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Just a couple weeks out from the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, four Senators are being pulled off the campaign trail for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Environmentalists Monitor Mosaic Mine

October 22, 2008

Tallahassee, FL - The world's largest phosphate mining company, Mosaic, has had its permit to dredge 500 acres of wetlands along the Peace River suspended, but Earthjustice attorneys say environmental groups have the company under surveillance, because it has threatened to dredge around the wetlands.

The Army Corps of Engineers suspended Mosaic's permit for the Altman Tract Mine earlier this month pending further investigation, and now is asking Earthjustice to drop its suit. David Guest, Earthjustice managing attorney, calls this procedural arm-wrestling, and says the suspension was a turning point.

"This is an important victory. While the game is certainly not over, it is certainly getting off to a good start when they decide to suspend a permit and take a hard look at what they are doing."

Guest says the next step is a full environmental impact study, and the pending lawsuit helps ensure that process goes smoothly. Mosaic's spokesman says they create man-made wetlands for every natural wetland they disturb, but Guest says most of those artificial wetlands don't survive, and a study of the Peace River area found 30,000 acres of wetlands there no longer exist.

"It's the unnecessary destruction of wetlands. Wetlands are the nurseries of most aquatic life. When you take them out, you're taking out the entire nursery and cutting off the ecosystem at the knees."

Guest says wetlands are critical to a healthy water supply, and to the health of the ecosystem.

"The bird population, because of dredge and fill and the loss of wetlands in Tampa Bay, has declined by more than 97 percent. That gives you a sense of what happens when you destroy wetlands."

More than a quarter of a million people depend upon Peace River for their water supply.

Gina Presson/Steve Powers, Public News Service - FL