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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pulp mills get major water permits with no deliberation

Rayonier's Fernandina Beach plant


Rayonier's Fernandina Beach plant



Two Florida pulp mills just got major water permits approved by the St. Johns River Water Management District  governining board-- with no deliberation whatsoever, reports the Orlando Sentinel

The permis allow the WestRock CP LLC mill to pump 21.9 million gallons daily and the Rayonier Performance Fibers LLC mill -- both in Fernandina Beach -- to pump 16.8 million gallons a day, which the newspaper noted is "nearly half as much Floridan Aquifer water as used by the city of Orlando." 

One governing board member did not vote -- because she's the environmental manager for Rayonier Inc. Gov. Rick Scott appointed her to the water agency in June.

Linda Young of the Florida Clean Water Network called the permits "corporate welfare," noting that, "This water belongs to the people of Florida." Florida's water management districts have been criticized frequently for not treating it that way, particularly as they set limits on how much water the environment can spare for development and industry. A lot of those decisions are based on computer modeling, which has been found to be full of holes.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 2:36pm]


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