—June 19, DEP Press Release: DEP TO IMPLEMENT COLLIER COUNTY REQUESTS; DEP still pressuring Commissioners for private settlement rather than public hearing; they did not grant the #1 request of Commissioners to revoke the Dan A. Hughes Collier-Hogan permit.
—June 18, DEP Press Release: LETTER FROM DEP SECRETARY HERSCHEL T. VINYARD JR.TO DAN A. HUGHES CO. AND COLLIER RESOURCES CO. calling for three public meetings.
—June 16, “Herschel Vinyard, the head of the state Department of Environmental Protection traveled Monday night to Collier County promising greater transparency and an open dialogue to address local concerns about issues at an oil well near Immokalee. But despite promises, Vinyard met with Tom Henning, chairman of the Collier County Board of Commissioners in a late meeting that was not open to the public. Henning who said last week that meeting DEP officials in private “goes against everything all of us on the Board of County Commissioners stand for” and called for “an open public dialogue to learn what needs to be learned and take action where it needs to be taken,” declined multiple requests for comment."
—June 13, Attended U.S. Senator Bill Nelson's press conference on the Lake Okeechobee overflow crisis; thanked him for the federal investigation of Dan A. Hughes; says he's keeping an eye on the illegal fracking and acknowledged that it is counterproductive to the Everglades Restoration Project; passed on the invite to visit the drill site. Time will tell.
—June 12, Commissioners petition challenging the DEP Consent Order submitted; not as strong as we'd like; but does meet the deadline and they can amend; additionally the Conservancy can intervene.
—Grateful, June 10, Commissioners stay the course and challenge the Consent Order as they originally voted to do April 22 and May 13, despite accusations from the DEP that they are "thwarting their efforts." The Commissioners were right to reject a secret, closed door session with the DEP and insist on a public meeting. We need government transparency and full disclosure, especially because the DEP kept secret the illegal fracking and criminal noncompliance of Dan A. Hughes for months through all the key state and federal hearings. Just as the U.S. Senator Bill Nelson ordered a federal investigation of Dan A. Hughes, so too, the time has come for the Commissioners to stay the course and challenge the Consent Order as promised. Kudos to the Commissioners.
—Outraged, June 3, TODAY, JUDGE RECOMMENDED DEP ISSUE GOLDEN GATE EXPLORATORY WELL PERMIT; he refused to accept into evidence the Cease and Desist and Consent Order regarding Hughes' illegal fracking of the Collier Hogan well. Considering options.
On May 2, state calls for Dan A. Hughes to "cease all new operations in Florida."
On May 1, Senator Bill Nelson calls for a federal review of the Dan A. Hughes Company since they illegally fracked our watershed next to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: “We cannot tolerate expanded industrial drilling activities that pose a threat to the drinking and surface water so close to the Florida Everglades,” Nelson wrote Thursday in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The recent discovery of a fracking-like incident there raises serious concerns about whether outside wildcatters would soil one of the world’s great environmental treasures.”
On April 22 and May 13, the Collier County Commissioners voted unanimously to challenge the DEP's Consent Order on the Collier-Hogan well that was illegally fracked near Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. For the first time ever, Collier County is challenging the DEP on oil drilling. They're calling for a revocation of the Dan A. Hughes permit, because no amount of regulation will make it safe if the company won't obey the regulations. They accused Hughes of misrepresentation and lying and registered alarm and anger that the DEP failed to disclose the criminal wrongdoing at the recent public hearings. Failing revocation, they're calling for permit conditions that include stronger 1) oversight, 2) monitoring, 3) direct communication with the DEP as well as a list of 10 staff recommendations submitted by Dan Summers, Director of Emergency Management earlier in the year. They also intend to seek the Legislative Delegations help. We need transparency and full disclosure, which means an administrative hearing, not the private settlement DEP and Hughes were pushing for.
April, 8, DEP issues a Consent Order with Dan A. Hughes including fine of $25,000 for unauthorized, fracking like procedure at the Collier-Hogan well. The fracking like incident was not a mistake or oversight, but intentional. The DEP instructed Hughes not to do a procedure that had never been done before in Florida; Hughes ignored the state and went ahead with what sounds like the type of extreme acid fracking California has legislated against; when ordered to Cease and Desist, Hughes continued, in direct defiance. The fracking like incident occurred over New Years but was not revealed during the EPA hearing, Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee meeting, Collier County Commissioners meetings or Administrative Judge's hearing; indeed the Judge refuses to admit it as evidence of the company's criminal wrongdoing because it was withheld from the Judge by the DEP until after the cut-off date for evidence. The workover notice from Hughes, proposed injecting the well with a dissolving solution at sufficient pressure to create openings in the oil-bearing rock formation that would be propped open with sand; this is the textbook definition of "fracking." The Collier-Hogan well has not been shutdown, despite pending water monitoring tests.
On March 31, the DEP Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee reconvened for the first time in decades and recommended that the Judge and DEP deny the Golden Gate permit.
—Waiting for DEP to issue final order on Hughes Golden Gate exploratory well.
—Waiting for EPA final order on Hughes Golden Gate injection well.
—Waiting for DEP hearing on the Tocala seismic testing permit (using dynamite) on the 115,000 acres next to the Big Cypress National Preserve.
—Waiting for DEP pubic meeting on the proposed Burnett seismic testing (using trucks and vibrations to fracture and fissure to 13,000') on 235,510 acres in the Big Cypress National Preserve, an area of "critical state concern."
—Waiting for Collier County Commissioners to submit petition to challenge DEP Consent Order on Collier-Hogan well.
August 3, 10am, Phipps Park Campground, Stuart, Florida, Save the Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee Agaisnt Lake O Discharges, Annual Event https://www.facebook.com/events/626663280736316/
Add a comment, and send:
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/commissioners-ban-fracking (this needs to be edited to include all fracking like activities and extreme extraction, not just hydraulic fracturing)