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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

Phosphate Drag Lines At Work

(Fig. 1)  Phosphate Draglines in Central Florida (Seeing is believing...)


Phosphate Draglines

The Unites States Geological Survey (USGS) believes... "phosphate" draglines can be hundreds of feet in height and weigh hundreds of tons as well; (Fig. 1). A dragline's huge bucket holds up to (65) cubic yards of overburden, which will completely fill (10) standard dump trucks. The dragline removes up to (100) feet of earth known as "Overburden" to the phosphate strip mines industry. The first (30 to 40) feet of earth holds Florida's real treasure, aquifers.

The phosphate industries' term Overburden is commonly known to the lay person as lakes, ponds, trees, pastures, grass lands, small rivers, springs, aquifers.


The overburden is discarded, giving rise to phosphate spoil piles arranged at the side of what is called the phosphate mine pits (Fig. 1). The phosphate mine pit appears more kin to a lunar landscape opposed to the appearance of Florida's natural landscape.

Phosphate Mines Linked To Sinkholes?

The water in these aquifers is now free from containment, filling extraordinarily huge deep pits with clear clean fresh water. Most interestingly, nature now works against us in the form of sinkholes. The sinkholes develope over the emptied aquifer systems and water tables. The water drains from crushed aquifers into the phosphate mine pits. Some phosphate pits are a full square mile in land area, being as much as 100 feet deep.

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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