Jim Taylor is a local attorney who lives in Bradford County and represents HPS Enterprises.
You might be surprised to learn that phosphate mining in Florida first started here in Alachua County more than 130 years ago. Phosphate nutrients are just as important for farmers to grow the food we eat as they were back then, but the processes we use to mine this crucial resource have undergone significant advancements.
That’s why it was disappointing to read The Sun’s recent editorial, “Mine poses threat to river, aquifer,” which paints an incomplete and misleading picture of the phosphate mining plans that have been submitted to officials in Union and Bradford counties.
The families pursuing this opportunity are local residents who have owned this land for decades. They are part of our community. They have a vested interest in returning the land to productive use for wildlife, agriculture and other purposes after mining has taken place, and they want to make sure our area’s precious natural environment and quality of life are protected for generations to come.
To that end, innovative processes will be used in this mining operation that are designed to reduce the amount of water used — and multiple safeguards are in place for our area’s rivers and aquifers. This project also places a priority on reclaiming the land after mining operations have finished in an area.
The Sun editorial briefly mentions the “narrow economic benefits” this project would provide for Union and Bradford counties.
For the rest of this column: http://www.gainesville.com/opinion/20170825/jim-taylor-editorial-painted-misleading-picture-of-mining