Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee Votes to Deny DEP Oil Drilling Permit

After several hours of deliberation yesterday, the Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee voted 4:1 to recommend denial of the Department of Environmental Protection Agency's (DEP) permit to allow an exploratory oil well in Golden Gate Estates.

The committee convened the meeting in Naples, Florida after an administrative challenge was filed in response to the DEP issuing intent of approval of the permit. They are an extension of the DEP, which ensures compliance of permits within the Big Cypress region.

The decision to recommend denial came as a surprise to those in attendance, as the meeting began with a 4:1 vote to recommend approval of the permit. But as numerous residents and environmental representatives finally had the chance to speak, the committee had a change of heart.

Issued raised by the committee included the need for a cumulative effects analysis on the environment (the Dan A Hughes Company has been granted a lease of 115,000 acres for drilling), accident preparedness, concerns with traffic, and increasing the bond the oil company is required to post.

The Sierra Club's concerns with the well include impacts to Florida panthers ranging from incidental take of the species, a lack of peer-reviewed science to back up official's statements, increased traffic, the destruction of panther primary habitat, and the cumulative impacts from oil drilling.

There have been no studies conducted analyzing the impacts to wildlife behavior and life history from oil drilling. Increased traffic in an area where panthers are found increases the likelihood that panthers could be hit by cars – the number one killer of the species. Behavioral studies on panthers are few and far between, so making statements that drilling will not impact behavioral patterns has not been verified.
Saying that "panthers and oil wells can coexist" is unacceptable without peer-reviewed studies to support the claim.

Telemetry data clearly identifies a tremendous amount of panther activity in the area, including telemetry points on top of the proposed well site. Previous statements by the Dan A Hughes Company, that no panthers have been found on the property is a blatant lie.

Given the knowledge of cumulative impacts, increased traffic, and destruction of primary panther habitat, a "take" (harm, harass, kill, etc.) for the species will be hard to avoid. No reasonable and prudent measures, the actions believed necessary and appropriate to minimize impacts, and mandated by the Endangered Species Act, have been proposed. This permit cannot be approved without the proper scientific review of a biological opinion under the ESA.

A video of Sierra's statements can be found here.

Jon Arthur, a geologist with the DEP and chairman of the committee, stated of the committee's decision, "I get a feeling that approving this permit is pulling our finger out of the dike."

The public sway on the committee's vote shows just how powerful a concerned group of citizens can be. Without our voices being heard, this victory would never have taken place. Inspiring work by all the groups and citizens involved!

The Committee first met on March 11th, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) public hearing at the Golden Gate Civic Association. After a public outcry for the EPA to hold a hearing in Naples, more than 300 activists came out to have their voices heard. Issues ranged from public safety and watershed impacts to concerns for increased traffic and panther habitat destruction.

The EPA made the decision at that meeting to extend their public comment period to March 31st. And as of yesterday, the deadline for public comments to the EPA, the Sierra Club had gathered over 115,000 signatures in a petition against the oil well!

The EPA now will address all public comments submitted and return with a decision on whether or not to deny or approve the underground injection well permit. Given the amount of comments received, there is no time frame for their decision - it could be months.

These small victories could not have taken place without the numerous concerned citizens of Florida! Thank you to everyone involved!


The Freethought Police said...

Great coverage.

dwyerj1 said...

Dr. Jon Arthur is right about the dike holding back the flood of oilmen ready to follow Sarah Palin's advice here in the Everglades. We must keep our finger in that dike until the rest of the population is informed of their plans and can help us. See the planned Everglades wells: http://publicfiles.dep.state.fl.us/dwrm/Mines/Oil_Gas/insetmap19.pdf

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone say the vote was 4:1? It was 3:2. Get the facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Panthers finally win. YEA................

Anonymous said...

The ray ban Government longchamp handbags of jordan shoes Finland montre homme is jerseys developing nike shoes incentives coach outlet store to coach outlet store online encourage polo ralph lauren industrial nike free development gucci belts of marc jacobs data polo ralph lauren centers. rayban Among polo ralph lauren them, ugg boots the coach outlet Baltic coach factory undersea louis vuitton cable replica watches one louis vuitton outlet hundred coach outlet million oakley euros burberry outlet of valentino investment, ghd the converse Finnish tiffany's government louboutin shoes will louboutin bear

One J said...

michael kors outlet
burberry outlet
burberry sale
louis vuitton
coach outlet
ncaa jerseys
hollister jeans
ray ban sunglasses
oakley sunglasses sale
kobe bryant shoes 2015
michael kors outlet
mont blanc pens
chanel uk
louis vuitton handbags
abercrombie & fitch
ray ban glasses
gucci outlet online
louis vuitton
ray ban sungalss
louis vuitton handbags
prada outlet
ray ban sungalsses
chanel outlet
chanel handbags
abercrombie & fitch
aviator sunglasses

Guo Guo said...

air jordan 13
dansko outlet
new orleans saints jerseys
true religion jeans
cheap soccer jerseys
barcelona jersey
burberry outlet
lebron james shoes
oakley sunglasses canada
prada shoes
new england patriots jerseys
tory burch outlet
oklahoma city thunder jerseys
cleveland cavaliers jersey
vans shoes
miami heat jersey
green bay packers jerseys
cheap nike shoes
nike outlet store
coach outlet canada
the north face jackets
stuart weitzman boots
new york jets jerseys
washington redskins jerseys
minnesota vikings jerseys
new york knicks jersey
oakley sunglasses
chelsea jersey
cheap wedding dresses
coach outlet
ugg uk
north face outlet
real madrid jersey
futbol baratas
juicy couture outlet
nike free
pittsburgh steelers jersey
los angeles clippers jerseys
rolex watches uk
chicago blackhawks jersey
a chang 0610

zhengjunxia said...

2015-06-18 zhengjx
oakley sunglass
true religion
replica watches
caoch outlet
pandora jewelry
cheap jordans
tory burch outlet online
oakley sunglasses outlet
chanel bags
ray ban outlet
cheap oakleys
coach factory outlet
tory burch shoes
prada outlet
michael kors outlet online
pandora jewelry
coach outlet online
michael kors
michael kors bag
ralph lauren uk
ray ban sunglasses
christian louboutin outlet
kate spade outlet
rolex watches
michael kors handbags
jordan shoes
true religion outlet
chanel outlet
cheap jerseys
kate spade bags
kate spade
burberry sale
fitflops sale clearance
oakley sunglasses
gucci outlet online
gucci uk
pandora outlet
air max 90
oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

christian louboutin outlet, replica watches, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet store, michael kors outlet online sale, nike outlet, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, red bottom shoes, prada outlet, tiffany and co, kate spade outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp handbags, longchamp outlet online, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, burberry outlet online, chanel handbags, nike free, tory burch outlet online, coach outlet, ray ban outlet, tiffany jewelry, polo ralph lauren, michael kors handbags, nike air max, christian louboutin, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, jordan shoes, coach outlet, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren outlet

oakleyses said...

longchamp pas cher, converse pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, michael kors, ray ban uk, longchamp, true religion outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, true religion jeans, air jordan, ralph lauren uk, lacoste pas cher, michael kors canada, vans pas cher, lululemon outlet online, oakley pas cher, hermes pas cher, new balance pas cher, burberry pas cher, true religion outlet, nike roshe run, michael kors uk, nike free pas cher, hollister uk, tn pas cher, scarpe hogan, timberland pas cher, guess pas cher, mulberry uk, coach purses, nike air force, hollister, louboutin, air max pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, north face, true religion, north face pas cher

oakleyses said...

hollister, asics shoes, soccer shoes, nike free, p90x workout, nfl jerseys, mont blanc pens, lululemon outlet, herve leger, new balance outlet, birkin bag, giuseppe zanotti, instyler ionic styler, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, beats headphones, ferragamo shoes, nike air huarache, vans outlet, wedding dresses, chi flat iron, ghd, bottega veneta, nike air max, nike trainers, jimmy choo shoes, celine handbags, reebok shoes, north face jackets, nike roshe, babyliss, soccer jerseys, longchamp, mcm handbags, abercrombie and fitch, valentino shoes, north face jackets, air max, nike roshe, mac cosmetics

oakleyses said...

sac lancel, thomas sabo uk, iphone 6 case, toms outlet, juicy couture outlet, oakley, louboutin, converse shoes, converse, coach outlet, timberland boots, ralph lauren, nike air max, supra shoes, abercrombie, links of london uk, ray ban, vans, replica watches, air max, hollister clothing store, swarovski jewelry, montre femme, pandora jewelry, juicy couture, marc jacobs handbags, pandora charms, gucci, baseball bats, swarovski uk, karen millen, wedding dress, pandora uk, hollister canada

Post a Comment