The Amy H Remley Foundation  

May 11, 2009

Submissions on May 11, 2009, to the Citrus County Board of Commissioners, for the hearing on the proposed Crystal River Commons Developer's Agreement.

The Crystal River/Kings Bay water body is protected from water quality degradation below levels existing on March 1st, 1979, after being listed as a Special Water under the classification of an Outstanding Florida Water (OFW).

Federal protection requires an applicant for a permit for a proposed activity or discharge to affirmatively demonstrate it to be clearly in the public interest, and necessary and desirable under federal standards.

Yet, the Board of County Commissioners has been given no opportunity in the proceedings to weigh consequences of any degradation of Kings Bay waters resulting from the proposed development.

The clear geological conduit connections between the SUBJECT PROPERTY and the spring discharges into Kings Bay, together with the propensity for storm waters to gather toxins and pollutants, require more stringent controls to be specified and approved by permit to prevent contaminants from entry to the connecting conduits.

Moreover, adjacent wetland areas have been left out of the proceedings before the Commissioners.

Together with the conduits, they constitute a unified hydrological system, to collect, cleanse and convey waters directly to springs in Kings Bay.

In addition, both the wetlands and the SUBJECT PROPERTY occupy positions in the coastal floodplain. The wetlands have the important function to absorb and retain (pool) waters to deter major surface water flooding. Such flooding has two components. First, the hazard to properties, life and limb as exemplified by Hurricane Katrina. Second, causing degradation by washing silt and contaminants into Kings Bay, as happened when flood waters receded after the 1993, “Noname” storm.

The public interest is not in a short term gain for a few, but in a long term sustainable quality of life for the many.

For these reasons the Citrus County Board of Commissioners is urged to deny the Crystal River Commons Developer's Agreement (DA), which is deficient in the above respects.

Supporting facts are:

  • Crystal River/ Kings Bay is classified as an Outstanding Florida Water (OFW), under provisions of the Memorandum to the Chairman and Members, Florida Environmental Regulation Commission, of October 28, 1982. Waters of that OFW must not be degraded from specific standards existing on 1 March, 1979, under F.A.C. 62 – 302.700(8), as recorded in the SWFWMD Crystal River SWIM Plan of July 10, 2000, p38.

  • The FDEP/SWFWMD databases show the Kings Bay springshed as encompassing THE OWNER's properties as shown on, “Kings Bay Springshed with 2004 Satellite Imagery”. In addition, FGS Special Report 52, the SWFWMD Crystal River SWIM Plan of July 10, 2000, p38. Fig. 8. and Jones and Upchurch, 1988, “Origin of Nutrients Discharging from King's Bay Springs”, p3, Fig. 2. qualify that fact.

  • Primerica Group One, simply, did not require their consultants to consider impact of development upon the waters of Kings Bay, and so the commissioners were never apprised of any risk to those waters. Refer to the Ardaman Associates report, File Number 07-9849 to Primerica Group One, attn: Steve Facione.

  • The principal value function of the adjacent wetlands is to cleanse westward draining waters prior to their joining flows of waters in the series of groundwater conduits under the SUBJECT PROPERTY, which connect directly with thirty nine of the operating spring vents in Kings Bay.

  • Concerning the decision handed down by No.04-15442 (9th Cir. Aug.6, 2007), Kings Bay is an in-fact navigable United States waterway, sharing a common ecosystem with “Tributary” groundwater flows and adjacent wetlands, which alone confers the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction over that common ecosystem. “Tributary” embraces both surface and ground waters under the plain meaning of the term.

  • It would be absurd to suggest that any off site mitigation might compensate the destruction of these wetlands for housing. See the April, 2006, Congressional Research Issue Brief for Congress IB97014, and, HOMOSASSA QUADRANGLE FLORIDA-CITRUS CO. 7.5 MINUTE SERIES (TOPOGRAPHIC).

  • The said groundwater conduits underlay virtually the entire SUBJECT PROPERTY.

  • The site's soil porosity currently allows storm water to drain down into the SUBJECT PROPERTY. Whereas, creation of impervious areas introduces horizontal flow components, which collect excess nutrient loads, toxic vehicle effluents and other locally generated pollutants, to threaten Kings Bay water quality. On site treatment, to restrain this most monstrous of sources of harm to our water resources, is both expensive and uncertain.

  • Proof of harm done is revealed on lifting the cloak of years of drought to look and see how dramatically sea grasses in Tampa Bay have flourished, as drought-reduced flows have delivered fewer nutrients and toxins to those sea grass meadows.

Probable troubles ahead include:

  • Degradation of the Kings Bay waters would harm the local economy, valued at some $10million a year.
  • Prospective big-box corporations would likely be deterred by high insurance costs, to cover sinkhole damage, and, facing possible consequential liability claims for reduced amenity, reduced property values, and degraded water quality of the OFW.
  • The developer/owner's gain is taxpayers' loss of amenity and property value.
  • Big box stores do not attract new residents nor eco-tourism; the recreational value of the water quality does.

References not specifically quoted above, include:

  1. The Clean Water Act of 1972 as amended thro' 1987.
  2. Delineation of Spring Protection Areas at Five, First Magnitude Springs in North Central Florida, for the Suwanee River Water Management District. April 28, 2004.
  3. Delineation of Springshed Boundaries – Workshop, FDEP, 2003.
  4. Marion County Springs Protection Program, October, 2005, “Strategies and Recommendations for Protecting Silver and Rainbow Springs”.
  5. Geology of Citrus and Levy Counties, Florida, FGS Bulletin 33.
  6. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report I-73.

For other geology pages on this site, concerning basic research, click the following links:

News and Views
News Items

November 30, 2013
On environment, shortsightedness costs Florida big.
Scott Maxwell, Taking Names.
read more

October 9, 2013
Fuel Cell Today analysis.
The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2013.
read more

September 25, 2013
Fuel Cell Today analysis.
The Potential for Fuel Cell Prime Power in Japan.
read more

August 1, 2013
Duke Energy to cancel proposed Levy County nuclear plant.
read more

May 22, 2013
Fuel Cell Today analysis.
Electrolysers for Renewable Energy Efficiency.
read more

March 13, 2013
Beyond Electricity: Using Renewables Effectively.
read more

September 24, 2012
Sewer Systems Legal Filing.
read more

February 1, 2012
Fuel Cell Today update.
read more

January 13, 2012
Sewer Agenda.
read more

December 23, 2011
Scientist: Water account overdrawn.
read more

Novemver 14, 2011
Submission to the Citrus County Commissioner, 14 November, 2011.
read more