Petition to Stan Austin, Barclay Trimble, Larry Williams, Daryl Thomas, Tamara Whittington, Don Hargrove
Save Big Cypress National Preserve
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about Burnett Oil Company’s proposal to conduct seismic testing over 70,454 acres in the Big Cypress National Preserve. This is a large project encompassing some of the most environmentally sensitive lands in the nation. The type of geophysical exploration proposed by Burnett will involve the use of vibroseis buggies (weighing up to 30 tons) that vibrate large plates against the ground to generate a seismic signal, which is then measured to model local geology. Impacts from this activity can include removal of trees and other vegetation, building of access roads, surface and sheet flow disturbance from vehicles, cut lines that can extend up to fifty feet in width, clearing for equipment staging areas, and noise from vehicles, helicopters, and generators. The Big Cypress National Preserve is public land set aside to provide critical habitat for endangered and threatened species, to safeguard vital watersheds, and to provide recreation. We are deeply concerned about the permanent and cumulative impacts this large-scale seismic survey will have on wildlife, wetlands, and recreation as well as South Florida’s fresh water resources. Wetlands First, the applicant does not provide sufficient assurances that the project will not adversely impact wetland function. They have located multiple staging areas in wetlands and 83% of the project area itself is within wetlands. Although they describe wetland impacts as temporary, photos from field testing of equipment show remnants of tracks in wetlands 6 months later indicating restoration will not occur rapidly. Given the flat topography of the Everglades, minor disruptions to surface elevation due to rutting and soil compaction may permanently alter hydrology. Furthermore, vibrations and vehicle traffic may crack or fracture shallow limestone strata leading to the drainage of perched hydrologic environments or sinkhole formation. These impacts to hydrology may in turn alter the character of habitat areas, such as wetlands, that wildlife depends on. Wildlife Second, noise from vibroseis buggies, destruction of wildlife burrows, clearing of vegetation, and increased traffic levels will likely adversely affect wildlife. Burnett does not indicate that wildlife surveys have been conducted to determine which sensitive species are present. Such surveys are critical in ensuring that appropriate buffer zones and avoidance of critical wetland habitat are incorporated into the project. Conducting wildlife surveys during the project is not sufficient. Once nests or other important areas are identified, it is likely that seismic survey activities will have already entered and impacted the sensitive area. The Preserve is home to imperiled species such as the wood stork, red-cockaded woodpecker, Florida panther, and eastern indigo snake. Disturbances to federally protected wildlife that affects their normal behavior in foraging, nesting, or denning could contribute to or constitute a take under the Endangered Species Act. United States Senator Bill Nelson sums up the problem in his letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior objecting to the Burnett application, “Big Cypress National Preserve is recognized as a refuge for federally listed endangered species including the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Florida panther. Seismic surveys for possible future fracking activity are inconsistent with protection efforts and recovery plans for these imperiled species.” We agree. Recreation Third, the Preserve provides multiple opportunities for outdoor recreation. In 2014, the Preserve had an estimated one million visitors. The use of helicopters and vehicles for surveying will likely disrupt Preserve visitors. Furthermore, allowing oil exploration operations to utilize recreational parking areas to access staging areas may interfere with public access to the Preserve and present a safety issue for visitors attempting to traverse the parking area. Large Scale Impacts Finally, this project is proposed as part of four Phases totaling 234,510 acres which the applicant has indicated may be pursued in the future. Following these surveys, it is likely that oil and gas extraction will expand in the area. Such a large scale project may result in substantial impacts across the Preserve. “Seismic” testing “is troubling,” as U.S. Senator Bill Nelson puts it, because “it represents the first step towards fracking. This activity is distinctly at odds with the purpose and best use of a national preserve, and it would be reckless to allow this to move forward.” The Senator concludes that, “federal, state and local partners have spent billions of dollars working diligently to restore and protect the Everglades, Big Cypress National Preserve, and other valuable ecosystems in Florida. With so many resources devoted to protecting these treasures, approval of oil and gas exploration does not make sense and is a dangerous step in the wrong direction.” ACTION REQUESTED The magnitude and scope of this project is precedent setting and the possible cumulative impacts grave. Since we don’t have any previous studies on which to calculate impacts to wetlands, wildlife, and recreation we ask for —Full compliance with National Environmental Policy Act including · Completion of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) · Public workshops (to learn more and offer input) —U.S. Army Corp of Engineers review of wetland impacts. In short, we the undersigned, request public meetings as well as more comprehensive federal review to evaluate the impacts of this project. These are critical actions since increased oil and gas extraction activities, including fracking, may result from the seismic survey. Let us not forget that these important wetlands are critical habitat for threatened species as well as vital watersheds that recharge the aquifers millions rely on for drinking water.
Petition to Samford University
The Pittman Petition
As we all know, plastic water bottles are bad for the environment and for our wallets. One way Samford accounts for this is by having the water bottle refill stations at water fountains around the university. However, the second floor of Pittman Hall does not have this luxury. Not only do they not have the refillers, but the water fountain itself barely works. Please support us as we continue to push for this necessity on our floor. Thank you.
Petition to Town of Chapel Hill NC, OWASA , Orange County Commissioners, Town of Carrboro
Fluoride Free Chapel Hill Carrboro
On February 2, 2017, there was a fluoride over-feed caused by negligence on the part of those who were managing the chemical compounds being added to our water at the OWASA treatment plant. This brought to light a problem that some have been advocating against since 2012, asking OWASA to look at the science regarding adding fluoride to our water in the first place. The incident could have been much worse, as they have stated that none of the contaminated water ended up in anyone's water supply. However, the fact is that hydrofluorosilicic acid (a known toxic chemical that is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry and is NOT pharmaceutical grade) is being added to our drinking water as a medication intended to prevent tooth decay. Orange County does not have a license to practice medicine, nor is it legal to impose medication on people without their consent. Additionally, there has never been a single, randomized controlled trial to demonstrate the effectiveness or SAFETY of water fluoridation. The only studies have been on fluoride applied TOPICALLY to the teeth, not used systemically. Many health concerns have been cited including, but not limited to: thyroid, neurological, lowering of IQ, fluorosis, arthritic symptoms. Please see more at: http://www.fluoridealert.org/50-reasons.htm We have repeatedly presented concerns and objections to OWASA, only to have been dismissed. In 2013, OWASA refused to hear the science and engage in a discussion with the author of "The Case Against Fluoride," Dr. Paul Connett, who travels around the world speaking on this topic. They instead held a meeting that was billed as a fair debate on the subject, with two "experts" who were to be on each side of the issue. They would not allow for any public comment or questions. It was a sham of a debate as the person who was supposedly against fluoridation didn't cite any scientific or medical reports or studies, but just shrugged his shoulders and agreed that it's a good idea to keep fluoridation alive in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. With that, they dismissed those concerned and said they would no longer hear anything on the subject. We were not welcome to future meetings. Once the fluoride overfeed occurred, they opened the floor to public comments and in addition to those of us who participated in the efforts in 2012-13, there were others from the town who also voiced their opposition to the practice, including two former employees/board members of OWASA. The following meeting on March 9 was staged with four people going to the podium in support of the practice of water fluoridation - ALL FROM THE UNC DENTAL SCHOOL. Those from the community who spoke were all in opposition. The board did not ask questions or otherwise respond to a single concern from the citizens of the town and said they would resume the practice of water fluoridation (they had ceased since the incident on Feb 2nd) and would not discuss the matter of fluoridation any further. This is not acceptable. The people of Chapel Hill and Carrboro have a right to know what is going into their water, be able to voice their opinions and be heard. They also ought to have public officials/servants who are willing to read the scientific evidence - not just listen to the propaganda in the form of endorsements that have been used for decades to support this outdated practice. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION, PASS ALONG TO YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS WHO ARE ON THE OWASA SYSTEM OR WHO EVEN DINE IN CHAPEL HILL/CARRBORO! UPDATE: August 15, 2017 OWASA has taken an unprecedented recess all summer. An audit of the recent history shows that over the past five years they have not cancelled all summer meetings that the public is welcome to petition and comment at. The next meeting was set for Aug 24, where we had organized a campaign to get as many voices there as possible, to petition the OWASA board of directors to not resume putting fluoride in our water. It appears they were aware of this and are continuing to silence public opposition to their decision to continue this practice, ignoring the voices of many in our community, as well as the science showing this is harmful. We are moving forward and will hold a peaceful protest/sit-in at the date, time and location of the meeting, though the OWASA board will not be present to hear our voices. We hope this serves to demonstrate that we have a real determination and plenty of momentum to keep this growing movement strong. We hope all who signed this petition over the past few months will join us at the front of the Chapel Hill Town Hall Building on MLK on August 24 at 7pm. Thank you for your support.
Petition to City of Dover New Hampshire
City of Dover, NH: Please Expand Organic Pilot Program
Starting in Spring 2015, the City of Dover, NH initiated a pilot program by beginning the process of managing two public spaces, lower Henry Law park and Sullivan Dr. ball field, organically. This is a tremendously positive first step. Along with hosting a municipal training session with Chip Osborne in Fall 2015, and eliminating the use of pollinator harming neonicotinoid class insecticides on school and city owned property, the City has made good progress in fulfilling the promises set out in the Sustainable Dover initiative. We wish to thank them for their efforts so far, and encourage the city to keep up the good work by expanding the program to include all city owned property, and eliminating toxic herbicide use for curbside vegetation control. This is being done successfully elsewhere. Pesticide use effects all of us, and our children are especially vulnerable. Recently dozens of leading scientists and medical experts have created a call to action to reduce widespread exposures to chemicals that interfere with fetal and children’s brain development. They state that "the current system in the United States for evaluating scientific evidence and making health-based decisions about environmental chemicals is fundamentally broken." It is imperative that we continue to move ahead in eliminating as much of these types of exposures as we can. Some of the products being used by the city contractors include... Mec Amine-D 3-way herbicide - (2,4 – d, Mecoprop-P, & Dicamba) 2,4 - d is a component of Vietnam defoliant Agent Orange, and it is contaminated with dioxin during the manufacturing process. The three active ingredients have never been tested in combination, only alone and never as a whole formulated product with 'inert' proprietary ingredients that comprise more than half. Acclaim - contains ingredients that are considered to be probable orsuspected human carcinogens, and may have target organ effects, or Quinclorac for post emergent crabgrass control to Soccer fields. Dimension - crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide Roundup Promax & Rodeo Herbicide - (glyphosate) Listed by the World Health Organization as a probable carcinogen, known to be genotoxic, which means it damages DNA in ways that can cause cancer, and shows endocrine disrupting activity at very low levels. Reward herbicide, active ingredient diquat dibromide. Residues of diquat have been found to persist in soil for many years with very little degradation. It doesn't have to be this way. As the home of the Children's Museum, the city of Dover receives many visitors. We have the opportunity to set an example for surrounding Seacoast communities by expanding the organic pilot programs to public areas still being conventionally treated, such as upper Henry Law park (pictured above), the public library, the McConnell Center, and many other spaces where children in particular frequent. Not only is this program good for public and environmental health - but it also contributes to fiscal health by saving taxpayer money in the long term. Going forward, we ask that the City of Dover commits to stop using toxic pesticides in public places, to encourage organic property maintenance for all new developments, and to provide education to businesses and residents about organic property maintenance and least toxic alternatives for weed control.
Petition to City of Denham Springs, Enviornmental Protection Agency
Help Meadow Wood Park Subdivision get clean and affordable water.
The water provided to residents of Meadow Wood Park Subdivision by the City of Denham Springs is often brown in color accompanied by viscid debris. Not only is the water undrinkable and unusable to bathe, it clogs pipes, gets in hot water heaters and refrigerator filters, ruins laundry and leaves a sticky mess to clean up. This happens sometimes monthly and even weekly. Imagine one late evening while running a load of laundry for work and school the next day, you put your small child in the bath and the water suddenly turns to brown sludge... You have to immediately pull your frightened half bathed child out of the water and you have to find another place to haul your family so they can bathe, have water to drink and brush their teeth, and then you have no clean clothes.... When you can finally return home you have flush out your pipes, scrub out your tubs and washing machine, salvage or toss your items in the laundry, empty your ice, buy and replace your refrigerator filter before you can use it again among other things affected by the dirty water. Try to imagine the inconvenience, aggravation and money this is causing residents. Some of them have special needs and are elderly and a situation like this is even more difficult for them to manage. The City of Denham Springs Water Department says the water is safe to use and is only " not pleasant to look at or smell" and that it is caused by low water pressure for various reasons dislodging "minerals and sediment" from the lining of the water system. A public official on record admitted he would not drink it himself. Though brown water has been known to occur in Livingston Parish Meadow Wood Park Subdivision is particularly affected by the most frequent episodes with various causes cited by the water department. This is an issue that has been going on for years. Residents have complained over and over to various government and water district employees and have received various responses and promises, yet the issue still occurs. The Water Department refuses to provide any credit to the bills of the residents of Meadow Wood Park for the duration of the episodes even though they advise to "run your water faucets for at least an hour" after the issue is resolved by the technician to "clear out your lines". The same public official over the water department citing that " if I were a private business, I would do whatever I needed to do to make you happy...but this is public..." Basically customer satisfaction is not an issue since you have to have water and there's only one place to get it right? Furthermore "customers" of City of Denham Springs Water are charged a fee on top of their water usage for "water availability" then the same for their sewer calculated by a percent of water usage. That percent has recently been raised. Residents of Meadow Wood Park polled reported of an average monthly bill for water and sewer ONLY to be around $100 with frequent overcharges and mistakes on their statements. Some reported bills over $200. That's too much to pay for crystal clear water. Something is going on here. In fact, on a recent statement there was a additional charge for each resident which the Water Department claimed to be a back charge from the time during the flood when the employees were not in the office. THERE WAS NO WATER PRESSURE during this time and after it returned we were on a boil advisory. Residents were dismissed when they asked why they were being charged almost a year later for service they did not even have. So what's the bottom line? We want clean water. We are concerned that it is not truly safe to use and consume. We want affordable water No one should be charged over $100 a month for water they can hardly use much less drink. We need help to bring awareness to this situation and to put pressure on those who have the power to investigate and correct this. Please sign and share this petition if you agree.