COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Oil well opponents want commissioners to revoke a Texas-based company's permit at the Collier Hogan Well. On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Protection was in town to address the on-going drilling concerns.
DEP Secretary Herschel Vineyard said he will do everything in his power to make sure our drinking water is protected. "I wanted to make sure that they knew that I was going to hold Dan A.Hughes accountable for any unlawful acts that they take."
In order to do so, DEP Secretary Vineyard told county commissioners and concerned citizens thatDan A.Hughes must comply with his guildelines.
But for Commissioner Georgia Hiller, his plan comes a little too late. "My concern is, DEP has failed to do what it has an obligation to do via the citizens of the state of Florida."
"How many chances does one need to get? If you are not adhering to the terms of your permit, it should be revoked," said Jennifer Hecker with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
For months, different organizations around Collier County have been voicing their concerns.
"We are still hesitant about their intents because they surpressed information for over six months on this illegally fracked Collier Hogan Well and they have never met with the public to answer our questions." Karen Dwyer, with the stone crab alliance, finally got to meet with Secretary Vineyard on Tuesday.
However, she still feels left in the dark. "Because we have so many unanswered questions about what happened at the Collier Hogan Well. It's really important because the Collier Hogan Well is a test case; it will set a precedent for the 450,000 acres that has already been leased for extreme extraction in our everglades."
Commissioner Hiller requested Secretary Vineyard come back to a meeting in September. She wants him to update them about whether or not the drilling done by Dan A. Hughes Company was safe or not.
Hecker also asked the commissioners to hire an independent consultant or outside council to help with the ongoing efforts. The County Attorney said he already has someone in mind to hire when needed.