Project study yields dispute April 2, article
Project a danger to water supply
It may be worth mentioning that the disputed area contains many freshwater springs. While some of these still produce a flow, many have already been obliterated by the mining operations there. Miners even created a new spring years back by punching a hole straight through to the Floridan Aquifer. It flooded the mining pit and it is still there.
Reports by local divers indicate the area is peppered with caverns hundreds of feet deep that connect to rooms large enough to rival the St. Pete Times Forum. This is an open window to the largest and most important water supply in our region.
I can't imagine anyone short of a terrorist who would declare they have taken sides against cataloging and preserving the integrity of our water supply but it seems our county administrator and at least one former Army Corps of Engineers official have done just that.
The unique geological qualities of this area are undisputed. It has attracted lime rock mining due to the shallow overburden and exposed lime rock. The hole miners punched through to fresh water is less than 40 feet below grade. In a testament to the porous nature of the terrain, an alarming incident that produced hundreds of sinkholes within hours occurred very close by. The coastal area to the north and south contain several well-documented, deep springs. Little is known about this area as it has been under private ownership for so long, but it seems there are at least a dozen springs or former springs of various sizes in close proximity to the proposed development.
While the present state of the property is not desirable and almost any change would be an improvement, it would seem that introducing saltwater to the mining pits and thousands of square yards of exposed lime rock may very well threaten the water supply of millions of residents.
Your article made it clear who is on one side of this dispute. I hope this letter has helped clarify who is on the other.
Greg Johnson, New Port Richey
Replacement for fossil fuel lacking
I'm glad to see at least one politician in our state doesn't have his head in the sand. We have allowed the politicians in both parties, Republican and Democrat, to let foreign oil hold us hostage far too long.
I read that Cuba is going to allow China to drill off its shores and Hugo Chavez from Venezuela is talking about drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. We do not own the gulf. Therefore, we cannot stop them. Doesn't it make sense that we who have the technology and care more about the environment beat them to the draw?
At this time, we can't come up with a less expensive alternate fuel to replace fossil fuel. Farmers need corn to feed their livestock and many Third World countries need our corn because it's an important staple to them.
It's getting to the point where our truckers can no longer make a living driving their trucks and are working for nothing. When they can no longer afford to operate, then what?
J.L. Mielke, Hudson
We have answers under our soil
I applaud the courage of Commissioner Jack Mariano to not only gather information on the possibility of drilling in the gulf, but also to stand against the politically correct cowards who refuse to even acknowledge a national crisis.
The oil debacle should have been addressed in 1980 when OPEC first started flexing its muscle. There is no other solution in the foreseeable future, except to drill our own resources in Alaska, Texas, and, yes, even offshore California and the Gulf of Mexico.
Our enemies laugh at a country full of tree huggers who send our money to them for something we already have!
The oil crisis is not only the gas in your car, but electricity, air travel, transportation of goods, milk, clothing — the very necessities that we depend on everyday.
Wake up! Environmentalists are selling out our country to the people who wish to destroy us.
Thank you, Jack, for putting America before political expediency and popular trends. It takes guts to say the unpopular thing. That is true leadership!
New Port Richey