l) It will further pollute the bays, including as far south as Estero Bay ,

2) The State and National Government have been spending millions to try to keep these water bodies safe for fishing and tourism; their efforts will be negated by giving permission for further exploitation and pollution by private enterprise,

3) Construction of toxic slime ponds in the upland area will result in the recharge of the surficial aquifer,

4) During mining operations, the peak flow in the creeks that pass through the property will be significantly reduced,

5) There will be a great reduction in wildlife habitat,

6) There are numerous bird species that have been observed on site. Many are transient and migratory species, and these will be severely impacted by the numerous toxic slime ponds within the area.

Barbara Heinrich, Founder and Past President,

The Environmental and Peace Education Center

(Just a added note to Barbara’s letter, one of the largest phosphate mining companies is owned by the Chinese who are spoiling our land to export the phosphate to China .  Most of the land that has been mined has not been reclaimed and has been rendered useless, it will not even support grass for ranching).


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