The Everglades wetlands ecosystem, our country's largest subtropical wilderness, has already been devastated by a century of destructive human activity. For many years, NRDC and other environmental groups have been working to stop a gargantuan limestone mining project from causing even more harm to the Everglades, irreversibly destroying critical wetlands and endangered species habitat, contaminating local drinking water supplies and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
Earlier this year, a federal court determined that the Army Corps of Engineers violated the law when it issued permits to the mining industry to turn more than 5,000 acres of Everglades into open pits. But the Corps is now set to re-issue those permits as well as approve the destruction of another 10,000-12,000 acres of wetlands. Together with existing mines, this would amount to converting 30 square miles of historic Everglades and irreplaceable wildlife habitat into mining pits.
As if the devastation to the Everglades were not reason enough to stop the mining, recent studies demonstrate that the proposed mining would endanger the adjacent public wellfield, which supplies drinking water to millions. Alternative mining plans exist, and include large buffers to protect the Everglades and the public wellfield but still allow at least eight years of mining (depending on demand, which has slowed recently).
The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to stop the proposed mining project by vetoing the permits.
What to do
Send a message urging the EPA to exercise its legal responsibility to protect the Everglades and public water supplies by vetoing the proposed permits and to approve only short-term mining plans that will protect the Everglades and public drinking water supplies.