Target: Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Goal: Ensure a safe habitat for endangered panthers and preserve the drinking water supply in South Florida by banning a proposed oil wastewater well
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection recently issued a permit for a wastewater well to a Texas oil company that holds the rights to hundreds of thousands of acres of land in South Florida. The proposed well would be located less than a mile from the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. The state awarded the permit despite the fact no environmental studies have been conducted to guage possible effects on local wildlife and residents. The new well would affect the panthers, local residents and possibly the water supply. The federal EPA held a public meeting on March 11 in Naples after an outcry from environmental groups and local residents, to address how oil well waste could impact local drinking water.
There are only approximately 100 Florida panthers left in the wild. The new well would be located in their prime habitat.
Oil exploration and extraction would create a dangerous environment for the panthers and other animals in the area. Operations would include driving off-road vehicles through wetlands and other types of habitats, drilling thousands of underground holes, and setting off dynamite charges to determine locations of oil deposits. Once deposits are found, leases will be granted to oil drilling companies who intend to set up roads, wells, and extraction operations. A dramatic increase in vehicle traffic will disrupt panther habits and lead to more human activity and other impacts. Big oil companies hold permits to nearly one million acres of mineral rights in South Florida, and more permits are under consideration.
The federal EPA has stepped in to determine if the state agency made the appropriate decision by granting the wastewater permit so close to conservation land set aside specifically for the endangered Florida panther. Urge the EPA to comply with the Endangered Species Act, to ensure that big oil does not condemn the Florida panther to extinction in the wild. Oil companies have lobbyists working hard for their interests. The endangered panthers, other wildlife, and local residents need us to advocate equally as hard for their well-being.
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
Thank you for holding a recent public meeting in Naples, Florida, to discuss a proposed wastewater well and its potential effect on the drinking water supply. As you are well aware, the oil well site would be located just three quarters of a mile west of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, an area specifically set aside for conservation.
There are only about 100 panthers left in the wild in South Florida, making them extremely vulnerable to extinction. The proposed wastewater well would be located in their prime habitat.
Oil exploration and extraction operations would negatively impact the panthers, other animals, local residents, and wetlands and other types of habitat around the area. Driving off-road vehicles through wetlands, drilling thousands of holes into the ground, and setting off dynamite charges to determine where oil deposits are located would all disrupt panther habits. No environmental impact studies have been conducted and the state of Florida employs very few people to inspect these types of wells once they are in operation.
Do not allow oil companies to take advantage of a loophole in the federal hazardous waste law. Many oil and gas waste disposal wells are not built to the standards required to protect the environment. Allowing big oil to operate within the endangered panthers’ habitat is in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Please help ensure the continued existence of the Florida panther.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: U.S. National Park Service, Everglades National Park via Wikipedia