IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Please plan to attend the hearing and invite your friends and neighbors! We need as many people as possible to speak in opposition to Class B Biosolids/Sewage Sludge brought from outside the county and dumped here!

Reach out to officials (pre-written letter below & form at bottom):

Please send detailed concerns regarding this environmentally sensitive area and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Permit Application Number FLAB07018-003 for American Bioclean, Inc. to Thomas.Kallemeyn@floridadep.gov or call 904-256-1616.

The details of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) application process are described in this email forwarded from County Commissioner Bill Pickens from State Representative Bobby Payne's Office.

Please send detailed concerns regarding the altering of the wetlands at this environmentally sensitive area to St. Johns River Water Management District at ERevuelta@sjrwmd.com or call 386-643-1933.

Please share your concerns regarding the Special Use Permit Application to apply biosolids in Putnam County, FL, with the Putnam County Zoning Board of Adjustment prior to the hearing:

Earl Ballengee, 386-603-1145, earl496@windstream.net

Ed Killebrew, 386-937-1220, davidsmghtymen@aol.com

Linda Osborne, 352-475-5072, losborne.l45@gmail.com

Mark Fisher, 386-326-8875, mafish@hughes.net

Mary Ruth Ratliff, 386-684-6860, maryruthratliff@aol.com

Ron West, 386-698-2370, rcw32@windstream.net

TJ Smith, 386-972-9799, tannerjayce10@gmail.com

Please send detailed concerns regarding potential violations of the Putnam County Land Development Code regarding waterbody, wetlands, and aquifer protection, or a final development order and/or development permit issued by Planning and Development Services to Putnam County Code Enforcement at code.enforcement@putnam-fl.com.

PRE-WRITTEN LETTER (AUTOMATIC FORM BELOW):

SUBJECT: Please Do Not Authorize Biosolids Applications

BODY:

I am writing to oppose the open Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit application # FLAB07018-003 and Putnam County Special Use Permit Application # SUP21-005 for Jennigirl, LLC, or American Bioclean, Inc., and Lawrence "Larry" Downes, for authorization to apply class B biosolids to property adjacent to Old Highway 17 in south Putnam County, Florida.

This is a bad arrangement with no good consequences for Putnam County residents. Please take into account the following factors, that are not in the best interest of the surrounding populations or ecology:

1. Pathogens: The proposed site is adjacent to a daycare, a pub, and homes relying on private wells. There is the concern about heavy metal and residual pharmaceutical leaching, vector and pathogen problems.

With the current prevalence of COVID transmission and with so many unknowns there is no guarantee that the spreading of Class B biosolids, either through runoff, ground water contamination or aerosolization, will not spread the virus.  

“Some COVID-19 patients shed SARS-CoV-2 RNA in stool for weeks after symptom onset and replication-competent virus has been demonstrated in a minority; fomites or inhalation of bioaerosols containing virus might play roles in SARS-CoV-2 transmission” (https://www.cdc.gov/library/covid19/pdf/2020-09_08-Science-Update_FINAL_public-v2.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0EEBK-IB6kw22Ve8RPI-4fJ3loATHjLXq0L8AMUmk8H_dkbmCeXQs_lmg). 

2. Water: The proposed class B biosolids application site is in an ecologically fragile area. A stream that drains from Silver Lake into Lake Crescent crosses directly through the proposed site. The main lake in the watershed, Lake Crescent, just a mile away, is on the EPA 303(d) list of impaired waterways. There is a TMDL in place that manages the amount of TN and TP that can be entered into the system. We should be doing what we can to reduce the overall stress upon the system.

Allowing biosolids to be applied in such close proximity to the lake and watershed, which is already impaired, would be detrimental to the ecosystem, and not honor the TMDL that was put in place to protect Lake Crescent. In addition, there are also several wetlands on the property and surrounding properties.

The area has been determined to be more vulnerable to the Florida Aquifer System by the FDEP. This is likely because of the highly permeable soil in this aquifer recharge area. Many of the nearby residents rely on water from private wells, or from the nearby Lake Como Water Association, which currently has documented high quality water.

3. Environmental impact: This proposed site would smell of sewage, and contribute to the growth of algal blooms, cause massive fish and bird kills due to elevated phosphorus levels from runoff from Class B Biosolids/Sewage Sludge dumping.

Class B biosolids can also cause the development of nematodes, or parasites, that can cause serious diseases and irreversible ecological damage. The proposed site would pose negative consequences for the habitat of endangered species, such as the Gopher Tortoises and Sandhill Cranes, which are native to the area. Bioaerosols also propagate insects known to transmit infections, such as heartworm, to domestic pets.

4. Economic impact: Residents do not want the water or air quality to negatively change. Allowing this application to go through will bring a level of pollution that will threaten the economic future of the area. Several thousand residents have invested in homes and property to enjoy a peaceful and rural way of life, in harmony with existing agricultural uses. This proposed site could have a profound effect on nearby property appraisal values, which would devastate the already marginalized area.

The surrounding water bodies are important to tourism and have become a destination for people to come and enjoy nature and Old Florida. Many RV parks, resorts, housing and vacation homes are thriving along the lakes, Dunns Creek, and St. Johns River. This area has become a place for families to come and enjoy the great outdoors, which our economic future depends on.

5. Enforcement: American Bioclean, Inc., will be transporting waste between counties and FDEP districts. The main offices are in Volusia County, in the Central District, and the new application site is in Putnam County, managed by the Northeast District. Crossing so many lines likely will blur monitoring and determination of who is responsible for issues that may arise.

It is also important to note that American Bioclean, Inc., at the Volusia County location, has been found in violation by the FDEP for dredging and filling wetlands (OGC FILE NO. 17-0938). The St. Johns River Water Management District has also identified potential non-compliance by unauthorized activities in wetlands [62-330.020(2)(a), F.A.C.] at the property owned by Jennigirl, LLC., located on parcel 10-12-27-0000-0080-0000 in Putnam County (Item Number: 1425586).

6. This is a slippery slope that could allow additional entities to choose Putnam County as their dumping ground. The decision would pave the way for businesses to follow and create a county-wide problem, much larger than this proposed site.

These are the concerns of local citizens who look forward to the opportunity to be heard regarding opposition to these applications at a public hearing.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

PAID FOR BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL COALITION OF PUTNAM COUNTY