JANUARY 9, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PETITION FILED TO CHALLENGE SLEEPY CREEK LANDS PERMIT
PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION WILL PROCEED TO VOICE OPPOSITION
Palatka, FL – St. Johns Riverkeeper, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Silver Springs Alliance, and Ocala resident Alice Gardiner jointly filed a petition today for a formal administrative hearing to contest the issuance of the Sleepy Creek Ranch Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) for an 84% increase in its water allocation. Click here to read the petition.
Two years ago, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) staff recommended denial of the permit request based on anticipated adverse effects on spring flows and a determination that an "increase in allocation of 1.12 mgd of groundwater is not consistent with the public interest...."
On December 12, 2016, the SJRWMD reversed its decision and now recommends issuing the permit based on a new version of the Northern District Model, a large-scale scientific model used to establish minimum flows and levels for waterways. A recent peer-review of the new version of the model indicated that the model is proprietary and uses non-peer reviewed code, preventing members of the public from being able to verify the results and validate its use.
The petitioners are seeking an administrative hearing to challenge the appropriateness of the model, along with the assertion that Sleepy Creek Lands provided reasonable assurances that the proposed withdrawals would not cause harmful impacts to Silver Springs and the Silver River and that the project is in the public interest.
A rally to demonstrate opposition to proposed permit will still take place at the St. Johns River Water Management headquarters in Palatka on Tuesday, January 10. While the SJRWMD Governing Board will not take a vote on this harmful permit on Tuesday due to the petition, citizens are encouraged to attend to voice support for our springs and rivers at the rally and during the public comment period at the meeting.
SAVE SILVER SPRINGS DEMONSTRATION PRESS EVENT
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 10:00 AM
4049 Reid Street, Palatka 32177