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Bone Valley Phosphate Mines
PHOSPHATE MINING OFFICIALS-POOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDS

Over the past seventy years, Florida’s phosphate industry let many man-made severe environmental accidents occur one after another over the years, causing serious environmental impacts to pristine “one of a kind” ecological regions of Florida. The Florida taxpayers are also paying for the court costs, attorney fees, and the like while the court battles continue daily between federal and state environmental agencies versus Florida’s industry officials.

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Lithia Springs - Spring Opening

(Fig. 1) Lithia Springs- Spring Opening

PEACE RIVER VALLEY

The Peace River watershed lies in west central Florida about forty miles east of the Tampa Bay area. Florida’s Peace River was declared an “endangered river” by “American Rivers.org,” a non-profit organization committed to protecting and restoring North American rivers.

The central Florida region holds unique pristine watersheds, marshlands, bogs, and other freshwater naturally occurring filtering systems. Watersheds are areas of land with waterways that flow to a common destination. Most of the region's drinking water is pumped from aquifers that are “recharged” from the watersheds described above.
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Peace River Spring Fed Tributary(Fig. 3) Peace River Spring Fed Tributary

Bone Valley Aquifers

(Fig. 2)  Bone Valley Resident (Very Interesting Comments).

Bone Valley Aquifer Systems

WIKIPEDIA states, "Large walking draglines, operating twenty-four hours a day in surface mines, excavate raw pebble phosphate rock mixed with clay and sand known as matrix. Ironically, phosphate rock is a declining export."

The Peace River Watershed covers (2300) square miles in the west central Florida and contains the majority of the Florida phosphate mining industry including Bone Valley. Phosphate strip mining companies use draglines to remove surface soils, (known as Overburden), down (100 feet); over thousands of contiguous acres.

Florida state law requires that the surface (60 feet deep), is to be reclaimed. Wetlands are reclaimed on an acre for acre, type for type basis. More than (180,000) acres (728 km2) have already been mined in the Peace River watershed. The Florida phosphate industry vigorously promotes their reclamation projects as bringing back the wetlands and watersheds. Unfortunately, we are being given only half truths.


THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT BONE VALLEY AQUIFER SYSTEMS

Aquifers cannot simply be replaced during the reclamation phase. This fact is not subjective, because the aquifer systems are completely removed. These systems took nature thousands of years to form. The aquifers are gone forever, along with one of Florida's amazing natural resource the aquifers provide, clear clean fresh water. The more than (180,000) acres reclaimed does not include (180,000) acres of Florida aquifers, because these natural wonders cannot be recreated by Florida politics or by the phosphate industry.

Florida's Aquifers Linked To Sinkholes?

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), believes areas prone to collapse are located under the southwest central Florida earth and can be induced by large amounts of water consumption (Phosphate Strip Mines). The area covers over a thousand square miles in southwest central Florida. Sinkholes form based on the rock types, aquifer formations, aquifer formation destruction and the lack of ground water. This is based on hydraulic pressure created by aquifers. Thus, the lack of water pressure from crushed aquifer formation causes the surface become unstable and collapse in some cases. Unfortunately, loss of life and property can occur upon a surface collapse.


Again, evidence points to the phosphate industry in the form of sinkholes caused by aquifer formation destruction and the loss of hydraulic surface pressure the formations create.

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Sinkholes

DISAPEARING WATERSHEDS

Central Florida's groundwater and aquifers are becoming extinct by watershed destruction via phosphate strip mining operations. Florida's natural watersheds, known to the Florida phosphate mining industry as phosphate overburden, are being destroyed for the beginnings of a phosphate strip mine. Where is the balance between Florida politics, industry, and the Public?

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Phosphate Rock
WHAT IS AN AQUIFER

An aquifer is contained in the sub-surface encased in a body of saturated rock which also contain caverns and watersheds.

In this case the rock is limestone based, through which water can easily be contained and also move as though it is in a sub-surface river.

Aquifers must be both permeable and porous and include such rock types as sandstone, conglomerate, fractured limestone and unconsolidated sand and gravel. This type of earthen material contains enough drinking water for millions of Florida's citizens year after year.

Central Florida is made of just such a rock landscape and truley does contain everyone's fresh water resources.

However, phosphate officials are "permitted" by the state of Florida to remove everything mentioned above "containing" everyone's freshwater resources in very large tracts of land, measured in square miles, to reach the valuable phosphate rock they seek.

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