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Quotidian Tom

WOTUS

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17 minutes ago, Fat Point Jack said:

Leakage from Fat Point's injection wells on Bermont Road?

An interesting guess. Could be lots of things, including just some settling in this particular hole that isn't related to anything else around me.

However, there's a new dirt mine across the street. My neighbor informed me that he and his band of enviroweenies got the permit rejected because it went too deep, too close to some boundary layer (he knows about this stuff). But after some bureaucratic wrangling, the permit was approved and I've been seeing trucks for a couple of weeks. The dirt mine is owned by, of course, other neighbors.

So maybe someone went too deep over there and it took a week or two to seep over here?

Ponds like mine are not very common but there are others around. Including one owned by... the dirt mine owner. I'm going to go have a look at his pond and talk to him about this.

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This one changes up a lot. It drains the backside of Tiger Mt., in the Issaquah Alps of WA.

 

IMG_0899.JPG

IMG_0898.JPG

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On 10/21/2016 at 8:33 AM, dogballs Tom said:

Cool picture.   Trivia for the day.    There is a (somewhat) restored swamp called the limberlost that connected the Maumee watershed (Lake Erie by Toledo) and the Indiana river network that eventually drains into the Mississippi.   It was said that during rainy season a person could canoe from one to the other.    That network and geographical area was the playground of a rather free thinking cider apple peddler known as John Chapman.    School kids call him Johnny Appleseed.   

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This weekend's PaddleFest at Englewood Beach is cancelled due to Red Tide.  If it stinks next weekend I wonder how many will show up for the motorboat race.  Maybe the props will further stir up the water and make it stink more.

Tom, the reuse is a good idea, but it is the second step.  You need to collect and transport it to the reuse plant.  That costs the property owners to pay for their new sewer system.  And many don't think they are contributing to the problem.  A fellow over in El Jobean says that his 40 year old septic tank 20 feet from a canal that connects to the Myakka does not have any effect on water quality.

It is going to cost a lot of money to fix this and we voted in people that most likely not want raise the revenue (TAX). 

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7 hours ago, Fat Point Jack said:

A fellow over in El Jobean says that his 40 year old septic tank 20 feet from a canal that connects to the Myakka does not have any effect on water quality.

There's a reason they won't let you put one that close any more.

He may want to keep it but they don't last forever and you can't put another one, so... at some point the property becomes worthless as residential property or another answer is found. Speaking of things that are expensive, when your waterfront residence becomes worthless, that's expensive.

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19 hours ago, dogballs Tom said:

There's a reason they won't let you put one that close any more.

He may want to keep it but they don't last forever and you can't put another one, so... at some point the property becomes worthless as residential property or another answer is found. Speaking of things that are expensive, when your waterfront residence becomes worthless, that's expensive.

It's not "worthless" to the birds and the bees. It's simly of less value to residents, and capitalists.

Does this thread need race-baiting, or the spamming of Justice Taney?

IMG_0637.JPG

The logs in the foreground went missing in 2015, and I never found them, seriously. Some salmon here measure 33". The water in July is teaming with smelt, salmon-shaped and the size of a pencil lead. I find coal in the creek. I placed sixty buckets of 3" rock in one spot, they are gone. Kids gather a few rocks, and they smell strongly of fish. I get between one and three waterfalls, depending. It's noisy and other than peaceful in the winter.

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Trees wind up in funny places. Hurricane Irma put this tree up in a tree just up the creek from our place.

TreeInTree.jpg

I found the neighbor boy's story of driving his skiff up over the dam a bit hard to believe until I saw this. The dam is just around the corner and is only a few feet high.

Anyway, the Miami Herald wrote about the new Florida Crystals lease

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On ‎11‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 1:24 PM, dogballs Tom said:

There's a reason they won't let you put one that close any more.

He may want to keep it but they don't last forever and you can't put another one, so... at some point the property becomes worthless as residential property or another answer is found. Speaking of things that are expensive, when your waterfront residence becomes worthless, that's expensive.

Here's what we are up against to help clean up the WOTUS.  The county had a hearing on the EL Jobean septic/sewer conversion.  It brought out the usual suspects.

Per the Sun Herald:

"The Rev. Bob Mc Duffie blamed fake science and political correctness for the mandate to eliminate septic systems.  He lives in the parsonage of the First Baptist Church in El Jobean".

"Why are you doing this? Because the federal government wants us to do it," Mc Duffie said.  "I could care less what the federal government wants us to do."

"In America-our form of government-you have to have consent.  You clearly do not have the consent of the people for this project," said David Kesselring.

These guys make you, Tom, look like a moderate.

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Yes, I know. Betsy, who wrote that article, is a tenant of mine. BTW, the extremists are right about the municipal system, which is just about done in the neighborhood where she lives. "But it's old and we neglected it" isn't any better of an excuse for governments than private owners IMO.

My political life really began with environmentalism and it hasn't gone away.

$575/yr for 20 years plus usage fee doesn't seem crazy to keep a low-end waterfront property. If I had a place there with an aging septic system, I'd jump at the opportunity instead of protesting it.

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Manatees Having A Bad Year
 

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With six weeks left in 2018, Florida already has tied last year's record 107 manatee deaths by boat, putting the Sunshine State on a dark course for the third consecutive record-setting year for watercraft-related fatalities.

But deaths by all causes show a dire year for sea cows, with red tide and boats among the top known killers.

According to preliminary statistics through Nov. 9, at least 741 manatees have died so far this year in Florida, the highest number in the past five years, and 262 more deaths than the 5-year average up to this point of the year.

 

We see them all the time in the creek, where I also see a heck of a lot more boat traffic than when I moved here in the 90's. I accounted for about half of the boat traffic back then.

It's a "no wake" zone above the RR bridge. Nobody pays attention and there's seldom enforcement. This is one of the areas where that will have to change as the population grows.

The article doesn't say where they're being hit most.

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On 1/24/2016 at 3:56 AM, Snore said:

Raz'r- they could fix it quicker if the residents want to fund the $1.5 bil quicker. The issue is, as I first posted, money. Done right those cities should have been lining the old clay mains for the past 20 years. FYI clay mains if undistrubed look perfect after 60 years. Instead of lining the mains, they chose to allow the pipes to leak into the soils. This avoided the expense of lining, kept rates down and anti-Gov people happy. Now those same anti-Gov people are saying "look at this mess you should be fixing these pipes."

This is sort of the same argument we're having now over the gas tax and the condition of the roads in CA... Some think like you noted they purposely let it go so they can impose a new tax to absorb the cost and divert the current tax revenue that was suppose to fund these improvements for other shit....  I don't think this is a problem with the anti government types and keeping the cost down.; I think it is a combination of incompetence with the governments management of the money already collected for Municipal Capitol Management programs and bought and paid for politicians...

They have been in litigation since 2009, probably knew they were probably going to lose, and they still have done nothing..... except spend money on lawyers.

 

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On 1/24/2016 at 6:56 AM, Snore said:

PJ I think we agree on most of this. Septic is a solution for undeveloped areas of FLA. But as those remaining areas of Charlotte County and elsewhere buildout, they need municipal sewers and reuse systems to manage the water supply.

 

Raz'r- they could fix it quicker if the residents want to fund the $1.5 bil quicker. The issue is, as I first posted, money. Done right those cities should have been lining the old clay mains for the past 20 years. FYI clay mains if undistrubed look perfect after 60 years. Instead of lining the mains, they chose to allow the pipes to leak into the soils. This avoided the expense of lining, kept rates down and anti-Gov people happy. Now those same anti-Gov people are saying "look at this mess you should be fixing these pipes."

 

IMHO the core problem is a lack of guts for not asking for the money years ago.

 

 

FWIW I was able to show that by increasing funding to rehab sewer mains, the utility could pay back the investment in 3-5 years. The reduced operating expenses that were experienced were ported to the R&R budget to fund more rehabs. Just need to do thing intelligently. YMMV based on the skills of management.

I think the political calculation is a bit different in the neighborhood I mentioned above where the newspaper reporter lives.

People know it's going to be expensive, necessary, and a big mess to replace the 50 year old system. But this is God's Waiting Room. One option on the table is to die before it's your problem.

A 3-5 year payback time sounds optimistic and sooner than is needed anyway. But it might be possible in that neighborhood. During the wet season, there's a septic truck by the church at the end of Beverly St 24/7 pumping the shit out of the storm water drains, with another waiting to do it next. That can't be cheap.

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On 11/16/2018 at 5:54 AM, dogballs Tom said:

 

People know it's going to be expensive, necessary, and a big mess to replace the 50 year old system. 

 

Sorry- out sailing  so I could not respond faster  

 

To be clear YOU DO NOT REPLACE THE PIPES. It is not messy.  I did this for a living and assure you it can be done and it will pay for itself, without vodoo accounting  

Just requires rates that fund renewal of gravity mains and replacement of water mains.  If you really auger in, failure to maintain the system is probably violating bond covenants. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Snore said:

To be clear YOU DO NOT REPLACE THE PIPES. It is not messy.  I did this for a living and assure you it can be done and it will pay for itself, without vodoo accounting  

I have a couple of rental properties with 50+ year old iron pipes under the concrete slab and am VERY interested in a non-replacement, non-messy option.

In some cases, I'm told, they can "blow a liner into the pipe"  and extend its life for a while. "But not in your case, Mr. Ray" I'm also told. In my case, I'm told, you wreck the tiles, wreck the floor, replace iron with plastic, and rebuild.

The crumbled pipe that results in 24 hour a day pumping was concrete back in the day. Now it's kinda rubble. If you don't replace that, what do you do?

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On 10/9/2018 at 6:21 AM, dogballs Tom said:

FPL wins right to store radioactive waste under Florida's drinking water

A bit of an alarmist headline. Deep well injection of waste has been a disposal practice in Florida for decades. There are briny layers way down there and putting something in them is said to be "getting rid of it forever."

Forever is a long time.

Another way to phrase it would be:

FPL wins right to store radioactive waste IN Florida's drinking water.

The Florida Aquifer is large and complex but I don't think you can really say any one part is "forever" isolated from the rest.

For one thing, people have poked holes through the layers. And they sometimes just develop holes all by themselves. The spring that feeds my pond is one or the other of those and is considered a minor ecological disaster. One of many. See pg 167 of this report for a map of most of the known ones.

https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/boards-committees/pz/Site Documents/5_PA121014LS_Application_Attachment2_GroundwaterBasinResource.pdf

Wells/Springs like mine allow the layers to mix. I'm told the source is part of the Hawthorn formation, well above the deep well disposal layers.

Forever separated from them? I dunno...

I went looking for that report today to show to a friend and it seems the link is broken. So I put it here where I can find it again and extracted the image.

CCArtesianWells.jpg

I'm sure it's not exactly accurate enough to be used for navigation but those little triangles look to me like someone knows about two plugged wells in our neighborhood. I know about one of them, the one we used to use as a shower when I was a kid.

The other, if known, would solve a bit of a mystery. My father found very old records indicating five wells were drilled on this property. At the time, we knew about three. The pond spring is most likely the fourth. The fifth has never been found, at least not by us. But someone might know where it was.

 

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I bought a solar-powered fountain pump to aerate the pond water a bit. Testing it out yesterday.

FountainTest.jpg

A pretty impressive stream! Now I need to figure out a better panel mount than a lounge chair and a better way to hold the pump than a piece of string.

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On 11/18/2018 at 2:48 AM, dogballs Tom said:

I have a couple of rental properties with 50+ year old iron pipes under the concrete slab and am VERY interested in a non-replacement, non-messy option.

In some cases, I'm told, they can "blow a liner into the pipe"  and extend its life for a while. "But not in your case, Mr. Ray" I'm also told. In my case, I'm told, you wreck the tiles, wreck the floor, replace iron with plastic, and rebuild.

The crumbled pipe that results in 24 hour a day pumping was concrete back in the day. Now it's kinda rubble. If you don't replace that, what do you do?

Lining an 8”gravity sewer main that runs 2-300’ between manholes is very different than the 4-6” pipes in your home.  Both in diameter and straightness.  

I do not want to comment on lining domestic plumbing, I simply don’t have the background.  Living in a 93 year old building, I can say that the sewer pipes are good, just issues with some joints.  The galvanized water lines are scheduled to be replaced.

 

feel free to message me.  

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23 hours ago, Snore said:
On 11/18/2018 at 2:48 AM, dogballs Tom said:

The crumbled pipe that results in 24 hour a day pumping was concrete back in the day. Now it's kinda rubble. If you don't replace that, what do you do?

Lining an 8”gravity sewer main that runs 2-300’ between manholes is very different than the 4-6” pipes in your home.  Both in diameter and straightness.

Yes, but lining rubble must be an order of magnitude more complicated, right?

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Surprisingly, when a 1 foot or less section of vitrified clay pipe (VCP) fails, there is still a tube shaped hole in the ground.  The sock goes from pipe to pipe spanning the void.  When it hardens it is as hard as VCP and can take the traffic load no issues.  Keep in mind this is usually 6-10 feet below grade.

 

If caught before the soils collapse, you can span longer runs of missing pipe.

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7 hours ago, Snore said:

Surprisingly, when a 1 foot or less section of vitrified clay pipe (VCP) fails, there is still a tube shaped hole in the ground.  The sock goes from pipe to pipe spanning the void.  When it hardens it is as hard as VCP and can take the traffic load no issues.  Keep in mind this is usually 6-10 feet below grade.

 

If caught before the soils collapse, you can span longer runs of missing pipe.

A large part of Oak Bay (the richest part of town) apparently has sewer lines that started out as concrete, and now are nothing, just a network of sandy tunnels in the ground. That's going to be a huge infrastructure cost in the near future.

Our own no-corrode sewer line was mashed flat by a subsequent installation of storm drains, the contractor pulled 200' of continuous PVC through the remains to give us seamless connection to the main sewer line. Not cheap, but way better than trenching 200' of asphalt driveway.

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44 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

A large part of Oak Bay (the richest part of town) apparently has sewer lines that started out as concrete, and now are nothing, just a network of sandy tunnels in the ground. That's going to be a huge infrastructure cost in the near future.

Our own no-corrode sewer line was mashed flat by a subsequent installation of storm drains, the contractor pulled 200' of continuous PVC through the remains to give us seamless connection to the main sewer line. Not cheap, but way better than trenching 200' of asphalt driveway.

It has been 3 years since I retired. But it would seem that a directional bore guy could follow the existing line, it would be easy pull.  Butt fused PVC or HDPE. 

 

The longer “they” wait the harde to replace and the more they spill

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28 minutes ago, Snore said:

It has been 3 years since I retired. But it would seem that a directional bore guy could follow the existing line, it would be easy pull.  Butt fused PVC or HDPE. 

 

The longer “they” wait the harde to replace and the more they spill

My mind is going. It was fused HDPE, not PVC. It was interesting watching them weld the pipes together before pulling, the result snaked halfway down the block. 

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A more permanent fountain installation:

FountainMounted.jpg

I've noticed something that puzzles me. The panel is wired directly to the motor. The slightest shadow reduces the flow a lot but the angle of the sun seems to matter not at all.

Full sun on the panel produces the same flow, at least to my eye, whether it's the first moment of full sun at an angle or the midday sun.

So all those contraptions on boats to angle the panels make less sense to me now.

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Trump Ends The World Again
 

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...

In 2015, trying to respond to one such Supreme Court ruling, the Obama administration proposed expanding the definition of which wetlands and streams were protected to include streams where water runs only during or after rainfall, and wetlands that were not adjacent to major bodies of water. The Obama-era rules also protected wetlands that were only connected to waterways via an underground connection such as the Floridan aquifer.

But the change was politically unpopular with farmers and developers — including one who lives part-time in Florida. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to roll back that rule, calling it "one of the worst examples of federal regulation."

 

Which he did:
 

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The new rule, unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, says that the only wetlands that will be federally protected are those immediately adjacent to a major body of water, or ones that are connected to such a waterway by surface water. 

Acting Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler called the change a way to make wetland regulations “simpler and clearer” for landowners. The proposed new rule was hailed by such national groups as home builders, golf course developers and farmers — all of whom tend to regard wetlands not as a boon but as a bane, something that gets in the way of their plans.

 

I think that attitude isn't about swamps so much as wetlands. Most everyone agrees on protecting the swamps. But "wetlands" is a label applied to land that's wet when it's raining to "protect" it. Meaning: dictate the use of it to the owner for an obviously fake reason. Places that are wet "during and after rain" aren't swamps.

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Red Tide Is Back

It's supposed to go away. At some point. It really hasn't since October 2017 so saying it's "back" is not quite right.
 

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A cold snap coming in the middle of the week could help snap red tide.

SNN-TV meteorologist Dan Henry says lows in the 40s on Wednesday and Thursday could be some of the coolest days of winter.

“That could help lower the Gulf temperature,” Henry said. There is a 30 percent chance of rain on Wednesday, and unlike the previous two low-pressure systems, heavy rain is not anticipated.

 

When the coldest front of January comes, it comes with a wall of rain in front of it and temperatures in the 30's or sometimes 20's behind it.

The forecast high is 80 today and although it's a little hot in my truck, I'm not really complaining. I hate the cold. But what's headed our way isn't what I expect in mid-January. The ten day forecast reaches out to the next one, which is supposed to have a little rain and bring the low to 42 here. That's not a January cold front either. And we're running out of January.

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Water From Air And Power From Trash
 

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Jim Mason was first profiled in Reason in 2008 when his early attempts at homemade power generation ran afoul of regulators in his hometown of Berkeley, California. He fought through and created a business, All Power Labs, which turns trash into fuel.

In October, Mason and his crew were a core part of the Skysource/Skywater Alliance team that won a $1.5 million Water Abundance XPrize. Their gasification-powered prototype, called the WEDEW Watertainer, heats wood chips in a low-oxygen environment to generate gas that can be used to power an engine, providing the energy to extract at least 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere at a cost of less than 2 cents per liter. This technology has the ability to produce cheap, drinkable water in areas far from modern plumbing or places where disaster has cut off normal water supplies—and to do it with a negative carbon footprint. Senior Editor Brian Doherty talked with Mason about the project in November.

 

cliffsignal.jpg

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On 11/15/2018 at 6:18 PM, Contumacious Tom said:

Yes, I know. Betsy, who wrote that article, is a tenant of mine. BTW, the extremists are right about the municipal system, which is just about done in the neighborhood where she lives. "But it's old and we neglected it" isn't any better of an excuse for governments than private owners IMO.

My political life really began with environmentalism and it hasn't gone away.

$575/yr for 20 years plus usage fee doesn't seem crazy to keep a low-end waterfront property. If I had a place there with an aging septic system, I'd jump at the opportunity instead of protesting it.

Agree

With the caveat that it would be even better is said sewerage system was built to keep rain run-off seperate and not overflow as often as most of them do. Shucks, as a waterfront property owner, I'd even pay higher taxes for the sake of such a thing.

-DSK

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Various WOTUS Wars Developments
 

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Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed rule to redefine the meaning of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act in the Federal Register.

...

While the Trump Administration's WOTUS rewrite won't reach the courts for awhile, other WOTUS-related litigation continues, including legal challenges to the Obama Administation's WOTUS rule and the Trump Administration's attempt to suspend the Obama WOTUS rule pending the rewrite. Both the Obama definition and the Trump suspension have faced some trouble in court, and litigation is ongoing.

This morning, another front in the WOTUS wars opened as the Supreme Court accepted a petition for certiorari in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which presents the question whether the CWA requires a permit when pollutants originate from a point source but are conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater. The Maui case is one of several cases raising the broader issue of whether the CWA may reach pollution that travels through groundwater - effectively treating the groundwater as a "conduit" for covered point-source pollution.

 

Groundwater is absolutely such a conduit. That's why things like my septic system have to be a certain distance from the swamp, and why it's a problem that old, deteriorating ones are pretty much sitting on most of our shorelines.

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On 1/13/2019 at 7:06 AM, Contumacious Tom said:

Red Tide Is Back

It's supposed to go away. At some point. It really hasn't since October 2017 so saying it's "back" is not quite right.

Saw yesterday that FWC says it's gone.

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The Supreme Court gets asked some funny questions at times.

For example: Are Rivers Land?
 

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The case began all the way back in 2007, when Sturgeon was stopped by National Park Service rangers as he was traveling along the Nation River within the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. He was heading towards a moose hunting ground outside the preserve, but was told by the rangers that he was not allowed to travel via hovercraft on waterways within national park lands.

At the crux of Sturgeon's lawsuit, effectively, was the argument that rivers are not land—and that the National Park Service's regulatory authority over land therefore does not extend to rivers and other waterways. Complicating matters was a 1980 law called the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which gave the federal government authority over large swaths of public land in Alaska.

But that law did not clearly indicate that federal authority over public lands included waterways, which Sturgeon's lawyers argued was a federal loophole meant to keep Alaskan rivers and waterways under state control. Since a large amount of transportation and commerce depends on rivers in Alaska—and since so many of those rivers lie within federal lands (the federal government owns 61 percent of the state)—allowing the Park Service to regulate rivers would be an effective federal takeover of transportation in much of the state.

There were two questions the Supreme Court had to answer, Kagan wrote in the unanimous opinion. First, does the Nation River qualify as public land for the purposes of ANILCA? Second, does the Park Service have authority to regulate Sturgeon's activities on the river within the Yukon-Charley reserve?

"Today, we take up those questions, and answer both 'no,'" wrote Kagan.

 

Hovercraft are cool but they're also what an engineer would come up with if given the assignment: Design a vehicle that's more annoying than a jetski.

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Alico Activities

 

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Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet, sitting as the board of trustees for the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, voted unanimously Tuesday to acquire the land in Hendry County. 

The Internal Improvement Trust Fund holds title to all state-owned lands in Florida.

The state will purchase 5,534 acres from Fort Myers-based Alico Inc. — 3,233 acres of uplands and 2,301 acres of wetlands.

The purchase price is $14,775,000 — or more than 92 percent of the highest estimated value of the property in two private appraisals.

One appraisal came in at $15.5 million, the other at more than $16 million.

 

About $5k per acre if you count the swamp as worth nothing. Doesn't seem crazy.

That was the top story in the article but the other seems to involve more land, more money, and more consequential issues.
 

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Alico is still working to obtain federal and local approvals for its dispersed water management project on nearby land in Hendry County.

In September the South Florida Water Management District approved a permit for the controversial project, which would create a more than 35,000-acre water farm that's expected to cost taxpayers $124 million over 11 years.

The project is designed to stop water in the Caloosahatchee River from polluting the estuary near Fort Myers and to combat toxic algae blooms, but some say it is more expensive than other similar water farms and takes the burden of cleaning up agricultural runoff off polluters and puts it on taxpayers.

"Our project is the largest dispersed water management project in the state and can retain 30 billion gallons of water annually," Kiernan said. "We are working to obtain approvals as quickly as possible to complete the project and help improve water quality in the Caloosahatchee estuary." 

Alico is a publicly traded agribusiness and land manager. The company primarily operates two divisions: Alico Citrus, one of the nation’s largest citrus producers, and Alico Water Resources and other operations, a leading water storage and environmental services division.

 

I'd look a little further upstream to reduce pollution in the Caloosahatchee: end the protective sugar tariff.

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USF Researchers Blame Gordon For Red Tide
 

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The report states Tropical Storm Gordon, which churned the Gulf of Mexico in September of last year, played a major factor in helping red tide spread from the Florida panhandle all the way to Palm Beach County on the east coast.

Robert Weisberg, USF professor of physical oceanography, told the Bradenton Herald on Thursday the findings dispel “the myth that land-based fertilizers are to blame.”

However, Weisberg acknowledged pollutants may play a role in exasperating red tide conditions, but, “they are not the root cause. Of course, we don’t want to be polluting our waters but to blame red tide on land-based runoff is a stretch. But we don’t really even know that for sure, but we do know it doesn’t cause red tide.

“Now, what’s coming out of the Caloosahatchee River is a completely different problem. It’s not a red tide algae, but I’m not downplaying the need to be good environmental stewards.”

 

 

"Hatchee" comes from a native word for "river" which is why we have so many. It's the Caloosariver River.

But I do sometimes wonder what the native word for "sewer" was...

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8 hours ago, badlatitude said:

Interesting.

"Blue-green algae are laden with microcystins that are a cause of non-alcoholic liver cancer. The algae blooms also produce BMAA (β-Methylamino-L-alanine), a toxin that is linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s. Last year, Drs. Paul Cox and James Metcalf of Brain Chemistry Labs reported that microcystin levels in samples from Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie canal were 300 times the level recommended as safe by the United Nations. BMAA is a documented cause of Alzheimer’s and ALS. The University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank reported that the BMAA toxin is found in the brains of people with neuro-degenerative diseases. 

Dr. David Davis, a neuropathologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, reported that monkeys fed BMAA developed early symptoms of ALS. Another study, from 2017, documented that monkeys given BMAA developed the amyloid plaque and “tau tangles” that are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Last month, Dr. Davis’ team reported that detectable levels of the BMAA toxin were found in the brains of dead dolphins that displayed degenerative damage similar to Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s in humans. 

High concentrations of BMAA have been found in the seafood in South Florida waters where blue-green algae blooms occur. Ingestion of BMAA contaminated food is known to lead to Alzheimer’s and ALS. 

Toxins in blue-green algae are airborne: Dr. Elijah Stommel of Dartmouth reported that people living near bodies of water with heavy blue-green algae blooms had a 15 times greater chance of getting ALS. Research by Prof. Mike Parsons, a Florida Gulf Coast University marine biologist, found airborne cyanobacteria toxins a mile from retention ponds and three miles from the Caloosahatchee River. A study of air filters near bodies of water infected with blue-green algae along the Caloosahatchee River taken during the heavy blooms in 2018 by Dr. Larry Brand of the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Atmospheric and Marine Science is expected soon. 

It is not alarmist to say that the people of Florida — especially people who come in contact with the infested waters or breathe the air nearby, and perhaps all of us who consume the fish and shrimp from Florida waters — are being slowly poisoned. Liver cancer, Alzheimer’s and ALS are terminal diseases; the toxins in blue-green algae kill people." 

EDIT 

https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article229490279.html?sfns=mo

I beg to differ with your assessment that the Waters of the United States do not have and deserve a thread here.

That said, interesting info for this thread, so thanks!

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Levi's found a way to make hemp feel like cotton, and it could have big implications for your wardrobe

And your water table.

Quote

In March, Levi's debuted a collaboration with the Outerknown label that includes a pair of jeans and jacket made from a 69%-cotton/31%-hemp blend that feels like pure cotton.

Hmmm... I think I might have already achieved that ratio some years ago. But that's another thread.

Quote

 

Dillinger said that the need for cotton alternatives became apparent when looking at the growth trajectory of cotton demand compared to access to fresh water required for its cultivation and processing. Since he was familiar with the nature of hemp, he did not expect to find a solution there... until Levi's discovered cutting-edge research in Europe, where industrial hemp was already legal in many countries. Levi's would not reveal its partners or details of its breakthroughs, except to say that it had a market-ready material after three years.

When Levi's finds a way to make 100% cottonized-hemp clothing, "We're going to go from a garment that goes from 3,781 L of fresh water, 2,655 of that in just the fiber cultivation," Dillinger said, drawing from data collected by the Stockholm Environmental Institute. "We take out more than 2/3 of the total water impact to the garment. That's saving a lot."

 

That is pretty remarkable.

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Bay scallops scarce in local waterways during annual search

5d4f1090331e6.image.jpg

That picture is presented with the caption:

Quote

Robert Harstad of Englewood writes down data Saturday during the Great Bay Scallop And Hard Clam Search at Cape Haze Marina

Which is funny because that's a picture of me and she asked me my name just after she took it.

It's OK, I was writing down screen shots of my phone's compass app, the easiest way I had aboard to record our lat/long, and I think I screwed one up too.

I haven't heard how everyone else did, but we searched four locations and only found one scallop shell and no live scallops at all. We did find a few hard clams. Visibility was less than the length of my arm and it was raining with occasional lighning the whole morning. In the last two locations we searched, the only living things seemed to be little critters that were stinging me.

Still beat being ashore.

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Talking to oneself is a principal sign of the onset of Alzheimers.

 

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Got an email from our fearless leader.
 

Quote

 

A Message from Florida Sea Grant - UF/IFAS Extension:

Hi Everyone! I trust everyone has dried out from Saturday's event. First, thank you for coming out and making the attempt to do this year's survey. The weather unfortunately was not conducive to our needs but we did get some data. 

We had 13 teams that were able to get at least one sight surveyed and of those 13, four teams were able to complete all 4 surveys. 

At the end of the day, no scallops were found and 15 hard clams were found. Although we were not able to document any scallops on Saturday, the Aquatic Preserves staff have found 2 doing seagrass surveys for their own projects...so there are at least a couple out there. Clams were documented by 6 teams which is great!

If I can get out this week, I am going to survey some of the grids that didn't get done. Several of you offered to go back out as well. If you are interested, let me know and I will get email grids and datasheets. I could still accept data thru the end of the month to be compiled with this year's results. 

I have to say this annual search is one of my favorite events because of your enthusiasm and support. I am sorry it took longer to email you the results than normal. I took a little r and r time after the event :-)

Thank you again for everything,

Betty

 

Hmmm... so only four boats stayed out after the lightning started and mine was one of the four. #iamfloridaman

From the article linked above:
 

Quote

 

The Great Bay Scallop Search provided a snapshot of adult bay scallop populations in the last 11 years in Charlotte County waters. This is the first year clams are added to the survey. Participants are also asked to identify and report the type of sea grass, clams and scallops that are spotted. Each team was assigned a search location. The volunteers snorkel each side of the line while pushing a one-meter PVC pole through the seagrass looking for bay scallops.

As boats came in, Staugler learned bay scallops weren’t seen in the waters before lightning and rain shut down the search. There were reports of half scallops and several clams.

“This is my first year helping,” said Englewood resident Tom Ray. “I only found a half of a scallop shell and a clot of clam shells and a couple of clams. I did the best I could but it was really tough to see out there.”

Bay scallops require good water quality during the 12 to 18 months they begin spawning late in the summer.

 

Umm... I'm really not from Englewood but I did say something like that to her. We were surveying more by feel than by sight and that's how I found the one clam I found. The guy with me was also feeling around on the bottom so I'm guessing he found them using the braille method too.

And it's really not true that we get 18 months of summer per year but it sometimes feels that way in August.

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Sally, who grew up in Englewood says the scallops in Lemon Bay disappeared after the IC was dug.  Others say that they disappeared from Pine Island Sound when the Sanibel Causeway was built.  

When we do one thing, it affects others.

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22 minutes ago, Fat Point Jack said:

Sally, who grew up in Englewood says the scallops in Lemon Bay disappeared after the IC was dug.  Others say that they disappeared from Pine Island Sound when the Sanibel Causeway was built.  

When we do one thing, it affects others.

Both of those may be true but Betty Staugler, who has studied these issues for a long time, seems uncertain when asked about exact cause and effect relationships.

Scallops don't live long. I have no doubt that those present during ICW dredging would have been affected. But that was a long time ago and they've had plenty of chances to rebound. Why haven't they? Possibly because of all the boat wakes. I'd like to see all of Lemon Bay designated a no wake zone to test that theory. Want to go fast? Go outside. But that proposal would be about as popular as I am here, I suspect.

But it could easily be poor water quality from runoff and the one thing Betty seemed pretty sure about was that last year's red tide whacked a lot of scallops.

 

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The Army Corps of Engineers wants to change how they release water from Lake Okechobee

...

 

Quote

 

The proposed deviation would allow the Corps more flexibility during periods when harmful algae blooms (HABs) are present. The Corps could release less than LORS guidance when blooms are present, in exchange for releasing more than LORS guidance during times when blooms aren’t present. The goal is to release the same net amount of water as would have been released following LORS guidance, but to attempt to minimize risks posed when algal blooms are present.

“We are working closely with our federal, state, and tribal interests to maximize our operational flexibility,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, Jacksonville District Commander.  “We must still meet the Congressionally-authorized project purposes while operating to try to minimize potential health effects associated with harmful algae blooms.”

The Corps proposes to implement the following actions if conditions are met for HAB Operations:

  • Within existing flexibility, limit or suspend releases east and west from Lake Okeechobee when HABs are present and LORS guidance allows for releases.
  • Limited releases east and west to 2,000 cfs measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam (S-79) near Fort Myers and up to 730 cfs measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart.  This would only be applicable when LORS guidance suggests releases of 450 cfs measured at Franklin and 200 cfs measured at St. Lucie.
  • Allow the flexibility to make up to maximum practicable releases south to the water conservation areas when LORS guidance does not recommend release (contingent upon conditions). 
  • Maintain this flexibility until LORS 2008 is replaced by a new water control plan (to be called LOSOM – Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual) estimated for completion in 2022. 
  • ...

 

 

They're asking for comments on the proposal. I don't know much about it but the Everglades Trust had this to say on Facebook:

 

 

Quote

 

The Army Corps is considering a proposal to give them more flexibility for dealing with harmful algae blooms by allowing them to release water from Lake O before the algae blooms appear. We like it. Sugar hates it. Go figure.

You can weigh in with your comments through August 21 by emailing Melissa.a.nasuti@usace.army.mil.

 

 

I think the problems we have as a result of big $ugar farming would go away pretty quickly if we just removed the protective tariffs that support their domestic sales (at the expense of anyone who consumes sweeteners, meaning pretty much all of us). But we've got the Tariff Raiser In Chief in the Oval Office so the opposite is more likely to happen.

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forgive me, all, for bringing up really old posts, but I hadn't visited this thread in a while.

On 10/23/2018 at 9:44 AM, jocal505 said:

Um. Where's the Columbia River? Geez.

On 10/23/2018 at 7:31 PM, jocal505 said:

What kind of map did you present that it would fail to depict the Columbia River? 

 

Huh?

Orange, top left corner, really fucking big, covers most of the PNW...

Like, seriously  -  WTF?

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1 hour ago, frenchie said:

forgive me, all, for bringing up really old posts, but I hadn't visited this thread in a while.

 

Huh?

Orange, top left corner, really fucking big, covers most of the PNW...

Like, seriously  -  WTF?

Dude, back off. I am hardly an expert on the landmarks of Brooklyn, frenchie, if you get my drift.

I have lived and worked on the banks of the Columbia. I've climbed every rock above Rock Island dam, and few can say that. The Columbia  makes a rare 90 deg. turn in my home town. The Columbia effectively dissects the state, north to south. The Columbia forms the northern borders Oregon.  At its origin, the Columbia hoops to the North, in Canada, then back to the south. At the other end, the Columbia finds the Pacific.

None of these features are depicted in that link! I stand by what I said, and you are welcome to visit the area.

 

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6 hours ago, frenchie said:

forgive me, all, for bringing up really old posts

Yoo Hoo! People do that around here! Doesn't bother me a bit. ;)

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U.S. Sugar files lawsuit against Army Corps over Lake Okeechobee management

Quote

 

...

U.S. Sugar, in its press release, suggests it's aligned with environmental interests that filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps earlier this year. 

Those environmental groups, though, were asking the Army Corps to deviate from what's called the Lake Okeechobee Regulations Schedule, or LORS, which sets the 12.5- to 15.5-foot requirement.

...

Jacklyn Lopez, with the Center for Biological Diversity, said growers like U.S. Sugar have kept the Army Corps in the past from operating the lake in a way that would benefit the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and cut down on potential algal blooms. 

The rivers were artificially connected to the lake to drain the Everglades for farming and development. 

"I’m assuming they’re referring to our (lawsuit) and they say they’re aligned with us and our concerns, but I doubt that is the case," Lopez said.

"Operations in the EAA (Everglades Agriculture Area south of the lake) have interfered with the Army Corps’ ability to move water south and to keep it from being sent to the estuaries."

...

 

I'd like to see the sugar industry's protective tariff go away and tell the Corps that this is their new goal:

LakeOWatershed.jpg

But union$ $peak fondly of protective tariffs and so does the President so that's extremely unlikely to happen.

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On 8/17/2019 at 12:27 AM, jocal505 said:

Dude, back off. I am hardly an expert on the landmarks of Brooklyn, frenchie, if you get my drift.

I have lived and worked on the banks of the Columbia. I've climbed every rock above Rock Island dam, and few can say that. The Columbia  makes a rare 90 deg. turn in my home town. The Columbia effectively dissects the state, north to south. The Columbia forms the northern borders Oregon.  At its origin, the Columbia hoops to the North, in Canada, then back to the south. At the other end, the Columbia finds the Pacific.

None of these features are depicted in that link! I stand by what I said, and you are welcome to visit the area.

 

I used to live in Vancouver, which is at least the same Nation (Cascadia)...

It sounded like you were saying it wasn't there at all, and I was a bit confused: anyone who lives in the PNW and cares about rivers wouldn't recognize the overall shape of the drainage basin.

But I found higher-rez versions, and I can see what you mean: the 'artist' left the Columbia looking like a bunch of dis-connected segments, that drain to nowhere...

In his defence, it seems he's Hungarian, did it with software.  He's probably never set foot in the US.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3860062/The-veins-America-Stunning-map-shows-river-basin-US.html#ixzz4NpEezcqs)

 

 

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9 minutes ago, frenchie said:

I used to live in Vancouver, which is at least the same Nation (Cascadia)...

It sounded like you were saying it wasn't there at all, and I was a bit confused: anyone who lives in the PNW and cares about rivers wouldn't recognize the overall shape of the drainage basin.

But I found higher-rez versions, and I can see what you mean: the 'artist' left the Columbia looking like a bunch of dis-connected segments, that drain to nowhere...

In his defence, it seems he's Hungarian, did it with software.  He's probably never set foot in the US.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3860062/The-veins-America-Stunning-map-shows-river-basin-US.html#ixzz4NpEezcqs)

 

The depiction was certainly an artist's rendering. I get to look down at the Columbia from 5400 feet these days. Awesome country. Rugged, raw, and expansive.

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26 minutes ago, Fat Point Jack said:

The Supremes are going to rule on the scope of the Clean Water Act.  Where you dump your waste will determine if you are dumping it into our waters.

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/06/776968335/supreme-court-justices-searching-for-a-compromise-in-major-environmental-case 

Hmm...

Quote

When environmental lawyer Henkin came to the lectern, he got equally skeptical questions from the justices. Justice Alito - let's take the ordinary family out in the country that has a septic tank, and they get a building permit for it. And then it turns out 10 years later that some things are leaching out of the tank into navigable waters. So they would be violating the Clean Water Act and subject to the $50,000 a day penalties. Lawyer Henkin replied that septic tanks are highly regulated all over the country and that these tanks don't pollute groundwater that goes into navigable waters anyway. Well, water runs downhill, grumped Justice Gorsuch.

Weird that the environmental lawyer agrees with the guy in El Jobean and Gorsuch appears not to agree, isn't it?

On 11/8/2018 at 6:04 AM, Fat Point Jack said:

A fellow over in El Jobean says that his 40 year old septic tank 20 feet from a canal that connects to the Myakka does not have any effect on water quality.

 

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Our big lake is getting a big puddle
 

Quote

 

The Everglades and St. Lucie River, Caloosahatchee River and Indian River Lagoon may be getting an early — although long-awaited — Christmas present.

A bipartisan federal spending deal the U.S. House approved Tuesday contains the $200 million appropriation for Everglades restoration environmentalists have been seeking for years.

...

"This is excellent news, we’re beating the clock to avoid a shutdown and we’re getting almost triple the money for Everglades restoration than previously allocated," said Celeste De Palma, director of Everglades policy for Audubon Florida.

 

I thought about putting this one in the fiscal responsibility thread because funding was tripled.

The puddle project may do some good but removing the sugar tariff would do more, mostly by ending the US sugar industry.

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On 1/23/2020 at 9:47 AM, Mrleft8 said:

Trump Strips Pollution Controls on Streams and Wetlands

Heh. That's one way to put it. Here's another:

Trump Administration Repeals Federal Protections on Puddles, Dry Stream Beds, Some Ditches

As I noted a few years ago,

On 1/23/2016 at 7:16 PM, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

The devil is in the details, though. Everything within 4,000 feet of my pond is part of our navigable waters? Thing is, there are other ponds within that distance and others within the same distance of those. I seriously doubt if any part of Charlotte County is NOT part of our navigable waters under that rule.


The Clean Water Act was never intended to make every drop of water "federal" water because it might make its way to some navigable water one day.

from the link:

Quote

 

...Legal cases about the limits of what the federal government can regulate under the Clean Water Act stretch back decades. That law, which sets water quality standards and requires those emitting pollutants into regulated waters to obtain an EPA permit, gives the federal government power over the country's "navigable waters."

The law defines those navigable waters rather vaguely as "the waters of the United States." For decades, federal agencies claimed the power to regulate stream beds that were dry most of the year, ponds on private property, and even roadside ditches, all on the theory that these small bodies of water would eventually filter into navigable waterways.

In the 2006 decision Rapanos v. United States, a plurality of the Supreme Court rejected what it saw as the feds' effective claim of authority over all water in the country, instead saying that they could only regulate "relatively permanent, standing or flowing bodies of water" that had a "continuous surface connection" with "waters of the United States."

But because that was only a plurality opinion, with then-Justice Anthony Kennedy writing a concurring opinion saying the federal government had power over anything with a "significant nexus" to a navigable waterway, legal and regulatory disputes over the scope of the Clean Water Act have continued to the present day.

When Obama's EPA issued its 2015 WOTUS rule, it immediately attracted lawsuits, which resulted in federal courts in North Dakota, Texas, Georgia, and Oregon issuing rulings staying the rule's implementation in 27 states. When Trump administration tried to delay implementation of the rule to 2020, the courts slammed that down too, so the rule went into effect in 22 other states. (There's an open question over whether an injunction applies to New Mexico.)

...

 

The plurality definition from Rapanos v US makes sense to me. My pond would be part of the WOTUS under that rule but most of the nearby ones that I mentioned in 2016 would not.

I'm not sure if it would be part of the WOTUS under Justice Kennedy's "significant nexus" rule. My ditch is a nexus and water flows down it at about 50 gpm all the time. Is that significant? It is to me. Without it the spring would flood my yard!

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Nestlé wants Florida’s drinking water for free - again

Carl Hiassen writes very good books and I've been reading his newspaper columns most of my life. I often disagree with them but this time he's almost completely right IMO.
 

Quote

 

Florida, perpetually in a water crisis, once again is poised to give away hundreds of millions of gallons that will end up in plastic bottles on the shelves of supermarkets.

A company called Seven Springs Water wants to renew a lucrative permit that allows the siphoning of Ginnie Springs, a scenic recreational site along the Santa Fe River near Gainesville.

For a farcical one-time fee of $115, Seven Springs would be allowed to withdraw almost 1.2 million gallons a day from a river system where the flows already have dropped 30 percent to 40 percent, according to the Florida Springs Institute.

 

A minor quibble: $115 is not "free" but it is basically a rounding error so close enough.
 

Quote

 

The Florida Springs Council, a consortium of 48 organizations focused on water issues in northern and central Florida is among the opponents of the Ginnie Springs expansion. It notes that the Santa Fe isn’t the same river it was 20 years ago, when the original usage permit was issued.

Trouble was evident as recently as 2013, when the Suwannee River Water Management District reported that the Lower Santa Fe had a “deficit of 11 million gallons per day.” Today, the river is considered to be at minimum flow.

 

That shows a bit of the scale of the problem. 1.2 million gallons/day is a lot. 11 million gallons/day is a lot more.

And that's in one part of the FL aquifer, which is all connected and doesn't really care about water management district lines. Down in my little part of it, dozens of people have old, abandoned, free-flowing artesian wells. One of them feeds my pond. 50 gallons per minute, which is 72,000 gallons/day each. I didn't count the free-flowing wells in post 116 and some probably do not have quite the flow rate of mine, but the combined total must be at least a few million gallons per day. Straight into the Gulf, all from one little county.

So Nestle is a big, bad corporation and makes a good political target but we could eliminate their usage entirely without making much of a dent in our problem.
Still, Hiassen and the Springs Council are right about this:
 

Quote

 

The sane response would be to reduce — not increase — the volumes being pumped out. A jump to 1.2 million gallons per day would more than quadruple the current impact on Ginnie Springs.

Rejecting or at least modifying the application seems like a wise and obvious choice for the Suwannee district board. Unfortunately, that vacancy-plagued panel is one of several that the governor seems to have forgotten.

Nestlé has big money and political clout, so the state is unlikely to completely shut off the Ginnie Springs spigot. Still, it wouldn’t be revolutionary to require water-bottling operations to start paying for what they take, as California does.The Florida Springs Council estimates that even a puny, one-cent-per-gallon fee on the Seven Springs/Nestlé permit would generate at least $400,000 a year that could fund restoration projects in the Santa Fe River Basin, which is fed by dozens of natural springs.

Statewide, the group says, a fee of only 50-cents-per-thousand gallons on companies such as Nestlé would raise “hundreds of millions of dollars to protect and sustain Florida’s waters.”

 

The idea that companies should pay for a use permit is already agreed: they're paying a whole $115. The amount seems ridiculously low. Charging them more would be fine with me.

Do we then apply that idea to people like me, who have runaway wells? Let's see... 72k gallons per day at a penny each is 720 bucks a day or $262,800/yr. This would quickly result in a "blood from a stone" problem.

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23 minutes ago, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

Nestlé wants Florida’s drinking water for free - again

Carl Hiassen writes very good books and I've been reading his newspaper columns most of my life. I often disagree with them but this time he's almost completely right IMO.
 

A minor quibble: $115 is not "free" but it is basically a rounding error so close enough.
 

That shows a bit of the scale of the problem. 1.2 million gallons/day is a lot. 11 million gallons/day is a lot more.

And that's in one part of the FL aquifer, which is all connected and doesn't really care about water management district lines. Down in my little part of it, dozens of people have old, abandoned, free-flowing artesian wells. One of them feeds my pond. 50 gallons per minute, which is 72,000 gallons/day each. I didn't count the free-flowing wells in post 116 and some probably do not have quite the flow rate of mine, but the combined total must be at least a few million gallons per day. Straight into the Gulf, all from one little county.

So Nestle is a big, bad corporation and makes a good political target but we could eliminate their usage entirely without making much of a dent in our problem.
Still, Hiassen and the Springs Council are right about this:
 

The idea that companies should pay for a use permit is already agreed: they're paying a whole $115. The amount seems ridiculously low. Charging them more would be fine with me.

Do we then apply that idea to people like me, who have runaway wells? Let's see... 72k gallons per day at a penny each is 720 bucks a day or $262,800/yr. This would quickly result in a "blood from a stone" problem.

They are paying a whole lot more for the hydrologist commercials praising their draining of the state.

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March was the driest on record. Can the Everglades cope?
 

Quote

 

...

The situation was so extreme last month — with water conservation areas falling below safe levels — that water managers last Friday stepped up water restrictions, ordering residents to cut landscape irrigation to just twice a week, between 7 p.m. and 7a.m. with no more than an inch of water applied to lawns each week.

While water is being allocated for agricultural use, there is hardly any freshwater flowing south into Everglades National Park, as a recent presentation at the district’s monthly board meeting showed.

Big Cypress National Preserve was among the areas with the biggest rainfall deficit, Mitnik said.

The water that’s flowing south for water supply maintenance in southern Miami-Dade County isn’t enough to make it to Taylor Slough, a key conduit that takes freshwater south to Florida Bay. A large portion of Taylor Slough, which stretches from the east Everglades to the northern part of Florida Bay, is located inside the park, and is visible from the Anhinga Trail boardwalk near the Royal Palm visitor center.

It’s an area that should always have deeper water than the surrounding marshes, and where a slow current is present, like a shallow and slow-moving river.

With water depths decreasing dramatically since the start of the year, nothing is making its way south to Florida Bay, and salinity levels have become critically high, Lawrence Glenn, the district’s water resources chief, said during the video conference meeting of the governing board.

...

 

It rained a bit over most of FL yesterday, but probably not enough to make much difference.

It's always pretty dry around here from around March until whenever the thunderstorms begin their daily appearances in June. It's not always this dry, but I have seen it before. I have my own groundwater level gauge (sorta) and will post a pic later on when it gets light.

 

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The Supreme Court has gone a bit beyond the "navigable adjacent" standard.

Opinion analysis: The justices’ purpose-full reading of the Clean Water Act
 

Quote

 

Today the Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that the Clean Water Act requires a permit when a point source of pollution adds pollutants to navigable waters through groundwater, if this addition of pollutants is “the functional equivalent of a direct discharge” from the source into navigable waters. Because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit applied a different legal test in determining that a permit was required for a sewage treatment facility operated by the County of Maui, the Supreme Court vacated the 9th Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case for application of the standard announced today.

Perhaps the most striking feature of Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion for the majority – which drew the votes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as well as those of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – is its interpretive method. The opinion reads like something from a long-ago period of statutory interpretation, before statutory decisions regularly made the central meaning of complex laws turn on a single word or two and banished legislative purpose to the interpretive fringes.

Breyer put legislative purpose front and center in concluding that the interpretations offered by the County of Maui and the solicitor general would open a “large and obvious loophole in one of the key regulatory innovations of the Clean Water Act,” and allow “easy evasion of the [relevant] statutory provision’s basic purposes.” In describing the legal basis of the court’s ruling, Breyer twice placed the statute’s “purposes” as equal partners alongside “language” and “structure.” On this deeply textualist court, any reference to statutory purpose can draw a partial nonconcurrence, or even a dissent, from textualist justices. Today, however, Breyer’s invocation of legislative purpose – and even a brief discussion of legislative history! – went unchallenged by the five other justices who embraced his test for determining the reach of the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirement where discharges to groundwater are involved. (Kavanaugh joined the court’s opinion “in full,” but filed a concurring opinion mostly highlighting his agreement with Justice Antonin Scalia’s plurality opinion in Rapanos v. United States, narrowly construing the “waters of the United States” protected by the Clean Water Act.)

 

Groundwater crosses state lines but there always has to be some tie-in to "navigable" waters.

Meanwhile, we're having quite a drought here and the groundwater level is low. Here's my gauge:

PondDrainApril2020.jpg

That's a 4" PVC pipe that drains water from the surface of my pond. Twice since I installed it in the 1990's, the water level has dropped below the level of the pipe, meaning the entire 50-60 gallon per minute output of the artesian spring is leaking out into the groundwater.

Hard to tell from the photo but it's pretty close to that point now and the groundwater doesn't bounce back until the daily thunderstorms start, usually the beginning of June. Here's what it looks like when the ground water is high.

The brick on top of the pipe in the video is covered with algae now but you can see it's exposed in the pic above.

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More on the emerging status of groundwater as the functional equivalent of navigable water
 

Quote

 

...

the Court has failed to give landowners any clear guidance as to when they might run afoul of federal regulations.

"As with any sort of balancing test, it's a mess of factors. There's no way of knowing how they're going to apply in any given situation, how to weight them, or what sort of tipping point you need to get to before it constitutes a functional equivalent," he says. "It's giving judges a blank check for how it's going to apply and how people will be punished."

This means individual landowners, companies, and other regulated entities can expect to be the target of Clean Water Act litigation for years to come, he says.

It could also have serious implications for the Trump administration's rewrite of clean water regulations, which is intended to narrow the definition of navigable waters that are regulated by the federal government.

On Tuesday, the administration published the final version of its Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which replaces the more expansive and legally controversial Waters of the United States rule the Obama administration had issued in 2015.

Among its many changes, the Trump administration's new rule declares that groundwater does not count as a navigable water under the Clean Water Act, and it's up to states and tribes, not the federal government, to regulate them.

Breyer's opinion that discharges into groundwater are in fact regulated by the law when they meet his functional equivalent test seems to conflict with this new rule. The majority opinion in Maui could thus provide more ammunition to environmental groups that have already promised to sue the Trump administration over its Navigable Waters Protection rule.

 

 

 

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Tyranny, it's just tyranny.  They are going to take my money or take my home without representation.

The City of Fat Point, as utility service provider for the Charlotte County subdivision, Charlotte Park has announced a Septic to Sewer program.  It will target about 900 homes in the subdivision.  Estimate: $11,000.

The citizens of Charlotte Park are represented by the Charlotte County commission who long ago gave up their responsibility for providing this service.  So it does little good for the citizens to be pissed at them.  As those citizens are not Fat Point citizens, they had no voice in this process.

I can't wait for the letters to the Ed start.  

The area is all in a Special Flood Zone and ground level is 3-6 feet above sea level.  New septic tanks are a mound in the yard.

My grandkids will have cleaner water

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21 hours ago, Fat Point Jack said:

Tyranny, it's just tyranny.  They are going to take my money or take my home without representation.

The City of Fat Point, as utility service provider for the Charlotte County subdivision, Charlotte Park has announced a Septic to Sewer program.  It will target about 900 homes in the subdivision.  Estimate: $11,000.

The citizens of Charlotte Park are represented by the Charlotte County commission who long ago gave up their responsibility for providing this service.  So it does little good for the citizens to be pissed at them.  As those citizens are not Fat Point citizens, they had no voice in this process.

I can't wait for the letters to the Ed start.  

The area is all in a Special Flood Zone and ground level is 3-6 feet above sea level.  New septic tanks are a mound in the yard.

My grandkids will have cleaner water

We can at least hope the last sentence is true, but when a big system has a problem we get some truly massive sewage spills.

That's a cool neighborhood. We own a canal lot on Larkspur and running a sewer in there will likely increase the value. Meanwhile, since it's not technically PG, or worse, PGI, you can do stuff like have a boat trailer in the yard. And it's walking distance to Publix.

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