Saturday, August 04, 2007

Florida Counties Try to Contain Phosphate Mines - New York Times

Your corrupt, corporatist and inept federal government, looking out for the best interests of the highest bidder. If this kind of thing doesn't rile you, then WAKE UP.

Florida Counties Try to Contain Phosphate Mines - New York Times: "Two large companies, Mosaic Fertilizer and CF Industry Holdings, operate most of the open pit phosphate mines in Hardee and Polk Counties... The mines pump on average more than 100,000 gallons of water a minute, according to the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, an industry-financed organization.

The Environmental Protection Department regulates the mines. The counties say that state officials have granted too many mine permits and that many permits do not meet federal standards.

Mining companies have been allowed to destroy streams and wetlands, according to the counties, and areas they have reclaimed remain damaged and scarred.

“We found out through consultants that none of the permits complied with the environmental regulations on the books,” the natural resources planner for Charlotte County, Bill Byle, said. “We thought all these agencies were protecting us.”

A study by the Environmental Protection Department found that the forestland in the Peace River Basin had declined, to 17 percent from 60 percent in 1940. Wetlands declined to 16 percent from 25 percent

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