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This is a political DECLARATION OF WAR against the DAN A. HUGHES OIL & GAS COMPANY and co-conspirators, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION and COLLIER BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, in opposition to horizontal drilling and FRACKING in Collier County, Florida.
Deadline brings three challenges to Estates well-drilling permit
October 21, 2013
GOLDEN GATE ESTATES — Monday’s deadline to ask for a state hearing to protest a permit for an exploratory oil and gas well in Golden Gate Estates passed with three challenges filed.
Texas-based Dan A. Hughes Co. wants to drill the exploratory well east of 24th Avenue Southeast near Desoto Boulevard to determine whether to pursue an oil or gas production well.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s late-September approval of the exploratory permit set in motion a process for petitions to ask the agency to refer the matter to a state hearing officer.
Challenges were filed by Lake Worth resident Matthew Schwartz, an environmental activist concerned about effects on eliminating land for Florida panthers to roam.
A second petition was filed jointly by Preserve Our Paradise Inc., a Collier County-based nonprofit organization, and Thomas Mosher, a drilling site neighbor, who contend the emergency evacuation plan is inadequate if hydrogen sulfide gas leaks into the neighborhood.
The third petition is by a citizens group, the Stone Crab Alliance, which objects to safety plans and effects on panthers, along with other concerns.
DEP spokeswoman Dee Ann Miller said Monday the agency’s general counsel will review the petitions within two weeks. Under that timetable, a decision on whether to schedule an administrative hearing would be issued no later than early November.
Under state procedures, if the general counsel determines a petition is sufficient, it’s referred to an administrative judge for a hearing, Miller said. If a petition isn’t sufficient, in many cases it can be amended and refiled, she said.