Friday, December 21, 2007

In Memory of a Warrior


Isa Bryant, Black Seminole and Palm Beach County community activist, died recently in San Francisco

Click to view the obituary and online guest book


¨My heart feels heavy with the loss of such a strong and true warrior. Isa´s words and spirit were an inspiration to me. And my memories of our encounters--brief yet powerful--will continue to give me courage. The struggle for justice, dignity, freedom and land continues.

Thank you Isa for all you gave to this earth and its people.

Tonite we celebrate the Winter Solstice at the home where i live. We will be sending you our messages through the fire´s smoke. And this February, when many are gathered in South Florida for the Earth First! Winter Rendezvous, we will commemorate your life and your work by sharing stories and songs to inspire today´s warriors, and most importantly, by taking action for a better world.

There is an open invitation to participate in this gathering. Please call me for details. 561-588-9666¨

Panagioti Tsolkas (Lake Worth, FL)

Monday, December 10, 2007

PBC Environmental Coalition December Meeting Notes and Updates

Mark your calendar, next meeting is Jan 7th 7pm

CHANGE OF LOCATION: At the request of several participants, we will be trying out a new location for the month. We will meet on the back patio of Howley's Restaurant, 4700 South Dixie Highway. Repeat: this is only a trial. Next month may return to Pegasus (as it turns out, a concern raised about the veal on the menu has turned out to be moot; they do not serve this item)


*FPL updates
For those who haven't heard yet, on 11/29 the County Commission voted unanimously to expand the West County Energy Center to 3800 megawatts, making it potentially the third largest fossil fuel power plant in the U.S. Along with several Chamber of Commerce people, The Marshall Foundation also spoke offering praises of FPL. It was a sad disgrace to Art Marshall's legacy of bold and thoughtful advocacy for the Everglades. Read a great article by Art Marshall on 'Energy and Growth' that was presented at the PBCEC meeting: http://everglades.fiu.edu/marshall/FI06011111/index.htm

Ask the Marshall Foundation why they don't honor their namesake.. http://www.artmarshall.org/contact.htm

The Palm Beach Post has also been towing the line of FPL's greenwashing lately, ask them to start asking the hard questions.. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/content/info/mail.html

Now more than ever, we are committed to fighting this FPL monstrosity to its death. And we could use your support.

-Can you make an online donations towards our legal battle at www.pbcec.blogspot.com

-Can you make it to the next County Commission meeting for the final vote on the WCEC expansion to 3800MW (date TBA)

-Can you commit to joining the February 18 Call to Action for Restoration & Sustainanbility in the Everglades? Can you commit to bringing a friend to the protest? Can you commit to participating in civil disobedience? Read the Call to Action: http://pbcec.blogspot.com/2007/12/everglades-uprising-call-to-action.html

(more details TBA)
This will be discussed at the January meeting.

*Rock Mining
On Tuesday 12/4, mining in the EAA was delayed again… Keep the pressure on. Demand sheet-flow and re-connectivity for the southern Everglades ecosystem! There is a County Rock-Mining Summit planned for Feb (dates TBA)

*The Fight for Mecca from Continues…
Dec 13 BIG DEAL Meeting, SFWMD and County Commission joint meeting 9am-1pm at the County Convention Center to discuss all the most controversial environment/water issues you could think of. The PBCC will be focusing on the future of Mecca Farms. Rumor has it that there is a proposal for rock-mining for Mecca. The PBCEC will focusing on restoring Mecca as a corridor between the J.W. Corbett and Vavrus Ranch (as the Northeast Everglades Natural Area (NENA) plan recommends that Vavrus be protected.) Please call Environmental Resource Management (ERM) and ask them to stand up for restoring Mecca: 233-2400 and Please join us at the Convention Center 12/13. We are hoping to have a presence inside as well as out on the street to inform the public of the meeting. So bring signs, banners and bullhorns..

*Reef News
-Palm Beach Island wants to continue destroying endangered coastal ecosystems and species to create a fa├žade of protection for their poorly planned Condos. Beach dredge and fill projects are dismal and expensive failures. The "Reach 8" project for South Palm Beach is being scrutinized and challenged by groups including Reef Rescue, Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club. On Monday 12/10 at the Palm Beach Episcopal Church, 12 noon there was a public forum on the Reach 8 project.

-Thanks to pressure from groups like Reef Rescue, the DEP is saying they want to close all waste-water outfalls in Florida. The cities of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are opposing them. The PBCEC supports Reef Rescues efforts. For more info check out www.reef-rescue.org

*Support Protests to Scrutinize FPL Security company
Activists affiliated with labor union SEIU spoke at our meeting about their campaign targeting our favorite bad guys regarding FPL's contracted security company Wackenhut for overworking employees at local Nuclear facilities, causing serious public safety risks. www.eyeonwackenhut.org

*Celebrate the Longest Night!
Winter Solstice Party, Dec 21st, at 822 North C Street, Lake Worth (residence of PBCEC participants cara jennings and panagioti tsolkas). 7:30pm will be a potluck; 8:30pm solstice ceremony; after that, dance, dance, dance!! call for direction: 561-588-9666

*Fundraiser/Outreach Event, January 27th,
there are no new details on this event, but it is still in the works and looking for help in organizing it. It is shaping up to look for like a public debate/forum. Commissioner Bob Kanjian has expressed interest in a public debate. Anyone up for the challenge?

*Everglades Coalition is taking place Jan 10-14th.
There has been a resolution drafted, modifying last years WCEC Resolution. It will be presented at the Jan PBCEC meeting for feedback. Thanks to all those who donated so that PBCEC could have a representative there. www.evergladescoalition.org

*Earth First! Winter Rendezvous and Organizes Conference is coming back to the Everglades this February. Check out their great website.. http://www.earthfirst2008oc.info/

*Peace Calendar Fundraiser
January is just around the corner and we'll all be using new calendars. The 2008 Peace Calendar put out by the Syracuse Cultural Worker catalog is the perfect holiday gift for at least one person you know if not more. While you're at it, treat yourself to one. To purchase a calendar you can call 561-585-9325, or email PBCEnviroCoalition@gmail.com

To view the 2008 Peace Calendar click on the following link, but keep in mind that in order for the PBC Environmental Coalition to receive proceeds of the sale, it would need to be purchased through the contact information listed above.

http://syracuseculturalworkers.com/2008-peace-calendar


Thanks for supporting environmental efforts in Palm Beach County and elsewhere.

EVERGLADES UPRISING Call-to-Action, February 18, 2008

*SHUT DOWN THE FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT AND THE PALM BEACH AGGREGATES* A Day of Civil Disobedience For Clean Energy, Restoration and Sustainability in the Everglades

-No More Fossil Fuel or Nuclear Energy
-No More Rock Mining in the Everglades
-No More Sprawling Development & Political Corruption

In the spirit of past movements for justice—anti-colonial, labor, sufferage, civil rights, anti-nuclear—activists around the country will be in South Florida to put their bodies on the line to stop the illegal construction of a giant gas-burning power plant across from the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Residents have petitioned, met with elected officials from the County to the Federal level, protested, and, finally, filed lawsuits. And still the construction continues. Corporate pay-offs to politicians and environmental groups have stifled all conventional and legal means of opposition; we are taking it to the next level.

The climate crisis facing the planet demands that humanity stop all greenhouse gas emissions and begin restoring damaged ecosystems immediately. International climate scientists have established the goal of, essentially, a 90% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050; we are still moving in the other direction. In the Everglades, this country’s most famous wetland, there is a popular quote that refers to south Florida’s wetland restoration as a test. “If we pass it, we get to keep the planet”. We are failing. And we are losing the planet as we have known it.

But here in Palm Beach County local activists are joining a global movement to take drastic actions in attempt to avert the worst disasters of human-caused climate change and begin healing what we have done to the earth—for our own survival and for the future of life on this planet.

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition, in conjunction with Everglades Earth First!, is inviting people of all ages to join us on February 18, Monday morning, 6:30am at the corner of Northlake Blvd. and Seminole Pratt to caravan to the action site (TBA). For information about action trainings and legal support contact: 561-588-9666

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Three letters to the editor: WCEC, Nukes, Homelessness

Below are three letters to the editor. I haven´t had luck getting anything published (not sure if ´luck´ is the right word), but i´ll keep sending ´em. This time i figured i would try and get them a little circulation myself too...

-panagioti

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

letter to PB Post:

'Enough FPL Greenwash'

When it comes to FPL's energy proposals for the Everglades bioregion, the Post needs to get a little more muck under their nails. With FPL's West County Energy Center poised to become the largest power plant in the State and one of the three largest fossil fuel plants in the entire country, I expect more hard-hitting news on the issue.

Take last week's articles ("FPL's targets 19 million tons of greenhouse gas," Nov. 28 and "County backs reclaimed water use at new FPL plant," Nov. 20), the first was pure PR spin attempting to win favor prior to the following day's public hearing on expanding the plant to 3800 megawatts. The second article was a diversion from
expansion, instead focusing on a 'reclaimed water' plan that was just presented to the Commission and has hardly been reviewed by staff. Bevin Beaudet, former Scripps Project Manager, now Water Utilities Director played out a scene very reminiscent of the Biotech battle. His advice: bow down once again to corporate interests, despite lacking proper environmental oversight. Remember, this plant still doesn't have all its permits needed for operation, yet they have started construction anyway. Sound familiar?

Readers deserve deeper analysis of this plant. Despite FPL's claims of improvement, which won unanimous votes from the Commission, the plant remains the County's biggest water user, the region's highest volume deep well injector, and the area's worst point-source air polluter. On top of that, the precarious situations of rock blasting next to fuel storage tanks and 30' high-pressure pipeline remains and the direct connection to one of the shadiest, corrupt dealings in Florida history has only gotten clearer. These are all issues worthy of more investigative reporting. This paper brough the Scripps scam to the surface. Don't let us down on this one.

panagioti tsolkas

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Here is one i sent last month, but never got published.]

Nukes Not A Solution:

It´s been excellent to read all the dialogue around energy issues and climate change happening here in the Post. I believe that the conversations we are having on these subjects are shaping the future of our entire society. And, on that note, I´d like to offer some contrary perspectives to Thomas Sullivan´s letter on global warming and nuclear power (Nov. 2). Climate change of human origin is indeed a factor in the case of both increased wildfires and hurricane damage. Certainly decades of fire suppression, lax building codes and short-sighted developers building homes in disaster prone areas are all part of the story as well; but that should not derail the headway that scientists and environmentalists have made in bringing the realities of climate change front-and-center. Thankfully, the science of this is hardly even a debate anymore.

The real debate we have on the table now is not a new one, and the movement that brought it to the public and put the brakes on it over 30 years ago is dusting itself off for the next round, with a banner waving loud and clear: nuclear power is not the solution. Between waste concerns that the Post Editorial Board mentioned, the public safety issues and the massive public subsidies that nuclear power depends on, there is no reason to consider it our salvation (not to mention that fact that most all existing nuke plants depend on fossil fuels for their back up generation.)

The debate around climate change has turned the energy industry on it´s head. Conservation is only now being taken seriously because industry proposals are actually, finally, being denied for the damage they have done, both to the planet and to local communities alike. I happen to agree with Mr. Sullivan in one area. The government may not offer what we need, no matter how many regulations and subsidies they can throw at it. The system is broken and thoroughly corrupt beyond repair. War in the middle-east should be more evidence than any of us needed to see.

Now is the time for real visionaries to step forward and keep the momentum building towards distributed (decentralized), localized, community-driven energy solutions. For those interested in taking steps in this direction, I suggest arming yourself with an excellent study published recently by Dr. Arjun Makhijani entitled Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: a roadmap for U.S. energy policy (www.ieer.org/carbonfree/). The energy industry has enjoyed governmental support and has evaded public scrutiny for far too long. It´s time for us to change that.

Panagioti Tsolkas

PBCENVIROCOALITION@GMAIL.COM

561-588-9666

[I am co-chair of the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition, the group who has spearheaded the fight against FPL´s West County Energy Center. We have open meetings on the first Monday of every month. For more info: www.pbcec.blogspot.com ]

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[From two months back...]
Regarding West Palm Anti-Homeless Ordinance

I was reminded at last week’s West Palm City commission meeting of just why it is that I am an anarchist. Watching people with money and relatively comfortable, secure lives come into City Hall with the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and flex their electoral muscle in the face of low-income/homeless people, local charities and volunteer organizations was both nauseating and infuriating. A deep frustration towards the collaboration of greed and government burned in my gut, reminiscent of sitting in the audience watching Tony Masilotti at work in the County chambers in years past.

What some claimed was a ‘turf war’ over the plaza in front of the public library between homeless advocates and downtown businesses looked a lot more clearly like what should be called ‘class war’ by those who have against those who don’t.
Without any documented evidence to back up their claims, residents, business owners and DDA employees unleashed a smear campaign against local homeless residents—some of whom have lived in the area for easily twice as long as most of the condo-dwellers have been downtown.

Of course, there are already ordinances and laws for the illegal activities that residents complained about on Monday. And then there was the complaints about poor people ruining the downtown economy; but we all know that fingers should be pointed towards City Place, which has been draining Clematis’ business ever since it demolished the low-income residencies that preceded it. This new ordinance is nothing more than an attack on the visibility of poverty and destitution, when we need to be attacking its existence. Earlier this year, the Palm Beach Post exposed the harshest realities of homeless life when it reported on the multiple brutal murders in the County. But sweeping people out of downtown is the opposite of dealing with these problems. People deserve to be visible and they deserve services for problems with drug abuse, mental health and discrimination; they don’t deserve to be made criminals.

And if criminalization is what the City gives them, then I intend to be among the criminals. I applaud the anarchists of Food Not Bombs for standing their ground on the issue of equal access to public space, and likewise the christians of Art & Compassion for acting out of their convictions. From what I know of the historical Jesus of Nazareth, there is no question where he would place himself in this debate; in fact, from my understanding, bringing people together to share food was a crucial part of his original movement.

All across Florida recently, anarchists have joined homeless advocates at the forefront of similar fights with discriminatory municipal governments including legal battles in Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, St. Augustine, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Does the West Palm Beach really want to add themselves to this list?

Panagioti Tsolkas
Lake Worth, FL

561-588-9666

pbcenvirocoalition@gmail.com

Saturday, November 10, 2007

PBCEC November Notes and Announcements



[The This email communication comes to you from the borderlands of Calexico, California at the No Borders Camp, where I am networking with activists across the hemisphere on social and environmental issues. Check us out at www.noborderscamp.org or http://sandiego.indymedia.org/ ]

The November 5th meeting had a great turnout and a well packed agenda. We covered a broad array of issues and filled our calendars up with important events and meetings. Below is a collection of notes and updates.
So if you missed the last meeting, get out your pens and calendars so you can catch up with the rest of us.. you can start with marking the date of our next PBCEC meeting, Monday, Dec 3.)

for land and water,
panagioti tsolkas
pbcec, co-chair




[Photos from FPL Halloween Costume Party-Protest!!]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*FPL is requesting County Approval to increase the West County Energy Center to 3800 megawatts, making it one of the largest fossil fuel power plants in the U.S. Join us on NOV 29 9am at the County Commission, 301 North Olive, 6th floor to oppose this..

*We heard from the Gun Club Rd Homeowners Association who has been fighting the County around a land use issue in their neighborhood. A development plan by the Cheney Bros. is seeking to disregard the Transfer-of-Development-Rights (TDR) process, setting an awful precendent for one of the few concessions that the public has for getting open space preserved. Come support their efforts to stop this at the COUNTY COMMISSION MEETING on NOV 20, 9am.

*The group 'Save Boca Green Space' presented their case for keeping open, recreationally zoned land from being converted into development. please JOIN THEM ON DEC 11 at BOCA CITY COUNCIL, 6pm

*Rockmining was taken off the agenda last month, but it may appear back on NOV 27, so be prepared to attend the County Commission meeting and keep the pressure on. We need a real restoration plan for the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA)!

*The New Landfill issue may be back on the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) agenda for November 13. Tell the County Commission (which sits as the SWA board) to keep it away from sensative areas.

*DEC 13!! There is a joint meeting between the County and SFWMD covering the topics: Mecca Farms, Loxahatchee River, the L8 Rock Pits, Drough and Future Forecast, possibly the SWA landfill, and more! Yikes! 9am to 1pm at the Palm Beach Convention Center

*Legeslative Delagation Public Hearings in PBC. We are asking PBCEC participants and supporters to show up and express concerns about FPL's WCEC (those intending to address the Leg Del need to call 561-355-2406):
NOV 13, 2-5pm at SFWMD HQ, B-1 Auditorium, 3301 Gun Club Road, WPB;
NOV 27, 2-5pm FAU Campus, Live Oak Pavillion, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
DEC 17, 1:30pm-4:00pm Belle Glade City Hall, 110 Dr. Martin Luther King, jr

*A new Shooting Range next to the Loxahatchee Refuge? Rosa Durando suggests contacting Jeff Koons and asking him about it.. jkoons@co.palm-beach.fl.us

*Fertilizer Task Force is meeting in Apopka, on DEC 17 (contact Drew Martin dmandch@aol.com for a ride)

*Protect Florida Panthers from Off-Road Vehicles!
http://www.defenders.org/newsroom/press_releases_folder/2007/06_14_2007_conservation_groups_seek_to_protect_florida_panther_from_off-road_vehicles.php
Please write to the National Park Service and ask them to protect the panther: Karen_Gustin@nps.gov, Dan_Kimball@nps.gov, Paul_Souza@fws.gov, Paul_R_Anderson@nps.gov

*Climate Action Workshop in Miami, hosted by Earth Ethics Institute, featuring Bill McKibbon,-NOV 29- please RSVP: Space is limited - please RSVP with your contact information by November 21st to Melisa Stodieck at floridastopglobalwarming@gmail.com Miami-Dade College, Wolfson Campus - Building 2000 - Room 2106 300 NE 2nd Ave Downtown, Miami
Link to campus map http://www.mdc.edu/wolfson/GeneralInfo/campus_map.asp
Phone: 305-237-3796

*FUN-RAISER for PBCEC's lawsuit against the West County Energy Center, JAN 27, we are looking for bands available to play music and people to help promote the event. location tba.. [we are also in need of funds immediately to fight this battle, you can donate online at www.pbcec.blogspot.com]

Monday, October 22, 2007

*PBCEC November Meeting Announcement and Update: ¨Remember Remember the Fifth of November...¨

In commemoration of Guy Fawkes Night, join the PBCEC in our monthly meeting (11/5) 7pm at Pegasus Restaurant in Downtown Lake Worth at 3rd Ave North and Dixie Highway. (Check out www.pbcec.blogspot.com to see our most recent letter to Crist, our lengthy response to FPL´s letter to a Fox Trails resident, news and pictures from our protest in Miami.. You can also sign our petition, make online donations there.)


On the 11/5 Agenda:
*BATTLING FPL´S WEST COUNTY ENERGY CENTER
*ROCKMINING IN THE EVERGLADES AG AREA
*DECEMBER 13th!!! JOINT MEETING BTW SFWMD & COUNTY COMMISSION
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*The battle with Florida Power & Light rages on...
-LEGAL STRATEGY: We need a plan, we need SERIOUS fundraising. Our lawsuits are getting under way and we need to gather support to keep them alive.
-OUTREACH & ORGANIZING: We have a good opportunity for fundraising and collecting petitions at Moon Fest in West Palm, Oct 27. If you are available, please meet at 5pm at Respectable Street Cafe 518 Clematis Street, WPB..
We also have a costumed protest on Oct. 31 at FPL Offices in Juno Beach, please be there! http://pbcec.blogspot.com/2007/10/you-thought-halloween-was-scary.html
-MOBILIZE! The 29 of November (Remember, Remember!) The PBC County Commission will have the West County Energy Center brought before them for a request to increase the site´s Megawatt capacity to 3800 MW, making it in the top 3 largest fossil fuel burning power plants in the country. We will discuss mobilizing for this meeting, 9am at 301 North Olive (the County Building).
-POLITICAL SUPPORT: We have gathered interest from several regional elected officials. Who can follow up with these people, or their assistants? (Wexler, Skidmore, Klein, Hastings, Bucher...) There are 2 dates in November (13th and 27th) for FL´s Legaslative Delegation Public Hearings. Who can attend? For details call 561-355-2406
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Rock Mining in the Everglades Agricultural Area...
-The County meeting for rock mining in the EAA that was scheduled for 10/23 has been postponed...
-Check out John A. Marshall’s excellent comments on Rock Mining & a plan for the EAA: http://news.caloosahatchee.org/docs/EAA_Rock_Mining_Study_Public_Comments.pdf
...Or if you prefer your information on rock mining to be devoid of any science or conscience, check out Doug Callaway website from the Floridians for Better Transportation (aka FL Chamber of Commerce) http://www.keepfloridarockin.org
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*December *December 13 Joint Meeting with SFWMD and County
This meeting will be held a the PBC Convention Center, 9am to 1pm, the agenda will be loaded with crucial issues: MECCA FARMS, L-8 ROCK PITS, LOXAHATCHE RIVER, URBAN REDEVELOPMENT PLAN, DROUGHT FORCAST, NEW LANDFILL and more. We need to pack this meeting! Mark your calendars! Spread the word!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

*Debunking FPL's West County Energy Center: Sustainable Energy or Corporate Greenwashing?


Below is a correspondence from FPL to a local resident in the nearby Fox Trails neighborhood. The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition (PBCEC) has interjected responses to the comments of Barbara Linkiewicz, of FPL's environmental licensing department. Our Coalition's goal is to stop the West County Energy Center (WCEC) immediately and promote clean, renewable energy. FPL says they intend to build a solar power facility in Florida. We think this location, which they already own, with its ecologically-sensitive location, is a prime opportunity. Specifically, we support a concept that has been promoted by FAU Professor and Loxahatchee Groves Councilperson, Dr. J. William Louda that couples a solar power facility with filtering marshes, addressing the goals of both energy generation and water quality for Everglades restoration. For more on this concept, contact blouda@fau.edu or (561) 297-3309. *


Much of this information is taken from communication between the PBCEC and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). For full copies of these documents or general information on the PBCEC, contact 561-588-9666, PBCEnviroCoalition@gmail.com or visit www.pbcec.blogspot.com
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 11:24 AM
Subject: West County Energy Center
Dear __________,

Since you did not accept my offer to discuss your concerns, I thought that I would at least touch with you on a few of the points that you raised in your email correspondence. As you may know, the West County Energy Center (WCEC) will be a natural gas-fired combined-cycle unit which will be among the cleanest, most environmentally advanced generating units in the state and the country. In fact, this plant will operate with emission levels well below the state and federal emission requirements. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) found that the plant will not cause any adverse impact to the ambient air quality in the region.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: The FDEP which Ms. Linkiewicz claims found that this plant will not cause any adverse impact was of the State's previous administration, much of which has been replaced. In FDEP's original timeline, the proposed plant was not scheduled to be in front of the Governor and Cabinet for a 'Final Certification' hearing until February 2007. This hearing was instead conducted on Dec 19, 2006, Bush's final meeting in office. We believe that the emissions requirements that allowed this plant to pass were inadequate and rushed to avoid coming carbon regulations and potential scrutiny from a new FDEP staff. Several comments below will elaborate on this allegation
In reality, the FDEP did not find there would be "No adverse impact to the ambient air quality in the region". This is untrue. The WCEC's thousands of tons of toxic airborne pollutants trigger the PSD (prevention of significant deterioration) & HAP (Hazardous Airborne Pollutants). All FDEP says is "These toxic pollutants will not raise airborne pollutant levels above AAQ ( Ambient Air Quality) levels". It is absurd to suggest that air borne pollutants (or any pollutants for that matter)—in particular the amounts FPL will be emitting—will not be adverse. ALL studies clearly show airborne pollutants are adverse to health and to the Environment in which we live. This particular area (plant site) is being punished for its relatively clean air. The modeling referred to by FPL is very open to flaws, for example, did they take samples when the sugar fields were burning?]

Also, FPL met with Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge during the extensive licensing process for this facility and FPL satisfactorily answered all of the Refuge's questions. In fact, this plant has been evaluated and found to be consistent with the strict air criteria established by the Federal Land Manager at the Department of Interior. Also, air quality analysis conducted in accordance with FDEP procedures show that the plant's air emissions will be significantly less than the air quality standards protective of public health and welfare and will avoid air quality degradation.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: As was indicated above by Ms. Linkiewicz, the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (LNWR) staff did not actually offer approval or support to FPL. And whether they actually answered LNWR questions 'satisfactorily' is open to debate, especially considering that the project has since modified its air quality permit and is still lacking other essential permits. There is suspicion that staff was prohibited from any criticism that could have threatened the plant's permitting; this is currently under investigation. Meanwhile, a document from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission has surfaced which did ask difficult questions, but was never submitted to the permit approval and certification proces s. This document is available from PBCEC upon request.]

Further, regarding air emissions at the plant, WCEC will use Best Available Control Technology (BACT) including nitrogen oxide (NOx) Combustion controls and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to minimize emissions. We conducted air modeling to ensure plant emissions would be significantly under the standards EPA and FDEP use to ensure avoidance air quality degradation.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: FPL's own application showed it was possible to reduce the amount of NOx by over 600 tons! The cost would have been a mere $7 million with $500,000 annual maintenance costs. There are many ways in which a publicly-regulated, profit-based utility with annual revenues in the billions of dollars could and should work to get every ton of airborne toxic substances out of the air their customer breathes.
Despite what FPL claims here, their application reflects a significant contribution to air quality degradation. Below is some general information about the WCEC's emissions (from the first 2 units, running 2,500 MW). This information is based on FPL's application but was elaborated on from our own independent research:
841 tons of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) would be emitted by the WCEC annually; this is approximately 20 times the PSD Significant Emission Rate. When combined with sunlight and Volatile Organic Compounds, VOC, (also contributed by WCEC, at 176 tons/year) ground level ozone (smog) is created. According to the EPA, smog can trigger serious respiratory problems, such as asthma.
1,031 tons/year of Particulate Matter (PM), or soot, would be emitted (approximately 30 times PSD Significant Emission Rate). PM/PM10 not only contributes to regional haze but also creates a very serious public health risk. Particles of soot are so small that they bypass the body's defenses, lodging directly in the lungs. Many reputable studies have linked PM to lung cancer and heart problems. (American Lung Association at: http://www.4cleanair.org/ScienceSummary-605.pdf).
There would be 407 tons/year of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions (10 times the PSD Significant Emission Rate). SO2 from power plants in Everglades marshes would feed the bacteria that converts mercury to its dangerous, methylated form. SO2 is also a precursor to the acid rain that makes our waterways inhospitable for local fish, plants and wildlife.
On top of this, there was no assessment of the cumulative atmospheric impacts that this plant will contribute into an already polluted regional atmosphere; no documentation presented that took into account emissions from FPL's Barley Barber plant in Martin County, or the massive pollutants that come from burning sugar cane. In 2004, Palm Beach County ranked 8 th nationally for cancer-causing air and water pollution and 15th nationally for reproductive toxicants. There is no excuse for not assessing cumulative impact. Using BACT and SCR mean very little if there is not an accurate overall portrayal of the existing pollution that the WCEC will be contributing to.]
- Hide quoted text -

WCEC will utilize the cleanest of all fossil fuels, primarily natural gas with ultra-low sulfur light oil used as backup. These fuels contain virtually no mercury, and will have no adverse impact on the health of residents or well-water quality.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: Burning fossil fuels releases mercury. According to FPL, the first 2500 MW of this plant alone will release 9 pounds annually. Mercury causes problems at 'parts per million' levels (ppm) in the environment. FDA levels are 1 ppm, Canada is ½ ppm. Mercury released like this builds up forever in tissues of animals.]

Lastly, regarding air, even though Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not a regulated air pollutant, FPL has taken into account the additional CO2 emissions from our choices to meet the energy needs of our customers. FPL is one of the cleanest electric generation companies in the U.S. and in Florida. Our current CO2 emissions rate is more than 20% lower than the average CO2 emissions rate for both Florida and the U.S. electric generating industry. In fact, 70% of the electricity FPL generates in Florida comes from zero emission nuclear power and low emission natural gas plants. FPL has a strong and proven commitment to being a leader in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Florida and the U.S. and is committed to meeting the emission targets set by Governor Crist's Executive Order 07-127 for years 2017, 2025, and 2050 at a fleet wide level.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: This plant was certified before Crist became governor and has nothing to do with meeting the Governor's Executive Order, 07-127. This order was modeled after the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has established that there is a need to reduce carbon emissions by, essentially, more than 90% in 40 years, starting immediately. According to FPL the first 2500 MW of this plant will release 8.5 million tons of CO2 annually. They have now expressed intent to increase the plant to 3800 MW, which would factor out to over 12 million tons.
Natural Gas appears to be 'low-emission' only in comparison to coal (which FPL was also been pushing for, just earlier this year ). In Reality, gas is in the top 3 carbon-emitting energy sources, and is way over-used in Florida, accounting for over 30% of energy generation. Florida's electric utilities produced more than 120 million tons of CO2 in 1997 alone. This plant could emit 10% of Florida's total '97 electric CO2 emissions.
A quick side note about nuclear power: it is not 'zero-emission'—practically all nuke plants currently require fossil fuel back up generation—and the threats accompanying nuclear disasters are far too great to take risks with. Not to mention daily radioactive emissions and the nuclear waste dilemma. The public subsidies for nukes should be directed towards truly clean renewable energy sources.]

Specifically, WCEC, with its use of natural gas as the primary fuel and the use of combined cycle technology, will have the lowest CO2 emissions rate on a pound per megawatt per hour (lb/MWhr) basis of any new fossil plant in the country. To put things in perspective, the technology to be used at WCEC has been identified by the State of California, which is considered to be the leader in reducing greenhouse gases, as the technology deemed to be in compliance with their future greenhouse gas emission performance standard. Currently, the State of California is proposing a CO2 standard of 1,100 lb/MWhr. The CO2 emission rate for WCEC will be approximately 750 lb/MWhr, which is significantly less than the California proposed standard.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: This is a useless piece of info supplied to mislead the public. Using math, we multiply 750 x 3300 megawatt (existing proposal that the land is currently certified for) x 24 x 365= 2,161,000,000 lbs or 10,840,500 tons keep in mind this is at its most efficient, the permit allows for Start-up, Shut-down and Malfunction ( S.S.M.s) increases well beyond that. To compare, a similar plant that FPL uses had an average of 13 S.S.M.s in one month. Take the number above and multiply by 1.25, it will be more accurate, as long as gas is the primary fuel. We can almost double it when they use the 'back-up' diesel oil.
Unfortunately, the planet does not respond to relative emission levels, it responds to real pollution. The scale of this plant negates any technological improvements. At its proposed total capacity, this will be one of the largest fossil fuel power plants in the country, and one of the single largest greenhouse gas emitters in Florida. The above argument by FPL is the definition of corporate green-washing; FPL has mastered this public relations art form. The IPCC and the Governor's Executive Order call for 90% (technically, 'below 80% of 1990 levels') reduction of CO2. This plant moves us in opposite direction.]

Regarding water use at the facility, FPL worked with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to ensure that WCEC met all the criteria for water use. FPL agreed to obtain its water from the Floridan Aquifer. The Floridan Aquifer is an alternative water supply source located much deeper than the Surficial Aquifer. In reality, the water in the Floridan Aquifer is brackish and is not suitable for drinking or agricultural irrigation without extensive treatment. Use of the Floridan Aquifer will avoid impacts to the shallower Surficial Aquifer. The SFWMD required modeling of the aquifer and approved the project is in compliance with its strict standards for water use permits. When available, in order to help the water supply and storage within the regional system, FPL requested and the SFWMD agreed to allow use of stormwater from L10/L12 canal when it is available as excess stormwater. This excess stormwater would normally be discharged to tide and would not be available for the environment.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: The Floridan Aquifer is being used now as a primary water source by many municipalities. In fact, SFWMD is no longer issuing permits for wells into the shallower aquifer. The WCEC permit was reviewed by a SFWMD Board under the previous State administration. This is the same board who has overseen the permitting of record wetland losses, watched the Herbert Hoover dike deteriorate, lost whistleblower suits on public safety and flood control, and extorted taxpayers for payoffs to wealthy landowners under the guise of 'restoration' (some of whom are now subjects of a Federal Indictment on public corruption).
FPL's assurance that SFWMD oversaw the permits should be of little-to-no comfort to anyone. According to Everglades Restoration efforts, excess stormwater is supposed to be stored, treated and made available to regional drought-sensitive ecosystems, agriculture and the drinking water supply. Supplying power plants is no part of this equation. The permitted consumption rate for this plant is equivalent to roughly 50,000 homes—more than the entire Acreage population.]

Regarding wastewater, FPL is designing the WCEC to have no industrial wastewater or stormwater discharges into surface waters. Our primary source of wastewater is the cooling water we use to cool plant equipment. The majority of the water used for cooling will evaporate, however a portion will have to be managed as wastewater. We are seeking permission from the FDEP to inject the wastewater approximately 3,000 feet underground into the "Boulder Zone". A combination of the subsurface geology which provides hundreds of feet of confinement and well design and construction ensures there will be no detrimental impact on the area's drinking water sources, or water supply/ irrigation wells. Potential drinking water sources are confined by the geology of the site and they are located well above the Boulder Zone.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: This wastewater is not pristine or safe. It will be concentrated through the evaporation process, will contain runoff from the polluted surficial water, concentrated nutrients from the Floridan Aquifer, chemicals and acid used in cooling and scrubber systems descaling processes and chemicals used in their pipes to monitor and deal with erosion (including radioactive iodine). It has been almost a year since Governor Bush and Cabinet certified this plant and FPL's design has not yet passed the requirements of public oversight.]

In your email, you reference contamination of Surficial Aquifer wells at Rustic Ranches, due to dredging in the Stormwater Treatment Area. Dredging activities occur at much shallower depths than where FPL will be injecting its waste stream. In addition, the measures required by the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program ensure the protection of the Surficial Aquifer from UIC injection.

UIC rules are established by the EPA under 40 CFR Part 145, which governs the disposal of wastewater into the deep aquifer. FDEP has adopted Chapter 62-528, Florida Administrative Code, which provides State regulations that are at least as stringent as the federal rule. The purpose of this rule is to protect the quality of the underground source of drinking water and prevent degradation of the quality of other aquifers adjacent to the injection zone. This rule also regulates the construction and operation of injection wells in such a way that the injected fluid remains in the injection zone, and that unapproved interchange of water between aquifers is prohibited. The UIC permitting process includes review of all permit applications by the Florida Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), consisting of representatives from the SFWMD, FDEP, US Geological Survey, US EPA, Florida Bureau of Geology and local environmental agencies.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: It is worth mentioning that the first test-well FAILED; and after the first failure the DEP then allowed FPL the privilege of constructing an Exploratory well in the fit, form, and function of a constructed Class One Industrial Well. While this plant says it is not going to inject technically 'hazardous' waste, it will inject industrial waste into a pristine aquifer. Federal guidelines according to the EPA require that Class One Industrial Waste Wells be constructed technically identical to a Hazardous well—they must show 10,000 year containment.]

Under the FDEP rules for UIC, each deep injection well requires either two monitoring wells, or one dual zone monitoring well. For this site, a dual zone monitoring well will be used. This well will allow detection of any upward movement of injected wastewaters allowing for corrective measures to be taken before impacts to sources of drinking water may occur.
The expected injection capacity is approximately 7 million gallons per day not 21 million gallons as stated in your email. The 21 million gallons is the maximum installed capacity we estimated in the initial Site Certification Application filing. This includes redundant injection wells.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: Why would FPL install capacity for three times their expected daily injection? If they will only inject 7 million, why not modify their permit to reflect this lower, supposedly more accurate, intention?]
According to the FDEP website, there are more than 125 active Class I UIC wells in Florida. Many of these wells are used to inject Reverse Osmosis reject, which is a waste stream similar in nature to the cooling tower blowdown that will be injected at the WCEC once FDEP approval is final.
[PBCEC RESPONSE: According to the EPA, Florida is actually one of the few states in the country (along with Texas) to depend on deep well injection so heavily. The cumulative effects of this technology's widespread use are unknown. Injecting industrial waste into the Earth was not intended to be the policy of the United States or the State of Florida. Initially, in the mid 70's, it was conceived as a stop gap until technology caught up with what to do with the tremendous volumes of waste our society create (It is little wonder that FPL makes hundreds of millions in NET profits annually, if you can just throw your huge volume of waste products into the air, into the water, and into the Earth.)]
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a process for creating drinking water. FPL will be using this water in a heavy industrial setting; the quality control for WCEC's blowdown is not likely to be anywhere close to RO wastewater. In the permit application, FPL is not obligated to monitor the quality of water it will inject. There is no existing plant that uses this technology for wastewater, and, as stated previously, the permit has not yet been approved. This system has not been deemed safe by FDEP. In fact it is being contested by local residents and environmentalists, including the PBCEC.]
Regarding noise, the plant complies with Palm Beach County noise ordinances for an industrial facility during design, testing, initial startup and plant operation. During initial startup, FPL conducts what we call "steam blows," which occasionally can be heard and the steam viewed from adjacent nearby locations. However, these events don't last very long and we would advise the community of the schedule in advance of the plant testing activities.

Regarding the natural gas pipeline and safety issues, Gulfstream has demonstrated a commitment to safe, reliable deliveries of natural gas. In fact, since being placed into service in 2002, Gulfstream has never had a pipeline incident. The Gulfstream pipeline is monitored 24-hours a day, 365 days a year as part of its comprehensive safety program. This program includes periodic maintenance inspections and regular patrols by pipeline personnel.
[PBCEC RESPONSE: The claim that natural gas pipelines are safe is certainly contestable. Ask surviving members of the family in Carlsbad, NM, where, in 2000, twelve people, including five children, died as a result of the explosion. The explosion left an 86 foot long crater. The U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety had conducted a standard inspection in July, 1996 and began a System Integrity Inspection (SII) in May, 2000. There were no violations noted in either inspection. The explosion is thought to have been a result of internal corrosion and over-pressurization of pipes.]
According to Gulfstream and statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Department of Transportation, natural gas pipelines are this country's safest form of energy transportation. Interstate pipelines are regulated by the Florida Department of Transportation's office of pipeline safety, which imposes a broad range of construction and operations standards and specifications.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: According to Janet Bridgers, founder/director of Earth Alert, "Natural gas pipeline safety is a myth. The U.S. Office of Pipeline Safety records hundreds of incidents involving gas pipelines each year. You can easily check this by visiting the pipeline statistics page of their website at http://ops.dot.gov." For information on the Carlsbad explosion, visit www.corrosion-doctors.org/Pipeline/Carlsbad-explosion.htm .
As Bridgers indicates, this is only one case. In the past several years, similar reported explosions have occurred in Texas and California. But most infrastructure accidents go under-reported, unless the casualties make that impossible. It is a risk that the industry knowingly and willingly takes.]

Gulfstream has worked closely with SFWMD and FDEP to design the route for the pipeline to WCEC to minimize impacts to the wetlands. They will incorporate engineering best management practices to protect water bodies that the pipeline may cross. In general, impacts to wetlands due to pipeline installation are temporary in nature.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: This permit has also not been issued. Gulfstream recently modified its permit application to request moving from the west side, which is predominantly agricultural land in the EAA (some of which is proposed for large housing developments by landowners known as Lake Point LLC and Mayaca LLC) to the east side of the canal, which is predominantly the protected wild lands of the J.W. Corbett and the DuPuis management areas. The SFWMD has suggested that the switch was made to accommodate CERP 'Everglades Restoration', but, being that the abovementioned developer was the only documented opposition to this pipeline (other than PBCEC) this is highly suspect reasoning. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), " on May 14, 2007, Lake Point, LLC and Mayaca, LLC withdrew their interventions and protests, stating that they have reached an agreement on the Phase III pipeline route with Gulfstream."
The levee on the east side of the canal, where the pipe is now proposed, had a blowout this season, due to a few days of steady rain. This is not an uncommon occurrence on the L-8 banks.]

Ultra Low sulfur light oil will be the back up fuel for the plant. Back up fuel will be used should natural gas supply to the site be interrupted. This ensures FPL will be able to continue to provide reliable electric service to its customers. FPL will construct the above-ground, ultra-low sulfur light oil storage tanks with secondary containment and to comply with all applicable local, state and federal standards, which are designed to prevent spills or leaks from being released to the environment.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: Remember, this is diesel fuel. It is not a clean energy source; indeed it is the dirtiest, second only to coal. Despite claims of containment and prevention, storing 12.6 million gallons of diesel on site comes with a significant risk level, especially given the adjacent Palm Beach Aggregate blasting operations. From the get-go of this permitting process, we have been requesting the blasting agreement between FPL and the Palm Beach Aggregates these corporations have refused to make it public.
More thoughts on the back-up fuel: although they will be storing 12.6 million gallons on site they are allowed to burn up to 64 million gallons, annually. All will be trucked in by tanker truck at 10,000 gallons per tanker. This calculates to 6,400 new tanker truck trips annually on Southern Boulevard. These millions of gallons of diesel will be parked approx 3000 feet from 14 billion gallons of freshwater in the CERP L-8 reservoir that the taxpayers of Florida paid over 200 million dollars for. One quart of fuel oil contaminates 250 thousand gallons of freshwater.]

In your email you expressed concern that the county tax base will suffer from the loss of tax revenue due to the decline in value of the properties in proximity to the plant. We do not believe this will be the case. The facility is located in an area currently mined for limerock. The only residential properties in the area are at least 0.75 miles east/northeast of the site. No residents exist south or west. There are industrial facilities to the north and southeast of the project. In addition to the substantial distance between the project and residential areas, there are a number of utility, water management infrastructure features between the residences and the project. In addition, the site will be buffered from the surroundings with landscape features.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: 0.75 miles does not qualify as a substantial distance. This plant's stacks will be the size of 14-story buildings. In addition to decreasing the quality of life, this facility will likely to decrease property value as well. Landscaping features are unlikely to change that.]

You also questioned the zoning for the site. You should know that the site has been zoned for power plant use for years. In fact, it was zoned well before FPL acquired the property. Any modifications beyond the initial zoning brought to the attention of Palm Beach County commissioners were technical issues related to the operation of the plant to increase reliability, environmental protection and plant efficiency. These modifications received a unanimous vote by the commissioners.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: The plant was zoned for a merchant power plant by the company Mirant. The Merchant plant was to be 1/10 th the size of FPL's WCEC.
Two County Commissioners are now serving prison time for votes related to the Palm Beach Aggregates zoning. The power plant is mentioned in the federal indictments as a factor influencing decisions made by these criminals who acted out of financial self interest. Not surprisingly, those two Commissioners were absent from the 'unanimous' votes on this power plant site. These votes took place in 2002; 3 years before documents on the WCEC would be made public.]

With regards to the need for power, every year, FPL reviews its projections of peak load growth to determine if it will be able to meet the reserve margin capacity and reliability targets in future years. If the projections show that any of the two criteria will fall short, FPL determines if it can meet the shortfall using Demand Side Management (conservation and load control). If the criteria cannot be met with Demand Side Management, FPL then looks at meeting the criteria with additional capacity.
The Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) has sole jurisdiction to determine the need and justification for adding generation capacity. When FPL files for a need determination, the FPSC reviews the request using two main criteria: that the additional capacity is necessary and that the proposed additional generation method is the best and most cost effective alternative. The FPSC issued a Need Order for the West County Energy Center on June 28, 2006 after careful consideration, review and analysis of the data filed by FPL in the need determination process.
West County Energy Center is needed for FPL's system because of the large increase in electric demand due to continued growth in the number of customers and in the energy usage of customers. A portion of that growth is in Palm Beach County, which exacerbates an already large imbalance between the electricity consumed in Palm Beach County and the electricity generated in Palm Beach County (less than 17% of the consumed electricity is generated in Palm Beach County, the remaining 83% has to be imported into the county). This growing imbalance is one of the key reasons why generation is needed in Palm Beach County.

[PBCEC RESPONSE: FPL has stated that they are accommodating a 30% increase in personal energy consumption. How does this fit into the conservation component of 'demand side management'? FPL states that this plant's first 2500 MW would generate power for 466,000 homes. This level of development could only be accommodated by land in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) which is not zoned for residential development. Why is FPL planning on a load increase that would be in violation of the County's Comprehensive Plan for growth management?
Moreover, growth projections for Palm Beach County have changed in recent years. What would it means for ratepayers if this plant is built without the customer base to absorb the costs?
Why doesn't FPL's new Barley Barber plant in Martin County offer the grid balance that FPL references? There is no hardship in importing electricity across County lines, except, perhaps, where the tax revenue ends up. But what kind of County Commission would sacrifice the environment, public health, quality of life and the global climate just for some increased tax base?!? (that's supposed to be a joke…]
In conclusion, I understand that you have concerns regarding the power plant and I hope that this information helps. I reiterate my offer to discuss your concerns with you and Ms. Brooks. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Barbara Linkiewicz
Director of Environmental Licensing
561 691 - 7518

[PBCEC NOTE: Although we have filed several legal challenges to this plant, we believe the issue can and should be resolved through open dialogue and debate. We invite and encourage communication with FPL, FDEP and the Governor—all of whom have the power to stop construction of this plant.]
This document was a collaborative effort produced by local residents and volunteers with the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition.
For more information, contact: PBCEnviroCoaltion@gmail.com 561-588-9666 www.pbcec.blogspot.com


* -- Dr. Louda was not involved with the production or distribution of this document.

*PBC environmentalists protest natural-gas plant










By Kristi E. Swartz
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/business/epaper/2007/10/18/1018Climateprotest.html


Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


Thursday, October 18, 2007

CORAL GABLES - A group of Palm Beach County environmental activists turned up at a renewable-energy conference in Coral Gables this morning to protest Florida Power & Light Co.'s plans to build a natural gas-fired power plant near Loxahatchee.

Panagioti Tsolkas and four other members of the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition tried to stand in the hallway near a meeting room at the Westin Colonnade Hotel where the 2007 Renewable Energy Conference is being held today, and display signs for the 200-some
attendees to see.

Hotel staff quickly grabbed Tsolkas by the arm and began shuffling him through the hotel and outside.

He and the other members planted themselves in front of the hotel for about 30 minutes displaying a sage-green sheet directed at Gov. Charlie Crist that read, "Hey, Charlie, don't pass gas on the Everglades." "I have a lot of respect for the governor, and he should be aware of what's going on," Tsolkas said.

As attorney general, Crist was one of the state Cabinet members that unanimously signed off on FPL's plans to build a natural gas plant in Palm Beach County. Under the guidance of Boca Raton attorney Barry Silver, Tsolkas and others have filed federal and state lawsuits contending that the plant's impact on the environment and global warming was not taken into consideration.

"We wanted to get a message to the governor," Silver said. "I think he got the message." Crist had been scheduled to give a keynote address this morning at the conference, but remained in Tallahassee to work with legislators convened in a special session.

FPL spokesman Mayco Villafana said today FPL that the West County Energy Center will be state-of-the-art and have the latest emission controls. He added that building another plant, especially in Palm Beach County, is necessary to support all of Florida's growth.

FPL is adding between 80,000 and 100,000 customers a year, 13,000 alone in Palm Beach County.

"It's a clean energy, and the emissions will be well below the established limits," Villafana said.

As of 1:45 p.m., shares in FPL parent FPL Group Inc. (NYSE: FPL) were trading at $63.07, down 17 cents.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

*PBCEC October '07 Digest

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
-
WCEC updates
*Litigation
*New Petition

*Letter to Governor Crist announces a 10 day countdown
*October 18th, Call to Climate Action in Miami!
*Anti-FPL Halloween Costume Party-Pr
otest
-Rock Mines/EAA Plan (LINK ADDED 10/3)
-Lox Refuge License Agreement.
-Nuke Whistleblower S
hines Light on FPL
-Ag Reserve
-Hometown Democracy
-Fundraising: yard sale/moon fest
-Wexler event


-----------------------------------------------------------------------
-WCEC updates
*Litigation
This past week our legal efforts surrounding FPL's plant being built in Loxahatchee were expanded to include m
ultiple administrative challenges to the DEP's permit for deep well injection on the WCEC site. This is billions of gallons of water that will not be cleaned and will not be available for a drought-stricken ecosystem. This wastewater could be causing severe harm to the pristine waterways that are flowing below the ground and, many believe, could potentially compromise drinking wells in the region.
Our administrative challenge to the Gulfstream pipeline has been extremely effective, causing the entire permit to require new review, and a whole new public noticing process. Just this week, the levee alon
g the L-8 proposed to hold the buried pipe blew out from heavy
rains (not the first time.)
Lastly, our federal challenge is gathering momentum and we expect to be joined by some other groups and attorney
s soon.
*New Petition
Since last meeting, several members have been circulating petitions against FPL's WCEC. Over a hundred have been collected already, showing that there is a growing, educated public presence opposed to this plant. A stack of these were turned into the County Commission at this months 'Matter by
the Public.' Attached to this email is a copy of the newly formatted petition that anyone can print out, get filled and return at the next PBCEC meeting. A petition opposing the plant is also online: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/NoRiverofGas/
*Letter to Governor Crist…
A letter was sent letting Crist know that we have appreciated the stand he took on environmental issues earlier this year, but we are growing disillusioned. If the Governor is serious about reducing Greenhouse Gases, it means looking at the largest polluters and stopping them. If Crist cannot take a stand against this huge, dirty power plant that is illegally under construction in the Ev
erglades, than we feel that he may not deserve support from the environmental community. We have given him ten days to respond to our letter, if he does not explain his position, than we will assume that he is complicit. Read the full letter at:
http://pbcec.blogspot.com/2007/10/crist-will-you-help-curb-greenhouse-gas.html
*Oct 18th Call to Climate Action in Miami
Governor Crist will be speaking at the "Renewable Energy—Trends in Global Innovation and Finance" conference is being held in Coral Gables, Miami on October 18th. If Crist expresses his intent to work with u
s in stopping the WCEC, we will applaud his determination and commitment to protect the sensitive ecosystems of south Florida and curb the coming climate catastrophe; if he does not stand with us, and instead expresses allegiance to the corporate green-washers, we will expose his short-lived sincerity. The conference can be registered for at the below link (it's expensive!) The PBCEC will be planning for some sort of public presence and press conference on this day. Get in touch for details.
http://www.miami
chamber.com/news_and_events/calendar_events.asp?cale_id=689&month=9/18/2007
*FPL Halloween Costume Protest-Party
The Everglades Earth First! group is hosting this shindig at the FPL's corporate offices in Juno Beach, from 4:30-6pm
http://pbcec.blogspot.com/2007/10/you-thought-halloween-was-scary.html

---------------------------------------------------------------------
-Rock Mines/Everglades Ag Area (EAA) Plan
The Rinker proposal was tabled; Ken Todd was requested to elaborate on the study (call and ask for a copy at 355-4060). At our meeting it was asked if we have a common vision for the EAA. It was generally agreed that we all support a flow way, similar to what is known as 'Plan 6' in CERP-speak, or the 'Marshall Plan', which rock-mining couls severely inhibit. It was also mentioned that the outcome of 'the Sector' Plan battle in the Acreage area could set a precedent for what's to come, zoning-wise, in the EAA. Keep an hear out for this item at the County.
Check out this interesting article on the future of the EAA:
http://www.eenews.net/special_reports/everglades/#part_two
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-5 Year Update on the Lox Refuge License Agreement
Tuesday, October 16, 2007, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., South County Regional Civic Center, the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge [LNWR] will be hosting a public workshop for the South Florida Water Management District and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service License Agreement. As part of the license agreement performance measures, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) must present a 5-Year update on the various refuge programs. There will be powerpoint presentations on exotic vegetation controls, research, water quality, fire, public use, law enforcement, and water coordination efforts with other governmental agencies. The public is invited to attend and learn about Refuge management programs. The South County Regional Civic Center is located at 16700 Jog Road, Delray Beach, just south of Linton Road on the east side of Jog Road.
For additional information, please visit the refuge website at
http://Loxahatchee.fws.gov or call the Administration Office at (561) 732-3684.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
-Nuke Whistleblower Shines Light on FPL
There was great coverage of the weekend events
http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2007/sep/30/30nuclear-poweractivist-waryof-fpl-plans/

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/pbccentral/content/tcoast/epaper/2007/09/30/m1c_mcforum_0930.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------
-Ag Reserve
Palm Beach County tax payers spent 100 millions dollars to purchase land in the supposed Ag Reserve in South Palm Beach County; now Commissioner Burt Aaronson has led an effort to open the area to development. Tell him what you think: baaronso@co.palm-beach.fl.us
---------------------------------------------------------------------
-Hometown Democracy
Get with local activists to go and collect signatures, contacts:
nolleson@gmail.com
If you haven't signed it yet, do it immediately:
http://www.floridahometowndemocracy.com/
-------------------------------------------------------------------
-Fundraising
YARD SALE NEXT SATURDAY! If you can donate items, call 561-588-9666. Also, on October 27th, we have been invited to work the beer concession at Moon Fest in downtown West Palm. We need 15 committed volunteers, so again please call 588-9666 immediately to confirm availability.
-------------------------------------------------------------
-Wexler event
Congressman ROBERT WEXLER GIVES "A REPORT FROM WASHINGTON" - TUESDAY,
OCTOBER 9. Citizens for Social Responsibility invites you to hear Congressman Robert Wexler, who will give "A Report from Washington" on Tues, Oct 9 at 1:00 PM. This is CSR's 1st meeting of the 2007-8 season. The meeting will take place at the South County Civic Center, 16700 Jog Rd, Delray Beach 33446. Refreshments will be served. For further information, contact Bobbi Graff at BobbiGraff0233@aol.com.

Wexler signed onto the letter
concerning the West County Energy Center that went to the Cabinet in December '06. Ask him if we is still with us... This may also be a good place to fill petitions and circulate flyers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

*YOU THOUGHT HALLOWEEN WAS SCARY??

YOU THOUGHT HALLOWEEN WAS SCARY??

…Wait ‘till you hear Florida Power & Light’s plans to expand greed and pollution in the Everglades.

OCT 31st 2007

Anti-FPL Costume

Party-Protest
Join Everglades Earth First! and the un-dead spirits of the swamp, for a great opportunity to poke fun at FPL's corporate criminal record and their nasty staff of green-washing goons.
Brings costumes, noisemakers, signs and banners to the

Juno Beach FPL Office,

on US 1 and Universe Blvd. 4:30pm ‘till 6pm

Followed by A Halloween Party, location TBA


*****don't forget that Oct 30th is Mischief Night!*****

For more info: EvergladesEarthFirst@gmail.com

www.RiverOfGas.info

*CRIST, WILL YOU HELP CURB GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS?

Governor Charlie Crist October 2, 2007

The Capital

Tallahassee, Fl. 32399

RE: WILL YOU HELP CURB GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS?

Dear Governor Crist:

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition (PBCEC) is thrilled to finally have a Governor who speaks out for the environment. Your state-wide initiative to curb greenhouse gases is a breath of fresh air which our coalition strongly supports.

While we applaud your efforts to confront this unprecedented threat to our planet, our concerns about the West County Energy Center (WCEC) have been ignored by your office, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and other State agencies. The emission of an estimated 8.5 to 13.5 million tons of greenhouse gases per year, millions of tons of other noxious gases released just a stone’s throw away from the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, and the consumption of over 6.5 billion gallons of water each year by this power plant flies in the face of your stated initiatives, and cannot be ignored. Your initiatives to require state agencies to become more energy efficient, while ignoring this massive assault upon the atmosphere, is equivalent to serving a cool drink to the passengers of the Titanic before it hits the iceberg. Moreover, this power plant is unnecessary because it was designed in large part to serve the needs of a predicted population growth in Palm Beach County, which demographers and elected officials now say will not occur. In fact, many people are leaving Palm Beach County due to housing problems, the economy, and various quality of life factors, which all stem from the type of run-away growth that this power plant will only fuel and make worse.

On May 24, 2007, we sent you a letter asking you to reconsider your approval of the WCEC. Your office responded that we should share our concerns with the Florida DEP. When we did so, we were astounded to learn from director Michael Sole that the Florida DEP does not regulate, nor even monitor the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Such lack of concern from the head of the Florida DEP about climate change flies in the face of your stated initiatives, and constitutes an astounding dereliction of duty, similar to a State Attorney’s office announcing that he would no longer prosecute, nor even monitor homicide. Such irresponsibility by the head of the Florida DEP should be corrected at once and not ignored by your office.

Under the previous administration such comments by the DEP and acquiescence from the Governor’s office were typical. However, we expect much more from your enlightened leadership. Moreover, under the recent decision of the Commonwealth of Massachusettes vs. the EPA, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the emission of greenhouse gases can no longer be ignored by agencies which are entrusted to protect our air, land and water, such as the Florida DEP. Thus Mr. Sole’s comments are not only irresponsible, they are also a flagrant violation of the law. As our coalition successfully spearheaded the legal and political challenge against the State’s effort to place Scripps on Mecca Farms, our coalition is now mobilizing our community to oppose this unnecessary power plant. Once the people have been informed about this issue, they have rallied to our side. We have also filed several legal challenges to the WCEC. As with Scripps, we expect a victory in this effort as well. While we succeeded in our struggle to move Scripps off of Mecca Farms, this came only after the State and County squandered over $100 million of taxpayer’s dollars in their futile defense and plans to move forward with this ill-fated decision, and is a large part of the reason why the State must now hold a special session to try to recoup this expenditure form the taxpayers. If you want to lower taxes in this special session, pull the plug on the power plant, encourage conservation and the use of alternative energy, and then you won’t have to cut vital services such as law enforcement, wildlife management, education and critically needed services to the poor.

As Florida’s Attorney General, you expressed concerns when the cabinet met to vote on this issue, regarding a possible violation of due process stemming from the lack of proper notice, a failure to fully inform the public, and the rushed procedure for such a massive project. When you became Governor, our coalition wrote you a letter on May 24, 2007, asking you to take another look at this project, and at your international conference on global warming, we asked you publicly if you would work with us to cancel the plans to construct the WCEC in Palm Beach County. In response you publicly stated that you would look into this. After all this time, we now ask you once again, do you know or even care about the amount of greenhouse gases that will be released into the atmosphere by the WCEC? Have you had the opportunity to review this potential environmental disaster and if so, will you join our effort to cancel this project? Will you require the Florida DEP to monitor and regulate greenhouse gas emissions prior to approving a project, and if so, will you ask the Florida DEP for the first time, to take such action and reconsider its approval of the WCEC, especially in light of FP&L’s recent announcement that it intended to increase the wattage to be generated by this power plant beyond its original estimates when it was approved by the Florida DEP?

We appreciate your stated desire to combat climate change, and have publicly stated so. However, should you not advise us within 10 days of this letter of your agreement to work with us to pull the plug on the WCEC, we shall inform the public of the discrepancy between your words and deeds on this vital issue. We would much prefer to be able to inform the public that they have a Governor who is making great strides in environmental protection and lowering taxes, and whose deeds are consistent with his lofty statements. Thus we eagerly anticipate your cooperation, and stand ready to commit all of our resources to working with you to accomplish your worthy goals.

Sincerely Yours,

Barry Silver and Panagioti Tsolkas, co-chairs of the PBCEC

cc: Sierra Club, Audubon Society, 1000 Friends of Florida, WWF et al.