Editor, The Beacon:
Why is Volusia County trying, with Ordinance No. 2021-17, to radically reduce the existing 150-foot upland buffer requirement between a borrow pit and any wetland or natural-surface water body?
Why was groundwater quality not addressed? Why did the staff report recommend finding the ordinance in compliance with the comprehensive plan, even though it ignored groundwater quality (a major comp-plan issue)?
Where is the independent scientific data to support this proposal (in terms of groundwater and surface-water quality, wetland viability/habitat, and wetland-dependent wildlife)? I believe this independent data may not exist.
It appears that the county ignored studies from the University of Florida Center for Wetlands that provide scientific evidence of the buffers necessary to protect receiving waters from silt and sedimentation, eliminate off-site groundwater contamination and/or drawdown, and protect wetland-dependent wildlife.
The county needs to aggressively and effectively protect our drinking-water supply, wetlands, natural water bodies, wildlife diversity, and quality of life. We can have accountable development and borrow pits that do not harm the environment, but we need to act on verified scientific facts in a transparent and responsible manner to protect us, our environment our economy, our quality of life, and future generations.