Florida Conservation Digest

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Florida Conservation Digest

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Florida Conservation Digest
Florida Audubon Society
Florida Audubon Society
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1 online resource (1 periodical)


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Aquifers -- Florida ( lcsh )
Florida Audubon Society ( lcsh )
Text ( sobekcm )
Time Period:
1976 - 1976
North and Central America -- United States -- Florida -- Orange -- Maitland


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Box 7, Folder 16
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March 1976

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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G16-00008 ( USFLDC DOI )
g16.8 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Florida Conservation Digest MARCH, 1976 NUMBER 104 In this issue : Voters Approve Water Management Amendment Kleppe Ignores OCS Advisory Board Florida Wildlife Federation Pushes for Elimination of Loxahatchee Refuge Meta Systems Analyzes Social Impacts of Cross Florida Barge Canal Environmental Protection Agency News Energy Water Phosphates Endangered Species Miscellaneous Florida Audubon Society P. O. Drawer 7 Maitland, Fla. 32751 305-647-2615 104: 1 104:2 104:3 104:4 104:5 thru 104:8 104: 9 thru 104: 12 104: 13 thru 104: 20 104:21 thru 104: 23 104: 24 thru 104: 26 104: 27 thru 104:34


1 104: 1 VOTERS APPROVE 'WATER MAJ.'l'AGEMENT AMENDMENT. By a 34 approved power to taxes for percent majority, Florida voters have a constitutional amendment granting the the Legislature to authorize Ad Valorem 11water management purposes." Favorable reaction to t he amendment was voiced by the electorate even though statewide conservation organizations -led by the Florida Audubon Society -were forced to oppose the amendment because of vague language which was believed likely to prevent the important goal of sound water management lmder the provisions of the Water Management Act of 1972 from being achieved. In raising objections to the language of the amendment, the Florida Audubon Society stressed its vigorous support for the concept of Ad Valorem funding.for water management districts and urged that an improved version of the amendment be brought back to the voters at the November general election. Regardless of the many uncertainties and problems raised by the language of the amendment, Governor Askew and Senator Phillip Lewis, leaders of the 11FLOW11 Organization (For Love of Water) which was formed to promote its passage, urged the voters to approve it as-is and pledged that any needed corrections could be made during the upcoming legislative session. The heaviest vote in favor of the amendment predictably occurred in urban areas already taxed by the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District or the Southwes t Florida Water Manage men t District, while the greatest number of negative votes came from rural areas in each of the t hree new water management districts. The old discricts will see an actual tax cap reduction as a result of the amendment's passage, and the remainder of the state will likely experience a slight tax increase.


With the passage of the amendment, the approval of legislation to authorize water management districts to levy the tax and limit such taxation to the water districts a lone becomes urgently necessary. One problem created by the language of the amendment which may not be solved by legislation alone is the possible effect upon city and county tax levys. Under the constitution, cities and counties may levy up to 10 mills each for all governmental purposes. In most cases, a portion of t his 10 mill levy is used for some local 11w ater management purposes. 11 With the passage of t h e amendment, it would appear tha t all Ad Valorem taxation for 11water management purposes11 has been limited to 1 mill in Peninsula Florida and 1/20 of a mill in the Panhandle west of the line between ranges 2 and 3 . Whether this cap applies t o cities and counties in addition to water management districts will probably have to be settle d in the courts or through an attorney general's opinion. If the cap does appl y to local governments, water m anagement districts may be forced to compete w i t h cities and counties for the levy of a n A d Valorem tax. I n addition, with funds supplied by Ad Valorem revenues, severe hardships could be created in northwest Florida where counties and cities may already be making expenditures for 11water management purposes11 in amounts greater tha n an equivalent of 1/20 of a mill. The only analysis which seems to explain the amendment' s approval by the Florida voters is that the people overwhelmingly support the concept of wate r m anagement -and they support the concept so strongly they are willing to accept a vaguely worded taxation amendment on the promise of their elected officials that water management in the public interes t will be faithfully carried out. 2


3 The description of the voters' support as 1'overwhelming11 even though the amendment's margin was only about four percent derives from the fact that on a national average vo t ers have rejected more than 90 percent of taxation referendums during the past year. 104: 2 KLEPPE IGNORES OCS ADVISORY BOARD. Only one week after the Department o f Interior's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Advisory Board had urged Secretary Thomas S . Kleppe to 11 ••• defer his final decision on the (Gulf of) Alaska sale until the specific issues raised by Environmental ProLection Agency (EPA) and affirrrid by Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) are fully resolved to the satisfaction of these t w o agencies, " the Department announced it wa s offering 1,100,000 acres in the Gulf under its offshore oil leasing p rogram. The Board, whic h had been appointed by the Secretary shortly after he assumed office in OcLober of 1975, devoted much of its tim e at its Feb. 10 meeting i n New Orleans to discussing the peculiar conditions surrounding the proposed Gulf of Alaska sale. Guy R . Martin, Commissioner of Alaska1s Department of Natural Resources, wh o represents his state on the Board, pointed out that Alaska does not oppose OCS activities in the Gulf but desired certain changes in scheduling and baseline data gathering before the sale was allowed to take place. Martin pointed out that the EnviroPJnental Protection Agency, after thoroughly reviewing the case, had supported the state and caused the matter to be referred to the PresidenL1S Council on Environmental Quality under section 309 of the Clean Air Act. In a letter dated Jan. 23, 1976, directed t o Kleppe, CEQ evidenced its agreement with the position t aken b y EPA and the State of Alaska.


After a lengthy discussion of the case presented by Alaska, FAS President Hal Scott, one of the six private members appointed to the Board by Kleppe, made the motion that the sale be deferred until the concerns expressed by EPA, CEQ and Alaska were overcome. The motion, which passed 14 to five, became what the Coastal Zone Management Newsletter referred to as a " ••• symbol of the Board's existence.11 "The message the states want the feds to understand, 11 reported CZM Newsletter, "(is) you 1 re not listening to us when we talk to you about our attitudes toward the Outer Continental Shelf development program.11 In a letter to Kleppe expressing his disappointment that the Secretary rejected the Advisory Board 1 s recorrunendation Scott wrote: "Any intelligent observer familiar with activities on the Outer Continental Shelf will recognize immediately upon comparing your letter of Feb. 17 addressed to Governor Peterson with his letter of Jan. 23 addressed to your attention, that in reality the Department (of Interior) made little effort to deal substantively with the very real problems to which the Governor called your attention. 11My resolution, which the Board passed by a large majority, was presented purely and simply because I recognized that the Gulf of Alaska presented a set of unique conditions which demanded something more than the Department's usual approach to OCS lease sales. So clear was the need for unusual action in Alaska that the resolution became a vehicle through which the states could determine whether the Department of Interior was willing to deal seriously with the t.musual conditions which, from time to time, it and the states find themselves faced. The Department's action in 4


5 proceeding with the Gulf of Alaska sale with so little in the way of real concessions occasioned by t h e peculiar environmental and socio-economic problem which that sale may generate is a clear message to the states that their concerns will continue to be given short shrift when they interfere with the Department's schedules. "As one who recognizes the importance of the OCS program and has no desire whatsoever to hinder sensible development of the Outer Continental Shelf," Scott wrote, "I continue to be amazed that the Department chooses over and over again to act as if it construes any suggestions for substantial change in OCS schedules as evidence of opposition to its programs. Such an attitude can only greatly intensify the conflict which already exists between the states and the Department and make less likely a prompt and sensible resolution of existing inequities in the Outer Continental Shelf development program. Development of the OCS in the best interests of our citizens is impossible under such circumstances." 104:3 FLORIDA WILDLIFE FEDERATION PUSHES FOR ELIMINATION OF LOXAHATCHEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. On Feb. 20 an attorney representing the Florida Wildlife Federation argued before the Governing Board of the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District that the District's agreement with the Department of the Interior, which created the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, is illegal and should be abolished. The Federation, which seeks to open the refuge to increased use by hunters, argued that the 1951 agreement is void because it was not executed by the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission which under the Florida Constitution has primary juris-


diction over wildlife and fresh water aquatic life. Ironically, the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission has taken no position on the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge issue and will not meet to hear Wildlife Federation's arguments until March 12. The Florida Audubon Society, the National Audubon Society and the five Audubon Society chapters in southeast Florida have expressed vigorous opposition to increased hunting in the refuge, particularly the use of airboats for night frog hunting (which avian experts contend causes major disruption of the nesting habits of the critically endangered Everglades Kite). The Flood Control District Board took no action on the Wildlife Federation's demands. Meanwhile, a request by the Florida Wildlife Federation for changes in the management policies of the Fish and Wildlife Service to permit night frog hunting on the Loxahatchee Refuge is still pending with the Department of the Interior. 104:4 META SYSTEMS, INC. ANALYZES ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF CROSS FLORIDA BARGE CANAL; SEES FEW BENEFITS. Meta Sys terns Inc. has announced its findings on Phase I of the Environmental Protection Agency Supplementary Study of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. The purpose of Phase I was to obtain field data and estimates that would indicate probable economic and demographic trends in the neighborhood of the Canal, both with and without completion of the Canal. The message of the report was essentially that there would be few discernible economic benefits as far as new industry was concerned. Some significant quotes from the st.nnmary report are as follows: 6


7 11In our extensive field work we did not succeed in identifying any specific industrial or other location decisions directly or indirectly related to the completion of the Cross Florida Barge Canal •11 11It is our judgement that over the long term, this increment of canal induced activity will not be major in relation to the anticipated growth of the economy without the canal •11 11 ••• The total amount of canal-induced employment in the Jacksonville area would be less than five percent of the year 2000 labor force, which is insignificant in view of the large uncertainties surrounding long-run employment forecasts.11 11It would be optimistic to expect the Canal to induce an increase in direct employment in these counties (i.e. Citrus, Levy,.Marion and Putnam Counties) of as much as 2,000 jobs, or in total employment of as much as 5,000. This, again, amounts to less than five percent of the total employment forecast for the year 2000.11 104:5 TRAIN STOPS PRODUCTION OF MOST PESTICIDES COI\TTAINING MERCURY. Environmental Protection Russell E. Train, citing man and the environment, end to the production taining mercury. Agency Administrator an unreasonable risk to ordered (on Feb. 18) an of most pesticides con-Train 11cancelled11 the reg'istrations, thereby stopping production of all mercurial pesticides used as bactericides or fungicides in paints and coatings (such as varnishes and lacquers), on turf including golf course greens and all other areas of golf courses, and for seed treatment.


Train said that the "economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of the continued use (of these pesticides) are not sufficient to outweigh the risks to man or the environment ••• and that alternative registered and recommended pesticides exist and are available to provide effective, economical control ••• " Train permitted the continued registration of mercurial pesticides for: use as fungicides in the treatment of textiles and fabrics intended for continuous outdoor use (such as awnings, boat covers and tarpaulins); control of brown mold on freshly sawn lunber; and for the control of Dutch elm disease. He concluded that these uses, the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits outweigh the risks to man or the environment, particularly in view of the unavailability of adequately effective alternative pesticides and the relatively small amount of mercury compounds used for these purposes. Train said that most mercury compounds used in pesticides by themselves are not dangerous. However, he said, relatively innocuous mercury compounds are converted in the environment to toxic methylmercury, which bioaccurnulates in the food chain. Ingestion or inhalation of sufficient amounts of methylmercury causes central nervous system disorders in animals and hunans and may lead to death. Train cited methylmercury poisonings in Japan, Iraq and the u.s, as evidence that human health risks exist from continued use of mercurial compounds. Based on 1973 figures, Train's action will reduce the amount of mercury entering the environment through pesticide use by 98.5 percent. The paint industry accounts for almost 90 percent of the mercury used as a pesticide. Of the 359,000 pounds of mercury used in pesticides in the relative amounts by industry were as follows: paint 321,000 pounds, turf 26,000 pounds, seeds 8


9 7,000 pounds and other uses (plastics, fabrics, d r y formulations, woo d treatment and Dutch elm disease) 5,000 pounds. The decision results from a Notice of Cancellation issued on March 22, 1972, for all pesticides containing mercury because they create "a substantial question of safety as to whether or not their use, even in accordance with label r estrictions, is not injurious to man and other living animals." A formal hearing before Administrative Law Judge Bernard D. Levinson commenced on Oct. 1, 1974. Judge Levinson issued an Initial Decision on Dec. 12, 1975, following the testimony of some 89 witnesses during the 41 days of hearing. Train went beyond the decision of Judge Levinson, who had recorrrrnended continuing some uses in paints and coatings, as well as continued use on golf course greens to control snow mold. Train cancelled all paint and coating uses and golf course uses. Train agreed with Levinson in allowing continued use on outdoor textiles and fabrics and also on freshly sawn lumber. Both agreed on a halt to the use of mercury for seed treatment. Train reversed Levinson's decision recommending against use of mercury to control Dutch elm disease. The ban on production of cancelled products takes effect irrrrnediately. Train concluded that all mercurial pesticide products formulated prior to the cancellation could be sold. He said that the use of these existing products, according to the label, represents the most practical means of disposal. Train's action was taken under authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act as amended in 1972.


104:6 TRAIN URGES PREVENTIVE MEDICINE TO CURB CHEMICAL THREAT. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Russell E. Train told the National Press Club last month that it's time to start testing chemicals, not people, in the fight against cancer and other major diseases. He urged the enactment of Toxic Substances Control legislation that would give "the American people not only the opportunity to understand and assess the risks and benefits of these chemicals, but a decisive voice in sorting out these risks and benefits •11 Train said that of the more than 2 million known chemicals, only a few thousand have been tested for carcinogenicity and--aside from those used in food additives, drugs and pesticides--only a few hundred have been adequately tested. "Long after they have been loosed upon the world and the public at large," Train said, "we have learned what an appalling wide range of disease and death can be caused by chemicals --they can attack the liver, the lung, the kidney, the central nervous system; they can cause cancer, infant mortality and genetic damage. We have learned, for example, that: mercury, lead and cadmium can attack the central nervous system; carbon tetrachloride and chlorinated phenols can destroy the liver; ethylene glycol and cadmium sulfate produce kidney disease; and vinyl chloride and arsenic cause cancer. "We have seen our fish contaminated by phthalates, our cattle poisoned by polybrominated biphenyls and our horses killed by dioxin. Fluorides have destroyed forest seedlings, chloramines have killed oysters and zinc has damaged our wheat crops. And now the fluorocarbons may be the ozone belt." 10


11 Train e mphasized five basic points about chemicals and their effects upon human health: --Entirely new chemicals have been released into the environment over the past few decades with little or no knowledge of their health effects. --Enormous benefits have been reaped from chemical use, and those benefits must be measured in health terms as well as economic. --An estimated 60 to 90 percent of all cancers are the result of environmental factors. Yet of all the chemical agents in the environment, probably only a very small fraction is responsible for that large share of cancer. --It may take only limited exposure to contract cancer. It t ypically takes anywhere from 15 to 40 years after that exposure for the first onset of cancer to occur. --A large and growing share of the diseases that cripple and ki 11 are caused by "environmental factors." "Our national health care efforts," Train said, increasingly stress the prevention rather than the treatment of disease, and effective measures for the assessment and control of potentially dangerous chemicals and other agents before they enter the environment must be a key element in this new shift toward preventive medicine." Train said that after five years of congressional consideration of a toxic substances legislation, still find ourselve s without the authority we need to cope with such longstanding problems as those posed by polychlorinated byphenyls (PBSs).11 "Last week," Train said, "it was announced that for the first time in history, the Hudson River


will be closed to corrrrnercial fishing because it is contaminated by these chemicals. In the Great Lakes, corrrrnercial and sports fisheries that are being restored as the result of massive pollution clean-up efforts are now being threatened by PCB contamination. We remain almost entirely unable to discover how harmful a compound can be until years after it has become a rather commonplace item in our everyday life, even a significant factor in our economy." Train refuted "industry spokesmen" who claim that toxic substances legislation "would 1cripple1 the chemical industry and give the Administrator of EPA 1near dictatorial authority over the introduction of new chemical products•." "The only real 'crippling' that is going on," Train said, "is the kind which this legislation would try to prevent the crippling of who knows how many Americans every year who contract cancer or some other affliction after exposure to some hazardous chemical agent. Nor has it been on the 'near-dictatorial authority' of the EPA Administrator that so many such agents are introduced into the environment without any effort to find out what their health effects are, much less let the public have any say about whether or not, or in what circumstances, it is willing to be exposed to them.11 "I do not think any of us is under the ill us ion that there is, or is ever going to be," Train said, "any such thing as a simon-pure, antiseptically safe world. I do not think any of us imagines that there is, or is ever going to be, a real world without very real risks. But there is absolutely no reason why we cannot --there is, in fact, every reason why we must take sensible steps to exercise some intelligent and effective control over the risks that we ourselves create. The basic aim of the toxic substances control legislation before the Congress 12


13 is to help us gain that kind of control --to help us protect human health by bringing down to reasonable levels the risks that chemicals pose while preserving their benefits. We are not talking, in other words, of getting rid of all risks from chemicals, but rather of finding out what the risks are and, eventually, of removing 1unreasonable1 risks. We are saying that, whatever we do with these chemicals, we ought to know what we're doing before we do it, and we ought to do it with our eyes wide open.11 Train said that, had the Toxic Substances Act been enacted five years ago when it was first proposed, 11we would be a lot farther ahead in dealing with some potentially very serious hazards: --We would have begun to reverse the spread of polychlorinated byphenyls which are now destroying some of our valuable fisheries; --We would already have, as we now do not, reliable test information concerning the effects of vinylidene chloride which is widely used throughout the plastics industry; --We would have a greatly improved data base for determining the extent to which benzidine-derived dyes reconvert to free benzidine, a well known human carcinogen, when these widely-used dyes are accidently ingested or absorbed; --We would have taken a number of steps to clarify the chronic effects and, as necessary, to limit exposure to tris 2,3-dibromopropyl phosphate, which has mutagenic effects in microbial systems and is widely used as a fire retardant in textile products, including children1s pajamas.11 "Most .Americans had no idea, until relatively recently, that they were living so dangerously. They had no idea that when they went to work in


the morning, or when they ate their breakfast -that when they did the things they had to do to earn a living and keep themselves alive and well that when they did things as ordinary, as innocent and as essential to life as eat, drink, breathe or touch they could, in fact, be laying their lives on the line. They had no idea that, without their knowledge or consent, they were engaging in a grim game of chemical roulette whose result they would not know until many years later.11 11It is time we started putting chemicals to the test, not people. It is time we gave the people of this country some reason to believe that, everytime they breathe or eat or drink or touch, they are not taking their lives into their own hands.11 Train said. "It is time that, down here on earth, we took a couple of small, sensible steps on behalf of human health and life.11 104:7 SOUTH. EPA FINDS KEPONE IN HUMAN MILK IN THE Recent tests by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have uncovered minute amounts of the pesticide kepone in a few samples of human mother's milk taken in the southeastern United States. Of 298 samples gathered by EPA during the past six months and analyzed this month, nine showed kepone levels ranging from less.than one part per billion to 5.8 parts per billion. EPA said it was uncertain at this time what hazards, if any, are posed by these levels. The Agency said it would conduct blood tests for kepone residues on the women with tainted milk if they desired. EPA will also make a physician available to the women and their doctors to assist if any medical problems do arise. 14


15 Kepone is an ant and roach pesticide formerly produced only in Hopewell, Virginia. It is believed responsible for severe illness among workers exposed to highly concentrated levels of the pesticide at the production site. Discharges of the pesticide have also contaminated large sections of Virginia's James River basin. EPA began analyzing the milk in response to an announcement in January by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that small amounts of kepone had been found among chemically degraded mirex, a related pesticide. Since 1962, mirex has been widely used throughout the South for the control of fire ants, insects that can sting people and interfere with farm operations. It is unknown whether mirex decomposition is the source of kepone in the milk samples. EPA will conduct tests to see if it can confirm USDA's findings on the connection between the.pesticides. The Agency is also conducting background checks on the women with tainted milk to determine if the kepone may have come from sources other than mirex. The nine milk samples were taken from women now residing in Atlanta, Georgia; Whittier, North Carolina and these Alabama communities: Birmingham, Cullman, Decatur, Huntsville and Mobile. Milk sampling was also done in six other states-Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas--but no kepone was found in these areas. EPA is uncertain whether there is any special significance attached to where kepone is found. The Agency is now testing human tissue from several southern states to determine if any contain kepone residues. Allied Chemical mi rex, stopped in July 1975. Corporation, the sole producer of all formulation of the pesticide


104:8 EPA BEGINS TWO-YEAR MONITORING SUR'IEY OF BROADCAST RADIATION I N MAJOR UNITED STATES CITIES •. A specially built radiation monitoring van developed and manned by scientists of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will check the intensity of broadcast radiation from UHF and VHF television and FM radio transmitters in major cities of the United States within the next two years. Seven major Eastern and Mid-Western cities will be studied by next October in the first phase of the EPA's analysis of environmental levels of radio and microwave radiation in urban areas of the United States. The van and its three-ma n crew will conduct surveys in Miami, Florida; Philadelphia, Pa.; New York City and Chicago, Ill. Surveys have already been completed in Boston, Mass., and Atlanta, Ga., and in parts of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Surveys will continue in the Western United States from October 1976 to September 1977. Radio waves (electromagnetic radiation) are present everywhere in the environment in small amounts. In cooperation with an inter-agency working group chaired by the President's Office of Telecommunications Policy, EPA has begun the study to determine how much electromagnetic radiation there is in different parts of the nation and to find out what health effects, if any, the radiation can have on humans. From 14 to 1 8 sites will be surveyed in each city. The location where measurements will be conducted and the kind of measurements to be made have been determined by the characteristics of the radiation sources, their distribution in the area and the character of the city's buildings, terrain and population distribution. 16


17 The measuremen t system used was specifically developed b y EPA t o measure radiation levels with a high degree of accuracy, sensitivity and frequency resolution. Large amounts of data can be acquired and processed in very short periods of time, and the results preserved and presented for interpretation by the small computer incorporated into the van system. EPA's special mobile unit will measure the radiation (primarily from radio, television and microwave outlets) and process the data. The survey data will be combined with health effects research data, which are concurrently being developed by EPA's research activity. The combined data will be used to determine whether environmental criteria are required to control these nonionizing radiation sources. 104:9 OIL COMPANIES SHOW LITTLE INTEREST IN OIL LEASES OFF FLORIDA'S GULF COAST. Of 60 tracts (each 5,760 acres) offered for sale by the Department of Interior in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida's coast, only four received any bids. Completely ignored by all bidders were sites off Panama City, Apalachicola and in the area along Pasco, Pinellas and Manatee Counties. Of 22 sites offered for lease off the coast of Sarasota County, only four were bid on by a joint venture composed of the Mobil Oil Corporation and Amerada-Hess Corporation. (No other bidders demonstrated any interest in even these four!) The tracts, all of which were located more than 75 miles off Florida's coast, brought bids ranging from $1,610,000 for one tract to a low of $555,000 for another. The lack of enthusiasm shown by .the oil companies was not unexpected. The millions of dollars invested in the first sale off Florida's Gulf Coast produced nothing but "dry holes."


The failure of companies to bid on the five tracts offered near Panama City should not be interpreted to mean that the nation's largest producers of petroleum have lost all interest in the much-touted Destin Dome. The tracts offered were apparently located on the outer edge of that structure -in an area which thus far has proven to be an expensive flop for those who bid so eagerly on the acreage in 1973. It is highly probable that acreage offered near the center of the structure which lies west of the area thus far explored would be productive of active bidding on the part of the oil companies. 104:10 NUCLEAR CRITICS SUBJECT TO QUESTIONING. The three nuclear engineers from General Electric whose spectacular resignations hit the headlines in February were later subjected to intensive questioning at a Joint Committee hearing on Feb. 18. Before a capacity crowd and a battery of television cameras, the three former G.E. employees Dale Bridenbaugh, Gregory Minor and Richard Hubbard -detailed their highly specific criticisms to the design of the boiling water reactor and the pressurized water reactor, as well as more generic objections to the adequacy of safety testing and design verification, the value of Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) regulation, and concerns about the overall problems of nuclear waste disposal, nuclear proliferation, the plutonium economy and the increasingly narrow specialization of all nuclear engineers (which resulted in no one being able to evaluate the overall problems). Many of the design problems mentioned by the three men are freely admitted to be areas of genuine concern by the nuclear industry; these include some highly technical subjects such as 18


19 flow-induced vibration in the core, sparger failure, failure of local power range monitors, pressure vessel integrity, etc. Moreover, Hubbard called attention to a massive assessment of nuclear power that had been conducted by General Electric in 1975 which identified over 100 major design flaws in the company's boiling water reactor. This report had not been shared with NRC. G.E. made no refutation of this, merely pointing out that a part of the five foot thick report contained other material than safety assessments, including profit and loss projecti.ons and an assessment of the company's future prospects in the business. The three men also saw enormous danger in the present relationship between NRC and industry. Pressure to keep a power plant on line is such that industry will rig up a patched-up safety system to keep operating. This in turn leads to what they called "the ultimate deficiency of our nuclear program" -that "the ability of the NRC to effectively regulate safety within the constraints of the diverse corrunercial nuclear power enterprise is suspect," and that 11the tremendous cost, schedule, and political pressures experienced make unbiased decisions, with true evaluations of the consequences, difficult to achieve.11 Legislative questioning of the three men rested largely with Mike McCormack (D-Wash.), one of the few members of Congress with a backgrot.md in nuclear matters. Numerous important points were discussed; indeed, Nucleonics Week described the hearings as "perhaps the most closely reasoned and directly focused testimony against nuclear power ever heard.11 McCormack closely questioned the three regarding their involvement with the Creative Initiative Foundation, a member of which was present at the resignation planning sessions and their orchestrating the resignations so as to have maximum impact. There was little question


that the resignations had been planned to be as dramatic as possible, and thus took place simultaneously around the time when the future of nuclear power in California was to be voted by public ballot in that state. Nevertheless, it must be stressed that, if a group of people have an important message to be brought before the public, it is legitimate to present that message in the way that will receive the most attention. Meanwhile, contenders for the Democratic Presidential nomination are also evidencing a distinct antinuclear tinge. Jirrnny Carter advocates keeping dependence of nuclear power to an "absolute minimum." Fred Harris favors a nuclear moratorium, saying "We don't know how to build these plants safely, and we don't know what world to do with the waste.11 Birch Bayh considers that "nuclear power has consistently failed to live up to its promise." The future of nuclear power in the United States thus appears more shaky than ever. Nevertheless, as was pointed out in Nucleonics Week, the posture of the three G.E. resignees shifted slightly in the course of the hearings. Initially, they had given the strong impression that they were completely against nuclear power because it is so dangerous that it threatens all life. But later, after intensive questioning a somewhat different impression surfaced; this was that, while there are several things wrong with the technology and the way it is developed and regulated, the problems are correctable. What seems lacking is the determination of government and the nuclear industry to make the necessary corrections at the earliest possible moment. 104:11 EPI COMMENTS ON THE NEED FOR POWERH,ANTS. A release dated Feb. 8, 1976, by the Environmental Policy Institute (EPI) corrnnents on indus-20


21 trial projections of the need for more power plants in the United States, and severely criticizes the comprehensive energy facility siting legislation that the Administration has tried to introduce for each of the past two years. The Administration attempt two years ago was rejected because it proposed to give the Secretary of the Interior authority to make site choices for energy facilities over state objections. Last year's proposals were rejected when it was shown that they assumed the need for 640 new powerplants by 1985. This year the Administration is still trying to revise the powerpl.ant site bill, accelerate nuclear licensing and to encourage the development of nuclear energy centers. In other words, the Administration is even now convinced that the nation requires large numbers of additional power plants to be brought on line as soon as possible. Yet, a s EPI points out, the facts of the matter a little different. For example, while pre embargo electric energy consumption increased seven percent, it slowed to less than one percent in 1974, and remained less than two percent in 1 975. Moreover, as a combined result of utility overplanning and reduced demand, present nationwide capacity is no less than 37 .5 percent above maximu n peak demand. Other relevant considerations are i) FEA has calculated that, if industry c a n reduce the forced outage rate by just one percent by 1980, the Nation's required installed capacity will be 6,800 HW less, and capital requirements $1.8 billion less. ii) ERDA has indic<1ted that, "if the productivity of light water : -eactors were improved from capacity factors o f 57 percent closer to their expected levels o f approximately 70 percent, there would be an e quivalent oil savings of 40,000 bbl/day for e a c h percentage improvement;" at the same time there would be a concomitant reduction in the need .I.or new powerplants.


It is also worth noting that, in 1975, Electrical World published data substantiating claims that the availability of powerplants decreased in direct relation to the size of the units, and that units below lOOMW were less expensive per KW installed than any other units available. 104: 12 WHY GERMANS USE ONLY HALF AS MUCH ENERGY AS AMERICANS. The people of the United States are well known to be the energy gluttons of the world and to consume far more energy than comparable nations in western Europe and other developed areas. The reasons for this difference are complex, but some partial explanations have been revealed by a recent survey carried out by the Stanford Research Institute and sponsored by the Federal Energy Agency. Some points raised by the study are as follows: i) Many German industrial plants generate their own electricity instead of purchasing it from a distant utility, thus saving line losses. U.S. utilities have always strongly opposed this approach, for example by setting punitive rates for "supplementary" electricity that self-generating industries may require from time to time. ii) Surplus and process heat, usually wasted in America, is piped into homes, offices, hospitals, schools and apartment complexes in Germany. iii) Germans use small "point of use1 ' heaters in their showers and faucets, while Americans tend to maintain a large tank of water at 140 degrees at all times -even though this is too hot for human contact and is only necessary for dishwashers. iv) than German houses and rooms usually are smaller those in the United States and Germans only 22


23 heat about 45 percent of their dwelling space, often leaving bedrooms cold. Even if Americans living in parts of the country with cold winters are reluctant to have completely unheated bedrooms, 11zone thermostats11 could permit substantial savings in heating bills. However, it should also be pointed out that Germans do not need air conditioning and consequently save a lot of energy in this way; a lso the country as a whole is relatively small, and inter-city distances tend to be much less than in the United States; so the average citizen' s gasoline consumption is considerably less -though even today the maximum speed on German autobahns is only a 11suggested1 1 130 kph, or over 80 mph . Moreover, cermans save energy by skimping on pollution control, and German rivers, for example, are among the foulest in the worl d , while Germ any also has increasing problems o f serious air pollution. Germans also do not have as high a standard of living as Americans, with far fewer single-family homes; and supermarkets and other stores close at 6 p . m . Thus, German cities at night d o not have the "total illumination" look of the average U.S. city. 104: 13 MAJOR DECLINES IN WATER LEVELS IN THE FLORIDAN AQUIFER ARE OCCURRING. A new map report just released by the U . S . Geological Survey shows that since 1961 the potentiometric surface of the Floridan aquifer has declined 10 feet or more in the north central part of Orange County, in Putnam and St. Johns Counties and in the northern part of Hillsborough County, and 20 feet or more in the coastal part of Nassau and Okaloosa Counties and in the west central part of Polk-County.


The Floridan aquifer is part of an artesian system that extends over 82,000 square miles in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Many municipalities in Florida depend on this aquifer for public supply. For a copy of the map report "Potentiometric surface and areas of artesian flow of the Floridan aquifer in Florida, May 1974" by Henry G. Healy, (Ma p Series 73) send 50 cents for mailing and handling to the Bureau of Geology, FDNR, 903 w. Tennessee St., Tallahassee, FL 32304. One copy may be picked up free of charge from the Bureau of Geology. --Florida Conservation News 104: 14 ENVIRONMENTALLY DESIRABLE PLAN FOR U PPER ST. JOHNS WATER MANAGEMENT PROJECT PROPOSED BY STAFF OF ST. JOHNS WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT. The Governing Board of the St. Johns River Water Management District will meet on March 16 and 17 to consider a plan recomnended by the staff of the District for the re-design of the Upper St. Johns Water Management project in an environmentally acceptable manner. A resolution prepared in advance for consideration by the board provides for extensive modifications of the original Corps of Engineers plan to provide flood control and water management benefits without extensive structural improvements in the headwaters of the St. Johns River. The resolution, as proposed by the staff of the District, provides: "NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED b y the Governing Board of the St. Johns River Water Management District to endorse and support the following conceptua l St. Johns River Water Management Plan for Flood Control, Water Supply Enhancement, Public Recreation, Fish and Wildlife and Restoration Benefits for the Upper Basin of the St. Johns River. 24


.... ._.._._.. ......... ...,.. __ ..... ._.. ________ 2 5 1 . That portion of the existing Jane Green Reservoir System consisting of the Taylor Creek Pool, the Cox Creek Pool, the Wolf Creek Pool and the Penney-wash Creek Pool, which are formed by Levee 73 should be modified to temporary floo d detention reservoirs. Under this plan, each of these four creeks would be allowe d to flow uninterrupted at their base elevation through gated culverts under Levee 7 3 and continue to flow through their unchannelized watercourses into the St. Johns River Valley. When specific high water stages were reached in the St. Johns River Valley adjacent to these creeks, these gated culverts would be individually closed and i mpoundment of water begun in the appropriate detention area affected. When high water s tages receded below specific elevations in the St. Johns River Valley adjacent to these creeks, i mpounded water should be discharged on a regulated schedule until the reservoirs were dry. These discharge schedules would be hydrologically determined to minimize do wnstream flooding, erosional and water quality problems and upstream inundation damage in the reservoirs. 2 . The Jane Green Pool of the Jane Green Reservoir System would be similarly structurally modified to allow for complete drawdown to the creek elevation, how ever, since this entire reservoir area is owned by the 11Flood Control District1 ' in fee simple estate, we recormnend the St. Johns River Water Management District should c o mplete a feasibility study to determine the design and impact of partially impounding this pool for public recreation as well as flood control. 3. The existing Canal 57 which was designed to inter-connect and divert water between the five pools of the Jane Green Reservoir Complex should be redesigned to eliminate inter-basin diversion. 4 . Water Control Structure S-162, designed to discharge water from Jane Green Pool via Canal 58


into the Levee 72 Borrow Canal would not be constructed. 5. The Levee 72 Borrow Canal designed to divert water stored in the Jane Green Pool southward via the Blue Cypress Detention Area into the proposed Lake Wilmington Reservoir would not be constructed. 6. The Blue Cypress Detention Area, if constructed at all, would be modified to only temporarily impound the Blue Cypress Creek Drainage. A hydrologic analysis of the Blue Cypress Lake Ecosystem is currently being conducted by the St. Johns River Water Management District to determine the necessity for any upland construction in the area of Blue Cypress Creek. This study will determine the hydrologic capabilities of the existing flood plain lands under the ownership or control of the "Flood Control District" in the Blue Cypress Lake Ecosystem to safely contain the Standard Project Flood in conjunction with the use of the existing Canal 54 for discharge of flood waters into the Coastal Basin. This analysis will also determine the ntnnber of acres of additional flood plain lands which could be acquired by negotiation or purchase in the Blue Cypress Lake Ecosystem by trading or recovering the Water Resources Development Account monies originally expended to acquire fee simple and flowage easement lands in the Blue Cypress Detention Area. 7. The Lake Wilmington Reservoir, including the proposed Canals C52, C-53S and C-53N, Water Control Structure S-96A and all appurtenant works would not be constructed. 8. All canals and levee systems located on "Flood Control District" fee simple o'W'!lership in the St. Johns River Valley would be appropriately plugged and/or restored to the original marsh elevations to induce sheet flow over the exten-26


27 Si\e marshes in public ownership. This constc:ction is essential to protect and enhanc e the Class I and Class III waters of the St. Johns River, to prevent t h e movement of floating aquatic plants into the St. Johns River and to re score the ability of these mars h lands to retain t h e rainfall of the wet season for maintenance of stages downstream during the dry season. 9 . Since t h e diversion of the C lass I waters of t h e St. Johns River into the tidewaters of the Ind i a n R iver and Atlantic Ocean represent a significant loss of stage and flow to the headwaters of t h e St. Johns we support the developmen t of the most cost-effective and environmentally sensitive design for returning this. wate r t o the St. Johns Basin via backpumping or gravity flows whil e retaining the design capability for regulated discharge. to tidewater for f lood control purposes. 10 . We support the additional negotiated acquisition of marshlands lying within the one-in-onehundred year flood plain of the Upper St. Johns River for f lood storage, improvement of water quality , maintenance of downstream stage and f low, fish and wildlife benefits and public recreation. 11. The Lake Washington Reservoir, including Water Control Structure S-55 and Canal C-55 and all appurtenant works, would not be constructed. 12. Since the deversion of water via canal flows between basins which are tributar y to the Upper St. Johns River and diversions of water via canal flow within the one-in -one-hundred year flood p lain of the Upper St. Johns River are both occurring on the western side o f the Upper St. Johns River, we support urgent cooperation and negotiations with these upland landowners to mitigate t hese diversions and partially restore these flows to approximate their historica l entrance into the hydrologic regime of the Upper St. Johns River.


13. Determine the hydrologic benefits of constructing a westerly extention of Canal C-54 to maximize the efficiency of this system for the removal of flood stages in the Blue Cypress Lake and Fellsmere Marsh areas.11 The staff proposal has been reviewed with extensive praise by environmental and civic organizations in the Upper St. Johns area. Hugh Nicolay, President of Indian River Audubon Society and Chairman of the St. Johns River Coordinating Council, stated in a letter to members of the Coordinating Council dated Feb. 18, 1976, that: 11I believe the Plan, if adopted and implemented, will protect, restore and inhance this invaluable public natural resource. When fully implemented, I believe we will once again have a viable living river and associated management project which can provide reasonable but limited benefits for flood protection, public water supply, irrigation, recreation and fish and wildlife. Such benefits, with wise and proper Basin management, will be available for generations to come.11 10(: 15 DADE COUNTY VOTERS APPROVE $ 97 MILLION WATER REFERENDUM. By a narrow margin, Dade County voters have approved a General Obligation Bond Issue Referendum in the amount of $97 million to fund the construction of a new county well field and transmission facilities. The new well field is intended to reduce the effects of salt water intrusion which is threatening the continued use of the County's largest public water supply, facility, currently located on the Miami Canal in the city of Miami Springs. 28


29 Well field construction is proposed in a location near Conservation Area 3 in western Dade County, far from the advancing salt intrusion line which experts car.tend is being drawn inland by pumping operations at the Mia m i Springs well field. The narrow rrargin o f the referendum's passage is attributed in part to the contentions of some environmentalists t hat increasing the public water supply will merely speed urban growth. In actuality, the referendum which passed was not to decide whether to construct the new well field, but rather how the project would be financed. Had the referendum failed, the Miami Dade Water and Sewer Authority was corrnnitted to proceeding with the project anyway with financing through revenue bonds at a considerably higher interest rate. 104: 16 RIVERS CONSERVATION COUNCIL ASKS FOR FIN A NCIAL HELP. The American Rivers Conservation Council, an organization which perhaps more than any other has devoted its time and effort to the protection of America's natural rivers, has recently sent out an urgent plea for financial assistance. The Council, with offices at 324 C Street, SE, Washington, D.C. 20003, requests funds to enable it to: *continue the fight against disastrous water projects like Lock and Dam 26, the TennesseeTombigbee Waterway, the Dickey-Lincoln Dam, Garrison Diversion Project, Meramec Park Dam and the Central Arizona Project. *push for Wild and Scenic River designation or other forms of protection for the Delaware River, Missouri and Flathead Rivers in Montana, Obed River, New River, Rio Grande and others.


to protect the Flood Insurance Program, Section 404 Dredge and Fill Permit Program and other laws of benefit to rivers. And needless to say, when the battle arises anew over proposals to dam and channelize the Apalachicola River in Florida, the American Rivers Conservation Council will be in there fighting. 104: 17 APALACHICOLA CHANNEL ADEQUATE ALL YEAR. During 1975, a nine-foot channel in the Apalachicola River occurred 100 percent of the time, according to spokesmen of the Mobile District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Also, maintenance dredging in the river was far below normal in 1975. About 150,000 cubic yards (CY) of spoil were dredged in 1975, as opposed to 1,750,000 in 1974. While it was noted that abundant and evenly spaced rainfall accounted for the 100 percent adequacy of the channel, there is reason to believe that this condition could be maintained most of every year. Col. Drake Wilson, Mobile District Engineer, has indicated that more water could be stored in reservoirs behind dams in Alabama and released during periods of low rainfall to maintain an adequate channel depth. Since 90 percent of the downbound traffic on the river and 71 percent of the upbo1.n1d traffic draw six feet or less, the necessity of the Congressionally authorized nine-foot channel is questionable at best. Also, in a recent draft environmental impact statement regarding maintenance dredging on the Apalachicola, which was supposed to show the necessity of a nine-foot channel, no figures were provided showing how much river traffic requires a nine-foot channel. This seems to be a serious omission. 30


31 104:18 GULF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OPIDSE DAM ON APAL..t\.C HICOLA. In January, 1976, the Gulf County Commissioners resolved to continue their opposition to a dam on the Apalachicola River, as proposed by the Mobile District of the Corps of Engineers. The Commission is to be commended for their prudent and far-sighted decision, especially since the TriRiver Waterways Association presented a strong proposal advocating the dam. Since June 1973 when most of Florida opposed the project, the TriRivers Waterway Association has managed to change the position of three of the six counties bordering the Apalachicola, Gadsden, Liberty and Jackson. The inability of this Alabama-based organization to change the Gulf County Commissioners' opposition to the project is a good sign for the future. 104:19 ?\ORTHWES T FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DIS-TRICT SEEKS NEW L'\ECUTIVE DIRECTOR. In February, 1976, the Governing Board of the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) t erminate d the employment of Executive Director Calvin Winter, citing repeated failures of Mr. Winter t o conform with Board policy decisions as the main reason for their action. Since Mr. was an advocate of a dam on the Apalachicola River and of structured control of water on t h e Choctawhatchee River, there is reason to believ e that this action may provide the N WFWMD with the opportunity to considerably improve its water management program in North Florida. The Governing Board of the District is currently seeking a new Executive Director. Florida Audubon has urged members of the Eoard to select a replacement \"ho possesses a broad understanding of conservation principles and who will be able


to direct a program of environmentally sound water management in an area which is rich with a diversity of water resources, including t h e Apalachicola River and Bay system. 104:20 FLORIDA WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH CENTER SELECTS P R OJECTS FOR FUNDING. The Adviso r y Committee of the Florida Water Resources Research Center has selected five out of six proposals received for submittal to the Federal Office of Water Research and Technology for consideration for matching funding. These proposals were for the following projects: 1. "A Comprehensive Study of Modern Developments in Florida Water Law and Their Application to Florida's Growth and Ecological Protection." (University of Florida College of Law) 2. "Measurement of Evapotranspiration from Vegetation Surf aces in Florida." (University of Florida -IFAS) 3. "A Geohydrologic Model of the Florida Aquifer in the Southwest Florida Water Management District." (University of Florida College of Arts and Sciences) 4. "Water-Collimn and Benthic Invertebrate and Plant Associations as Affected by the PhysicoChemical Aspects in a Mesatrophic Bay Estuary, Pensacola, Florida.11 (University of West Florida) S. "Use of Swamps to Remove Sulfate from Cooling Tower Discharge Water.11(Florida State University) Florida Water Resources Research Center also announced a joint NASA -Florida DER project to detect submerged flowing walls off the coast of Manatee and Sarasota Counties by means of an airborne thermal scanner. If such wells are 32


33 located, they will be plugged to reduce the potential for salt water, water contamination and to protect Florida1s fresh water supplies. 104: 21 PHOSPHATE STRIP-MINING IN CENTRAL AND SOL'THWESTERi\I FLORIDA. A vast region in central and southwestern Florida knmm as the Eone Valley, encompassing DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee, Polk and Sarasota Counties, has been and continues to be intensively strip-mined by a number of corr.panies mming land in excess of 500,000 acres known to be rich in a precious mineral--phosphate. Unfortunately, the ability of this region to sustain and recover from increased strip-mining is now thought to be questionable at best. In fact, several topics of varying concern have ,been delineated as in need of immediate and intense research; how this research is accomplished may well prove to be the single concern facing residents of south Florida in this decade. Questions of research begin with the vital requirement of water for all life. The current method of strip-mining phosphate calls for immense quantities of high quality water, which is required in a process known as beneficiation, where sand and clay materials are separated from phosphoritic rock. So great is the consumption of water in this process that, as a result of past m1n1ng in Polk County, a detectable and in some cases drastic decline in the water table has been recorded. The potentiometric surface (the height to which water is forced by pressure from water in an aquifer below) of the Floridan aquifer (the source of most potable water in central and southwestern Florida) has declined by as much as 80 feet in large areas of Polk County. In other areas, notably in Manatee the potentiometric surface h<"Js dropped below sea level, thus making possible salt water intrusion and subse-


quent salting of wells now used as sources of potable water. Even at a time when the average rainfall in central and southwestern Florida is down by as much as 10 inches per year, such declines in the water supply of this region make it clear that today's consumption of water utilizes more than is replaced by recharge. No one knows how close to its carrying capacity for water this region is. In the face of these events, new phosphate operations in several areas have been proposed. These operations would require further large withdrawals from the aquifer, in some cases as much as 15,000,000 gallons per day to service 15,000 acres. Since several hundred thousand acres of land owned by phosphate mining companies exist in the Bone Valley, it is clear that concurrent operation on even a small fraction of this land would seriously impact an area that may be reaching its carrying capacity for water even under present conditions. Add to the potentially growing number of phosphate operations the def ini tel y expanding human population in this region and the water-intensive agricultural industry in operation throughout the area, and a problem of significant proportion arises. While the critical nature of a limited water supply is a serious problem to be reckoned with as more and more phosphate mining operations commence in central and southwestern Florida, this is not the only urgent problem that phosphate mining is likely to generate. When today's minable phosphate matrix was laid down 15 million years ago, large deposits of uranium also settled into this same strata. In fact, there is so much radioactive material associated with phosphate in central and southwestern Florida that phosphate mining in this state annually produces more uranium oxide as a wasted by-product than the uranium industry extracts each year: 17,000 tons. As a result of phosphate strip-mining, uranium-34


35 238 and its radioactive daughters radi um-226 and radon-222, etc., are considerably more accessible to surface soil and water systems. These elements are highly toxic radiochemical pollutants which are known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents. Apparently, the threat of radioactive contamination as a result of phosphate mining is genuine; in fact, several wells in Sarasota and Manatee Counties functioning as public water supplies have higher than the Maximum Permissible Concentration (MPG) of radium-226. Radium-226 is know n to seek out bone and soft tissue when ingested by animals, including man. There is evidence that land reclaimed after phosphate mining is unsuitable for either agricultural use o r residentia l use due to extremely high and toxic concentrations of several radioactive elements, including radon-222 and radium-226. Animals living on these lands tend to absorb radioactive material; as this radioactive material moves up the food chain it is magnified in concentration; thus, each succeeding const.nner receives more radioactive material per unit ingested than previous consumers. Many other minor problems exist regarding the mining of phosphate in central and southwestern Florida, including contamination of rivers as a result of slime pond dam failures (1 billion gallons of clay slimes entered the Peace River in December 1971 as a result of such failure), drying up wetlands as the water table drops, eutrophication of bodies of water which do remain (due to high nutrient levels), and the long reclamation process which is thus far incapable of returning some natural systems to their original conditions. However, the pressing problem of water shortage and the contamination of phosphate lands and all adjacent ecosystems with radioactive material remain the focal points of concern regarding phosphate strip-mining in central and southwestern Florida.


To date, no permitting agency has been empowered to deal with the magnitude of the phosphate strip-mining issue regarding its cumulative affect on the envirorunent of the Bone Valley. While the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council have assembled considerable infonnation, much is left to be accomplished. Because such regulatory agencies as EPA, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Corps of Engineers and the Department of Environmental Regulation have specific permitting functions, their scope of responsibility is narrowly circumscribed, thus making an overall evaluation of the cumulative affects of phosphate strip-mining in this region difficult to render. Furthermore, a general scarcity of information regarding many of the more difficult problems involved in this issue make planning for the future doubly difficult. Developments of regional impact (DRI1s ) which have thus far been released relating to phosphate strip-mining have been poorly assembled. This may not have occurred purely out of negligence. Rather there is a paucity of pertinent information, as well as a significant lack of baseline data and constructive guidelines. Recently, two companies (Beker and Phillips) have distributed DRI1s and have applied for the permits required to initiate strip-mining operations in the Bone Valley. It appears that they will be granted the right to mine, despite the fact that a number of unanswered questions have been raised as to the total impact of such operations on the health and environment of the residents of central and southwestern Florida. In February, Florida Audubon Society provided testimony to the Manatee County Commission regarding Phillips Petroleum's DRI. Due to the great paucity of data regarding the environmental affects of phosphate mining in central and southwestern Florida, FAS of necessity opposed the 36


t-37 approval o f the D RI b y the Manatee County Commission. Furthe rr.iore, FAS supports a moratorium on further strip-rilining of phosphate in the Bone Valley until adequate information is available which will allow a responsible and informed decision to be reached. 104:22 D EP ARTMENT OF INTERIOR POSITION ON OSCEOLA N A TIO NAL FOREST STRIPM INING REMAINS UNC LEAR. In response to an administrative appeal filed by the Florida Audubon Society, the Department of the Interior acted in February to release a portion of the "Program Decision Option Document" which led to the decision to postpone action on pending phosphate mining lease applications in the Osceola National Forest for a period of two years. The rationale for the delay, as explained by the Department of Interior, is to allow for further environmental studies to take place. The Florida Audubon Society, Florida Defenders of the Environment and a host of other groups protested the delay, because the excellent environmental impact statement prepared for the project by the Department of the Interior provided information more than sufficient to support a decision to prohibit mining operations. The Program Option Decision Document obtained by Florida Audubon revealed for the first time that officials of the Department of the Interior believe there is a possibility that radioactive contaminants found in phosphate slimes may contaminate the ground water table if mining occurs, possibly threatening the water supply to Lake City. Little other new information is contained in the document. This factor would amount to merely one more reason to deny the phosphate leases, and con-


sidering the voluminous amount of evidence already compiled, fails to explain the Department of the Interior's two year delay in reaching a decision. 104: 23 RADI A TIO N RISK ON P H OSPHATE LANDS WORSE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT EPA. Last September, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published an estimate that the radiation level on reclaimed phosphate lands was such that an individual who resided for ten years in a home constructed on high-radiation phosphate lands in Polk County would double his likelihood of contracting lung cancer. EPA has now reappraised radiation levels in 125 Polk County homes, including 25 homes on reclaimed land or land with natural phosphate outcroppings and has concluded that the residence period for a "doubling dose" is in fact as little as three years. Polk County Health Director Dr. William s. Hill voiced "cautious concern" following the new disclosure. Meanwhile, Dr. John F. Neill, Hillsborough County Health Director, said that this information had forced him to announce a cotmtywide moratorium on building on reclaimed mine sites. 104:24 ENDANGERED SPECIES. The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission held a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 17, to receive public input on adding or deleting species on the present state and federal endangered species lists. Commission Director Dr. Earle Frye, as well as other Commission officers, and members of the Advisory Committee on endangered species were present. The Advisory Committee consists of Dr. James Layne (Chairman); Dr. William Robertson; Dr. Carter Gilbert; Dr. Herbert Kale; Dr. Roy McDiarmid; Dr. Joseph Simon; 38


39 Dr. Daniel Ward and Dr. Howard Weems. Dr. Peter Pritchard was also present to represent the F l orida Audubon Society. No comments from the public were r eceive d regarding changes in the list. Discussion took place regarding t h e best format for the Florida Endangered Species Report, and it was decided that the paper version of this publication should be produced in a series of volumes rather than a single volume. T h e Game and Fish Commission reemphasized its interest in providing funding for t h e publication. Another important part of the program was the initiation of a dialogue between the Commission and conservationists regarding a policy on the alligator. Meanwhile, at t h e federal level the House passed a series of amendments to the Endangered Species Act of 1973. One of these amendments permitted t h e Secretary of the Interior to dispose of forfeited or abandoned property derived from endangered species. Conservationists should have no objection to this provision, providing that the material is disposed of either to a nonprofit depository (such as a museum), or destroyed; it is important that it does not reenter commerce . Much more siniste r is t h e bill to allow the sale, by the federal government and several private corporations, of supplies of sperm whale oil which was lawfully held when the Act went into force (on Dec . 28, 1973). Scrimshaw (or carved and engraved whale teeth and bones) that was held before that date could also be sold. While proof that the property was pre-Act would have to be provided by the applicant, scrimshaw items are so expensive (hundreds of dollars per item) that the existence of any scrimshaw market will continue to increase the monetary value of a sperm whale and thus increase the hunting pressure on this retreating species.


Another provision of t h e E ndangered Sp ecies Act of 1976 a m emclments would allow the Secretary o f the Interior to act immediately when an emergency situation posed a significant risk to the wellbeing of an endangered species of fish or wildlife; normally, any such action would require a Federal Register notice and a 90 day waiting period. However, such emergency powers are lim ited to 120 days, i.mless within that period the required comments and publications are complied with. 104:25 BALD EAGLE NESTING IN PANHANDLE DISRUPTED. On Dec. 23, 1975, a wildlife officer of the Game and Fresh Fish Commission (GFWFC), J.T. Tiller, discovered an adult Bald Eagle dying of unspecified wounds on Deer Point Lake near Panama City. Despite efforts made by Major Tom Garrison and other members of the GFWFC in Panama City to save the eagle, it died that evening. Though evidence that the bird had been shot was not sufficient to confirm this as the cause of death, it was suspected. The death of this eagle is particularly frustrating, since another adult and an inmature were seen in the Deer Point Lake area b y Joe and Candis Harbison (Bay County Audubon Society) on Feb. 29, 1976. Obviously, there is a fairly strong possibility that nesting had occurred the previous year and was aborted during 1 975-76 by the death of one of the adult eagles. Furthermore, this potential nesting site was the furthest w est in Florida of any e agle nesting area and was a refreshing omen for t h e future of the species in northwest Florida. Now, however, there is eason to fear that the re-establishment of the Bald Eagle in the Panhandle may have been seriously set back. 40


41 1 04:26 BUFFALO MAKING A COMEBACK I N FLORID A. Buffalo, w hich once r oame d Florida, are making a c o mebac k a t Paynes Prairie State Preserve, located sou t h of Gainesville. A herd of 10 young bison have been placed on a remote section of the h uge preserve. "The y are doing ver y well, and are as contented as can be, eating t h e fine prairie grass," r eported M aj. Jim Stevenson, chief naturalist for the Florida Division of Recreation and Parks. He stressed that the young bison are completely out of sight of highway s crossing the prairie and cannot be seen at present, as the preserve is not op e n to t h e public. " W e want to be sure the bison are calm and well-adjusted before we expose them to the public anywa y," he said. Maj. Stevenson said reintroduction of the buffalo into Florida follow s park policy of bringing back native species that have bee n removed or exterminated. 11We have determined t hrough historical research t hat buffalo once occurred in Florida." He held up a book, 11Dieg o Pena 1 s Expedition to Apalache and Apalachicola in 1716.1 1 11Thi s report recounts ho w a Spanish expedition traveled from St. Augustine to West Florida and killed buffalo all along the way . They killed bison at Lak e N ewma n , located at the edge of Paynes Prairie. T h e y also killed three buffaloes at Ichetucknee Springs, now a state park. And several were killed at Lake Jackson in Tallahassee.11 The chief naturalist mentione d that Bartram recounted seeing buffalo in East Florida during his early trip to the state. "We know for a fact they were here, 11 h e reiterated.


Thinking it would be of public interest to reintroduce the species into Florida, Major Stev enson said Paynes Prairie was selected as the most suitable location because of its lush, natural prairie. Several Federal agencies handling bison in the West were contacted. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service donated three bulls and seven cows from Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. "We deliberately chose young animals, as they could adapt better to the Florida climate," he explained. Stevenson said the bison will not be domesticated, but allowed to roam free in a natural, wild state. "Although it will take many years to build a sizeable herd, we think the public is going to derive a great deal of pleasure seeing them on the prairie." He said park rangers check them daily to make certain they are thriving. TALLAHASSEE CONFERENCE ON THE HUMANITIES AND DE CISION-MAKING ON ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. This conference will address the question "What can the humanities say to envirorunental decisionmakers, concerned citizens and interest groups about public policy and enviromnental quality?" The conference program involves dialogue among public officials, community leaders, environmental educators, scholars in the humanities (religion study, ethics, philosophy, literature, history, etc.) and conference participants. For information, write: Rodney F. Allen . ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROJECT 426 Hull Drive Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306 (904) 644-5769 42


43 104:27 FLORIDA DEFENDERS OF THE ENVIRONMENT MEET ING COMING UP SOON. NOTICE FDE Al\'NUAL MEETING Gainesville, Florida l:OOpm Friday April 23 to 2:00pm Saturday April 24 104: 28 IMIDRTANT READING. The President's Council on Environmental Quality's Sixth Annual Report -763 pages of valuable information about the nation's envirornnent -is now available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Order Stock Number 040-000-00337-1. Price is $6.60. Highlights include: -About two mi 11 ion chemical compotmds are known, and each year thousands more are discovered by the U.S. chemical industry and hundreds are introduced conunercially. We know very little about t h e possible health consequences of these new compotmds. Many are not toxic, but the sheer nlil1lber of chemical compounds, the diversity of their use and the adverse effects already encountered from some make it increasingly probable that c hemical contaminants in our environment have become a significant determinant of human health and life expectancy. For every class of animals surveyed by the Department of the Interior's Office of Endangered Species, approximately 1 out of every 10 species native to the United States may be endangered or threatened ••. With disturbing similarity, recent findings indicate that of all higher plants


-------------native to the continental United States, including Alaska, more than one out of 10 ma y be endangered, threatened with becoming endangered or recently extinct. Never in history has there been assurance of enough food for all the world's people. But despite great expansions of world food production, the situation today is in some ways more critical than ever. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reckoned t hat in 1970 at least 460 million people (including Communist Asia) were suffering serious food deficiency. 104:29 FAS FIELD REPRESENTA TIVE IN TALLAHASSEE. As of March 1, 1976, Florida Audubon Society's Field Representative Steve Stedman is located in Tallahassee to serve the northern half of the state. While maintaining connni.mication with Florida's many regulatory agencies will be a major part of his activiites, closer relationships with the chapters and conservationists in north Florida will be a priority item in his allocation of time and effort. Anyone wishing to contact Steve Stedman is requested to write to 2312C Columbia Ct., Tallahassee, FL 3 2 304, or call (904) 576-5051. 104:3 0 COALITION TO S AVE OUR NATIONAL F ORESTS CHARGES SENATOR HUMPHREY WITH GIVIN G AWAY NAT I ONAL FORESTS TO TIM BER I N D U STRY. The Coalition to Save Our National Forests charged Senator Hubert Humphrey with advocating opening the N ational Forests to unrestricted logging by the timber industry in the years ahead. 44


45 A bill to be introduced M arch 3 in the Senate by Senator Ht.nnphrey would allow timber to be harvested b y timber companies without the benefit of any legislative restrictions. There would be no restrictions in law to prevent the Forest Service and professional foresters from being pushed by the timber industry into abusive clearcutting and other destructive forestry practices. The Coalition urged support for the National Forest Timber Management Reform Act of 1976 introduced in the Senate a s S2926 on Feb. 4 by Senator Jennings Randolph o f West Virginia and in the House of Representatives as HR11894 on Feb. 17 by Representative George Brown, Jr. of California. Drafted with the assistance of professional foresters and representatives of a group of organizations including the Sierra Club and the Izaak Walton League dedicated to protecting National Forest resources, the bill sets firm guidelines for sales of timber in the National Forests while giving strong encouragement to improvements in multiple use planning. The bill restricts the size of clearcuts, prohibits massive cutting of immature trees, discourages management of trees in even-aged stands close associated with the practice of clearcutting and prevents transfer of hardwood forest to pulpwood tree species. A spokesman for the coalition said in a statement: ''These legislative reforms are needed to. prevent our National Forests from being turned into giant tree farms. Timber companies are already planting their own lands in row after long, dull row of pulpwood pine trees. Any plant life that might interfere with the most rapid growth of these trees is being killed with deadly herbicides. Only tough laws will keep the timber companies from pushing the Forest Service into


the same life and Forests." practices so abusive of the many wildrecreational resources in the National The spokesman said "It is high time that the American people have the benefit of true reform laws to protect the complex of forest resources which they own from intensive use by any singl.e interest. We consider this bill a responsible compromise proposal to resolve the clearcutting problems that have plagued our National Forests in the past and that can return to hatmt our National Forests in the future." 104:31 PROPERTY RIGHTS COM1ITTEE PROPOSES COMPENSATION FOR LANDOWNERS ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY SETBACK LINES AND AREAS OF CRITICAL CONCERN. Members of the Senate Select Committee on Property Rights and Land Acquisition acted on March 2 to authorize the Committee staff to begin drafting legislation in specific which would provide a method of compensating landowners whose property value is lowered by setback line restrictions imposed by the Department of Natural Resources and regulations imposed in Areas of Critical Concern. The Committee narrowed its focus to those two environmental control measures after deciding that it would be best to "experiment" with the compensation approach in a limited area prior to applying it to government regulations on a broad scale. Prior to its March 2 meeting, the Committee slightly expanded an advisory workshop panel to include representatives from the Department of Environmental Regulation and the Florida Audubon Society. Dan O'Connell, Director of the Florida Audubon Society's Environmental Law Division, urged both the workshop panel and the members of the Committee to adopt a concept of balancing any devaluation caused by environmental regulations 46


47 against the increases in property value which are provided by goverrnnent through public services and the construction of public projects. The balancing approach reconunended by O'Connell was supported by representative Elaine Bloom of Dade County who urged the Conunittee to incorporate it into any legislation produced. Envirornnental organizations are closely watching the deliberations of the Property Rights and Land Acquisition Committee due to the important implications of legislation which may emerge from it. Some have suggested that the passage of legislation mandating compensation for diminution of property values caused by envirornnental regulations may in fact be a subterfuge designed to weaken the environmental protection measures. Obviously, the approval of a law requiring compensation without a guarantee of sufficient ing to provide the required compensation could easily have that effect. 104:32 NATION. FLORIDA AIR QUALITY PROGRAM FACES ELIMI-Because the State of Florida is receiving less sales tax revenue than normal, and also because State Legislators refuse to consider an increase in taxes, Senate Ways and Means Chairman Jack Gordon (D-Miami) has suggested that state departments reduce personnel costs by 12.5 percent. Representative Earl Dixon, Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has announced that the Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) should be prepared to eliminate what it lists as its two lowest priority items, air and noise pollution. On the other hand, DER officials deny having established any such ordering of program priorities. Moreover, DER Secretary Jay Landers, in a letter to Gordon, has pointed out that neither Envirornnental Protection Agency nor


local officials have the manpower to enforc e pollution law s and monitor power and industrial plants. Moreover, the eliminacion of either the air or the noise program would require abolishment or revision of existing state l aws . Representative Dixon is from Jacksonville, an area whose air pollution problems are evident to anyone who even drives through the area. He is not serving his constituents well if h e seeks to eliminate the programs which may result in an improvement in air qualicy in that part of Florida. 104:33 CABINET APPROVES AREA OF CRITICAL CONCERN REGULATIONS FOR FLORID A KEYS. By a 5 1 vote, the Cabinet acted on March 9 to approve Area o f Critica l Concern Regulations for the F lorida Keys as the f inal step in the implementation of required land use planning in that area. Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner voted no, stating that he would prefer to see the cotmty and local governments in the Keys do things on their own . Conners' no vote c ame even though representatives of the Monroe County Commission were present to urge passage of the Area of Critical Concern Regulations . The Keys, noted for their fragile but economi cally important marine resources, will now benefit from some of the toughest environmental regulations in the S tate prohibiting development which would harm sensitive we cland areas and requiring the design of new projects to protect hammock vegetation on the uplands. Opposition t o the regulations was generated by local developers who were represented b y Talla hassee Actorney Joe Jacobs. At one point during the meeting, . Governor Askew challenged the accuracy of J a cob' s contentions, countering his arglil1lents point by point and defending the Area o f Critical Concern Regulations.


4 9 S o me l o cal enviroPntencalists urged the Cabinet to adopt even stronger regulations t o r equi r e den sity r edi.lc tions i:1 upland a reas a n d limit the height of build ings. O n the r e commendation of the sion o f P lanning, the C abinet l ation s as p roposed with o u t strengthening amendment s . staf f of the D ivi a p proved the reguany weakening or 104:34 ACRI-BUSI NESS /ENVIRONMENT A L CONFERENCE HELD I N FEBRUARY. The Florida Agri-Business Institute and t h e Florioa D i v i s i o n of Izaak Wal ton Leagues o f Ame rica conducted a conference i n Orlando Feb.2627 which was designed t o bring about a meaningful dialogue between a gricu ltuali sts and e n virorunen t alists in Florida. Despite efforts made by members of t h e vario u s conservation g r o u p s that attended , very little meaningful debate took p l ace. In fac t , the first d a y1s meeting seer.i.ed designed so as not t o spark d ebat e on a cor.rrnon iss u e . However, envirorunentali sts and agriculturalists a t end of the meeting agreed that a future woul d be a desirable goal. If a conferen c e bet ween these two groups takes off where the last conference ended, t here is reason t o believe that this me eting will have a bene ficial impact. Without s u c h a revise d conferenc e , h o w e ver, ver y l ittle permanent value will h ave been accomplish e d .


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