Deep Well Opposition In Jackson County Strengthens

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. - The controversy over an proposed exploratory injection well in Jackson County is still on the front-burner.

Waste Management is requesting a permit to drill the deep disposal well at the Springhill Landfill in Campbellton.         

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has not issued a permit to Waste Management.

However, residents and local officials are fighting to keep the project from moving forward.

"I believe personally it has not been issued because of a lot of concerns that's been raised. So I think hopefully, DEP is being very cautious in what they're about to do," said County Administrator Ernie Padgett.

Padgett joined county commissioners to approve a resolution opposing the project three weeks ago.

In late May, State Senator George Gainer also issued a statement requesting that FDEP deny the permit.

Both FDEP and Waste Management have been holding public meetings on this issue within the last four months.

The number one concern from residents attending the meetings is that wastewater will resurface, or seep into the ground water supplies and the aquifers.

Waste Management is assuring residents there is no evidence of leachate rising.

But, Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman said she's seen a report on an injection well in Pinellas County that confirms those fears.

"The officials actually said that some of the 20 million gallons they had been pumping into the ground via an injection well had surfaced, had migrated back up to the surface," said Pittman.

Pittman said they should take no chances.

"If that's a possibility and has been proven that it has happened before, why would we take the chance of this happening here in Jackson County....We have sacrificed enough here in Jackson County just by having that landfill here in our neighborhood," added Pittman.

The list of project opponents is growing, including letters from Jacob City and Campbellton.

Marianna City Commissioners are expected to vote tomorrow on a resolution to oppose the deep injection well.

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