Proposed phosphate mining update: Gearing up for legal battles ahead

by Carole Mosley

A lot has happened since the last update.

HPSII, LLC has been busy with document requests from everyone they can think of. They’ve already gone after the North Florida Planning Council, Alachua County, and Union County and won a Judgment against Union, which is being contested.

More recently, HPS’s Records Request to Union included Citizens Against Phosphate Mining (CAPM), Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), and Carol Mosley (me). And after I got a new Resolution of Opposition from the little town of Brooker, where the mining is nearest, HPS requested all communications they had with me. I hope it’s not an attempt at intimidation.

There is still a lawsuit pending against Union to overturn the Moratorium. Meanwhile, Union has taken the opportunity during the Moratorium to update their Land Development Regs. (LDRs) and Comp. Plan to meet more recent standards. In light of that, HPS sent a new claim, this time for relief of $298,750,000 (that’s right, two hundred ninety eight million plus dollars) under the Harris Act.

And then there’s Bradford County, which did not enact a Moratorium and has been in limbo while they await the report from the consultants hired to help them make a decision. That report was due the end of September, but HPS keeps changing the versions, so now the hearing will be set for 90 days from whenever the consultant’s report is released.

There was a PBS story taken from the documentary done by Alan Toth. It’s worth a look:

Alachua County has expressed concerns from the beginning. The mining project straddles the New River, which runs into the Santa Fe River, designated one of Florida’s “Outstanding Rivers.” The Alachua County Commission offered assistance to both Union and Bradford counties. Bradford has declined their help, for the most part, assuming Alachua is biased against the mining. But Union has worked with Alachua County and the Regional Planning Council on updating plans that give greater protection to the public. All the while fighting Goliath’s legal bombardments.

Local groups are working hard to uncover the ever-changing details and bring them to the surface for public scrutiny. They’re gearing up for the legal battles ahead. If you want to help with that, you can donate to BAB at PO Box 103, Graham, FL 32042 or visit 

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