DEP gives permit to drill in Florida Panhandle

Hands Across the Sand opposition to drilling and fracking

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has given a Texas company a permit to drill six exploratory wells for oil and gas in the Panhandle; but environmental groups say that’s a bad idea.

WMNF interviewed Georgia Ackerman, Riverkeeper and executive director at Apalachicola Riverkeeper.

“The Florida DEP Oil and Gas Program has issued exploratory oil and gas permits to Cholla petroleum. And, they will be allowed to drill 6 exploratory oil and gas wells in Apalachicola floodplains. These wells will be located between the Dead Lakes, the Apalachicola River and the Apalachicola River. And, that’s in Calhoun County, fairly close to the Gulf County border.”

SK: How would that impact Florida’s environment?

“Apalachicola Riverkeeper issued comments of opposition to the drilling in December. There are a number of concerns that we have which include the threats to the ecology of the region. Apalachicola River, the entire region, the economy and ecology are really closely connected. Particularly if you look at the Apalachicola Bay which we rely on the estuary and fishery system is of a significant economic value to the region.

“The oil drilling brings considerable threats in the contaminants that are brought into the region. You’ve got drilling mud, chemicals for mixing. All of those types of things are transported back and forth and are on site. And that’s before we even talk about the actuality of drilling down 12 thousand, 13 thousand feet through the ground to the aquifer. So there’s risks involved in all levels of oil and gas drilling.”

Listen to more of the interview here: