Thursday, March 10, 2011

Public Comments sought on Phosphate Mining in Central Florida

Public Notice

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District (Corps) is seeking public comments on the Area wide Environmental Impact Statement (AEIS) for Phosphate Mining affecting Waters of the United States in the Central Florida Phosphate District (CFPD). To facilitate the public’s input and help ensure that issues are identified early and studied properly, the Corps will conduct two public scoping meetings. The first scoping meeting will be held on March 23, 2011, at 6:30pm EST at The Lakeland Center, 701 West Lime Street, Lakeland, FL 33815, and the second will be held on March 25, 2011, at 6:30pm EST at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center, 75 Taylor Street, Punta Gorda, FL, 33950. Information presented at the two meetings will be identical; please join us for the meeting that best fits your schedule and is closest to your location. Anyone needing special accommodations to attend these meetings, specifically pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is encouraged to e-mail us atmailto:teamaeis@phosphateaeis.org, so arrangements can be made prior to the scoping meetings.

The AEIS scoping process will identify concerns of federal, state, and local agencies; any affected Indian tribe; the proponents of the action; and the public, and will define the environmental issues and alternatives to be examined. The scoping meetings are an important part of the AEIS process, where interested parties can raise environmental or social concerns and/or concepts for minimizing the potential environmental effects of mining. At the scoping meetings, participants will be able to ask questions and provide comments and suggestions on any issues that they believe should be addressed in the AEIS. With this input, the AEIS can be structured to better address public and agency concerns and help lead to better decisions.

The project Web site – www.phosphateaeis.org – has information on other ways that the public can provide input during the scoping process, additional details about the scoping meetings, and the background for the AEIS.