Will Wal Mart destroy an NSS Owned Cave???

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Postby wendy » Mar 27, 2006 9:15 am

The letters really needed to be in by today, up above a few posts in this thread is a fax number. Use that to fax your letter today.
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 27, 2006 10:23 am

My letter is drafted. The fax machine pooped out on me. I'll find another.
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Postby Buford Pruitt » Apr 7, 2006 9:01 am

The SRWMD staff has replied to Wal-Mart by letter dated March 22, 2006, elevating the permit application to a Governing Board review level and requesting three additional items be furnished:
1) Sections A, B & C of the as-built certifications for ERP89-0091M3 (Wal-Mart Lake City Stockroom Addition),
2) a sinkhole repair plan, and
3) demonstrate that two inches of water quality treatment will be provided.
The District noted that Wal-Mart has 90 days (June 30) to provide the requested information or request a 90-day extension, or else staff will recommend denial to the Governing Board.

Elevating the permit application to the Governing Board level has been a goal of ours, as it allows us more time to enact protective measures for Mill Creek Sink Cave. Permit elevation was also requested by Alachua County Environmental Protection Department, Save Our Suwannee, Santa Fe Springs Working Group, and a city commissioner and the mayor of the City of High Springs. Because the District letter was written before the supporting letters from the latter list were submitted, I believe permit elevation was primarily the result of the meeting that Drew Glasbrenner, Fay Baird and I had with District staff on March 15.

District staff has told me that they expect Wal-Mart to comply with all three of the RAI items, possibly within only 60 days, and that the permit application could then go before the Governing Board in June or July. Staff expects the Governing Board to approve the application.

Regarding item 1, evidently Wal-Mart has not yet complied with a condition of a previous permit by failing to provide as-built surveys of a stockroom addition, but presumably they will do so.

District staff is requiring a sinkhole repair plan for the Alachua super store site prior to issuance of the permit. We should be prepared to review and comment on the plan as soon as it is available to us. We should ensure that, if a sinkhole does open up, the NSS and DEP has the opportunity to inspect it and ascertain whether it communicates directly with Mill Creek Sink Cave. We should be familiar with current sinkhole plugging technologies used in Florida so that we can evaluate Wal-Mart’s proposals. I would appreciate it if someone would email me with some internet links on sinkhole plugging.

The request for a demonstration that two inches of water quality treatment is provided evidently comes from the statement “treatment and attenuation is not provided for Basin 2, Basin 3, Basin 4, Basin 5, Basin 6 or Basin 8 on-siteâ€
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Postby Peggy Renwick » Apr 17, 2006 4:18 pm

I know it's not much consolation, but the Wal Mart that's 3 miles from my house keeps having karst issues: at least 2 sinkholes have opened up in its parking lot since it opened last fall. When I see them, I laugh with glee!
and remember when you found the key
to his hideout in the pyrenees
but you wanted to keep his secret safe
so you threw the key away
-- the decemberists
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Postby bigalpha » Apr 20, 2006 12:55 pm

Which wal-mart is that peggy?
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Postby Peggy Renwick » Apr 20, 2006 1:11 pm

the Oak Grove (KY) Wal Mart on 41-A.
and remember when you found the key
to his hideout in the pyrenees
but you wanted to keep his secret safe
so you threw the key away
-- the decemberists
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Postby bigalpha » Apr 20, 2006 1:22 pm

haha, that figures. Is there a known cave system running under that WM? How big are the sinkholes in the parking lot?
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Postby Peggy Renwick » Apr 20, 2006 1:49 pm

as far as I know, no caves have been mapped under that WM. The sinkholes are like 8-10ft across at surface level.
and remember when you found the key
to his hideout in the pyrenees
but you wanted to keep his secret safe
so you threw the key away
-- the decemberists
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Postby bigalpha » Apr 20, 2006 2:06 pm

how deep are the sinkholes? If they occur along the same trend, it's possible they could be dropping into a cave system?
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Postby Buford » May 25, 2006 7:19 pm

The Governing Board of the Suwannee River Water Management District is scheduled to approve or deny the City of Alachua (FL) Wal-Mart store permit application on Tuesday, June 13, at their offices in Live Oak. Proceedings begin at 0900hrs. The GB will consider many permit applications, and I have no idea what time they will consider the WalMart permit. I plan to be there the entire day.

Staff has recommended for approval.

I will be there representing the NSS to try to convince the GB to deny the permit on the basis of groundwater and cave pollution that is almost certain to occur due to Wal-Mart's inappropriate plan to employ dry retention rather than wet detention in their storm water pond design.

Furthermore, I aim to try to convince the GB to require all future development in the karst plain adjacent to Mill Creek Sink and Mill Creek Cave to design for wet detention.

Please attend if you can. Thank you.
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Postby Cheryl Jones » May 25, 2006 8:49 pm

Thanks for representing us, and fightin' the good fight, Buford. :boxing: Best of luck. :patriotic: :wtg:

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Postby George Dasher » May 26, 2006 9:41 am

The Walmart in Lewisburg, WV also has a fairly long cave under part of its parking lot.
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Postby Cheryl Jones » May 26, 2006 10:23 am

That's because Lewisburg is hollow! :caving:
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Postby Teresa » May 26, 2006 11:17 am

I've already quit buying at Walmart except as a store of last resort (i.e., if I am in a rural area, there is no alternative, and the item is absolutely essential (not a discretionary purchase--like the camera batteries go suddenly dead on a trip to an area I don't frequent.) We've got a Wally World 7 miles from my house, and the alternatives are about 20 miles away. So far I've only been in the local store once this year, late at night, and don't miss it. When I go, I don't "shop"--just get the needed item and nothing else.

Once they start being a good corporate citizen, I might take more of my business there, but not until.
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Retailers attempt to spruce up eco-image

Postby Wayne Harrison » May 30, 2006 11:08 am

By NATHAN CRABBE

Sun staff writer
May 30. 2006 9:11AM

Big-box stores aren't usually associated with anything green, except the color of money.

But retailers, including Home Depot and Wal-Mart, are trying to improve their environmental images by supporting land conservation. The companies could play roles in protecting the headwaters of Hogtown Creek in Gainesville and wildlife corridors in Clay County near Camp Blanding.

Some critics dismiss the efforts as "green washing," or using good conservation deeds to divert attention from practices that pave open space and encourage sprawl. But local land conservation officials say dealing with such companies is just part of their work.

"They're the ones with the land," said Robert "Hutch" Hutchinson, project manager for the Alachua Conservation Trust. "It's very seldom we're out there dealing with little old ladies."

Home Depot has proposed a store at NW 53rd Avenue and U.S. 441, part of the same site Gainesville commissioners rejected for a Wal-Mart Supercenter in 2004. The trust is helping the city get state money to buy 76 of the 92 acres for a nature park, covering the headwaters of Hogtown Creek.

Wal-Mart has taken such efforts a step further by establishing its own land-conservation program. Started last year, the Acres for America program aims to protect one acre of land for each acre of land the retailer has and will develop.

The company initially pledged using $35 million in 10 years to protect 138,000 acres, but has already surpassed the goal of acres protected by 2.5 times. The Micanopy-based Conservation Trust for Florida this year is seeking $500,000 from the program.

The money would buy property helping to connect Camp Blanding and the Osceola National Forest, part of the trust's efforts to protect the wildlife corridor. Busy Shires Byerly, executive director for the trust, said she doesn't like having to ask a company associated with urban sprawl for money.

"I get a bad taste in my mouth," she said. "But I do think a big company like Wal-Mart should be better stewards of the land."

Critics say big-box retailers are building increasingly bigger stores and parking lots that cause runoff and consequently water pollution. The stores also encourage sprawl, said Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher with the New Rules Project.

Mitchell, whose group supports local regulation of national chains, said sprawl has increased the miles traveled for shopping by 40 percent in the past decade. She said the land-conservation efforts don't compensate for the companies' effect on the environment.

"Why don't you come up with a business model that actually conserves land?" she said.

Wal-Mart officials say they've started to design stores to better suit the environment and community where they're located. They say the land-conservation program, which has protected 1,200 acres along the Grand Canyon and seven other large tracts of land, is also making up for their use of land.

"We realize we have an impact on the environment, and we're working to protect these pristine lands," said Kevin Thornton, a spokesman for the company

Local critics of a Wal-Mart planned in Alachua say such efforts don't do much to alleviate their concerns. The company is seeking to build a 207,900-square-foot supercenter, a 76,000-square-foot shopping center, two fast-food restaurants and a gas station on U.S. 441 near Interstate 75.

The site includes a sinkhole that cave divers say eventually connects to Hornsby Springs, which feeds the Santa Fe River. An engineer working for Wal-Mart has said the site's topography and a planned stormwater basin will prevent polluted runoff from draining into the sinkhole.

Cave-diving guide Cindy Butler said that Wal-Mart has rejected requests to make the area surrounding the sink into a park.

"Saving property somewhere else is a wonderful idea, but it needs to be put in place on a more local basis," she said.

The Acres for America program is run through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which works with other corporate partners such as Exxon Mobil Corp.

Peter Stangel, the foundation's southern regional office director, said the company only deals with large-scale conservation efforts, not urban parks.

He said Wal-Mart should be lauded for its commitment to protect those places.

"Wal-Mart has stepped forward in a bigger way than any other company we're aware of," he said.

Hutchinson said the Alachua trust has requested money from the program but was turned down.

He said he'd work with just about any company, finding they're easier with which to negotiate than individual landowners.

"They simply want to make a deal that works for both parties," he said.

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dl ... /1078/news
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