News And Updates
Published By: bradenton.com
Earthjustice, Sierra Club, ManaSota-88, People for Protecting Peace River and Gulf Restoration Network will hold a news conference at noon today to announce they will challenge a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge-and-fill permit that authorizes 10 years of phosphate strip-mining on the Altman Tract in Manatee County's northeast corner.
Frank Jackalone, a Sierra Club senior regional representative, said Friday the groups will file suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida today, stating the Corps issued a dredging permit before following oversight procedures.
"We are demanding that the Corps take the usual procedure of conducting a full environmental impact statement, which we've asked them to do previously, but they refused to do it," Jackalone said. "Our attorneys are convinced the Corps should have had full study and a full public hearing."
Mosaic Co. has designs on unearthing valuable minerals on 1,500 acres at the tract, but 400 acres of pristine wetlands sprinkled throughout the property have made it almost impossible to avoid an environmental impact.
The company at 9 a.m. Thursday will present to county commissioners a phased plan to mine and restore the land, along with offering a host of incentives to sweeten the deal. Officials will have to determine whether Mosaic's plan meets the public interest.