Here are some details about the inherent risks in using reservoirs to store water...
WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS IN MINE PITS:
In case you haven't shared the information on water quality impacts in mine
pits from EPA employee Richard Harvey, below, you may want to do that now.
EPA "relieved" Mr. Harvey of his Everglades duties in 2007, but I suspect he
would share his list of water quality literature with you.
> From: Bob Mooney
> Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 9:53 AM
> Subject: Re: Scientist: reservior may be dangerous to public [EPA's Richard
Harvey says planned Berry Groves storage could foster blue-green algae
outbreaks] (Naples News, 8/6/05)
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> Letter from Richard Harvey,
> a scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
> Naples Daily News
> August 5, 2005
> While pulling together the requested Acceler8 update document, I've come
> across a potentially very serious issue that needs to be brought to your
> attention and addressed soon. That issue is the very real possibility that
> the 40,000+ acres of "waters of the U.S." reservoirs that are proposed for
> construction may end up being incubators for developing dense blooms of
> potentially toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) with some very serious
> public health and ecosystem consequences. I've drafted a paper discussing
> this issue which consists primarily of a limited literature review (let me
> know if you want copies of the papers/articles) and discussions with folks
> who are more knowledgeable about these issues than I am--including three
> very respected PhD's who are all former Lake Okeechobee project managers
> for the Water Management District and who share this concern. I urge you to
> read the attached "Reservoir WQ" file--as well as the file
> titled "pointstoponder."
> We all recognize how desperately the system needs to be able to store water-
> -but we don't need to be creating systems full of toxic ooze-even if it
> might result in higher life forms evolving in South Florida. (of-course
> only the unwashed heathens believe in evolution--just a little humor). If
> there is any doubt that algal blooms will occur just see my third
> attachment which is a photo taken from my place in Stuart--which is only
> 100 ft. off the South Fork of the St. Lucie River-- which is currently
> receiving the Lake Okeechobee discharges. There are also reports of several
> dead manatees and dolphins in the river the last few days--although the
> causes of the deaths have not been identified.
> I've asked Bill Bokey of our SESD (Science and Ecosystems Support Division)
> to take a look at the Reservoir paper and provide me with comments--as well
> as our TMDL folks--so I can take advantage of their expertise.
> I very much hope my concerns are wrong--but we don't need to be building
> reservoirs for restoration--only to do what we always seem to do down here--
> which is make things worse--an provide a story line for Carl Hiassen (sp).
> and we certainly don't need to be endangering public health.
> I also understand that the ACOE has prepared a draft paper on mitigation
> for the Acceler8 projects--which they will not share with us. Anyone know
> what it says? Is it based on the maybe correct-maybe not assumption that
> what we are doing will result in actual "restoration"?
> Don't shoot the messenger!!!
> On Sat, 6 Aug 2005 06:44:20 -0700, Bob Mooney <robert.mooney@USA.NET> wrote:
> >Education, health care on Governor Bush's to-do list in D.C.
> > By Larry Lipman
> > Palm Beach Post Washington Bureau
> > Saturday, August 06, 2005
> >Also while in Washington, Bush was scheduled to meet with Stephen Johnson,
> >the new Environmental Protection Agency administrator, to discuss
> >Everglades restoration and with Admiral Michael Mullen, the new chief of
> >naval operations.
> >Among the topics Bush said he would discuss with Johnson would be the
> >state's commitment to cleaning up the water flowing into the Everglades
> >through the Modified Waters Project.
> >> Archives: http://lists.sierraclub.org/archives/commons-everglades.html
> >>Scientist: reservior may be dangerous to public
> >> By CHAD GILLIS, firstname.lastname@example.org
> >> Naples News
> >> August 6, 2005
> >>A federal scientist reviewing Everglades restoration projects says a
> >>reservoir system proposed to hold Lake Okeechobee's excess water before it
> >>is flushed into the Caloosahatchee River could actually create a public
> >>health concern by fostering toxic algae blooms.
> >>Richard Harvey, one of the state's top officials with the U.S.
> >>Environmental Protection Agency, said in a recent letter to several EPA
> >>officials that a reservoir planned for the Berry Groves agriculture site
> >>could foster blue-green algae outbreaks.
> >>Blue-green algae occurs naturally but can be fed by nutrients and other
> >>pollution. The algae is toxic to marine creatures and has been linked with
> >>human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
> >>Harvey, in letter written this week, says the Caloosahatchee reservoir
> >>could create a danger to the public. The reservoir is intended to capture
> >>excess water from Lake Okeechobee, store that water during the summer
> >>months and release the water as needed or during drought conditions.
> >>"(The reservoirs) may end up being incubators for developing dense blooms
> >>of potentially toxic (blue-green algae) with some very serious public
> >>health and ecosystem concerns," Harvey's letter says.
> >>Lake Okeechobee was connected to the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie
> >>estuary as a way to drain the Everglades and make South Florida easier to
> >>develop. Lake Okeechobee waters have become polluted over the decades, and
> >>now that water is flowing down the Caloosahatchee and into the Gulf of
> >>The reservoirs are supposed to correct the flow problems associated with
> >>lake releases. Water quality, however, isn't a factor in the project, much
> >>to the dismay of local elected officials and water quality and
> >>environmental groups.
> >>Harvey wouldn't comment on the letter Friday, although he was defended by
> >>Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah.
> >>"I applaud his courage for bringing forth an issue of paramount concern,"
> >>Judah said. "All the (South Florida Water Management) district is building
> >>is a cesspool that very well could breed that algae."
> >>Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials say Harvey is
> >>wrong about the blue-green algae and that he shouldn't have brought those
> >>concerns to light.
> >>"Richard's memo is irresponsible and unfounded," DEP spokeswomen Kragin
> >>Mosteller said. "It's speculative and without scientific basis."
> >>In his letter, Harvey cites the work of former Water Management District
> >>water quality experts as sources for the blue-green algae argument.
> >>John Cassani with the Southwest Florida Watershed Council said Harvey is
> >>well-respected in the scientific community and that his arguments are
> >>compelling at the least. Harvey has, after all, worked with the Everglades
> >>restoration plan for over a decade.
> >>"That's a pretty heavyweight scientist making a big statement," Cassani
> >>said. "Maybe the (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and the Water Management
> >>District will have to redesign the reservoir."
> >>Cassani is a freshwater expert and has spent years studying conditions in
> >>this region.
> >>"It's pretty nasty stuff," he said of blue-green algae blooms. "And not
> >>just for fish and wildlife. There's a human concern here, too."
> >>Judah said he hopes Harvey's letter will spark some change within the Army
> >>Corps and the Water Management District, two agencies Judah has rarely
> >>"At this point, it doesn't seem to me that either of the entities are
> >>listening to our concerns," he said. "Maybe this will help."
> >>By writing the letter, Harvey could be putting his job on the line, as
> >>other outspoken federal regulatory officials in Florida have been fired or
> >>chased off after publicly airing concerns over development and water
> >>projects in this region.
> >>The last line of Harvey's letter is short: "Don't shoot the messenger!!!"
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