ARCADIA — DeSoto County has planned a public workshop for Wednesday involving phosphate mining company Mosaic.
The topic of the workshop will be water quality monitoring programs associated with phosphate mining.
This is the latest in a series of meetings the county will host leading up to 2023, when Mosaic plans to reapply for rezoning permits to mine phosphate in DeSoto County.
Wednesday’s workshop begins at 9 a.m. and will be held at the Turner Agri Civic Center, 2250 N.E. Roan St. in Arcadia.
“The workshops are informational only,” said County Spokesperson Tara Poulton. “No formal action will be taken by the Board of County Commissioners.”
The workshops are part of a dispute settlement from 2019 between the county and Mosaic.
Mosaic owns around 18,000 acres of farmland in DeSoto, a portion of which is not currently zoned for mining.
In 2018, the County Commissioners voted to deny the fertilizer company’s application to rezone that part of the land.
Mosaic opponents argue the practice of strip-mining is harmful to Florida habitats, wildlife and waterways. To operate, Mosaic is required to meet water quality regulations set by local, state and federal agencies.
“It’s important for the public to understand the level of monitoring involved in the stewardship of our watersheds,” wrote Mosaic representative Jackie Barron in an email to The Daily Sun. “We hope these workshops prove educational and reassuring.”
Workshop presenters will include:
Mike J. Coates, Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority
Shannon Gonzalez, Flatwoods Consulting Group
Sheri A. Huelster, Cardno
Anthony J. Janicki, Janicki Environmental, Inc.
After the presentations and county commissioner discussion, the public will have an opportunity to address the board.
“Members of the public will have three minutes to make comments but it will need to be specific to the topic which is ‘water quality monitoring programs,’” Poulton said.
The meeting is open to the public. To participate virtually:
Join Zoom Meeting: bit.ly/3ifIOVb
Meeting ID: 994 0825 5901; Passcode: 719286
One tap mobile: +16465588656,,99408255901#,,,,719286# US
For more information, contact the County Administrator’s Office by calling 863-993-4800.