Residents express concerns over potential mine in DeSoto County

How would you like to have a mine as a next door neighbor?

For many living in DeSoto County, that’s a possibility. Mosaic wants to rezone 18,000 acres worth of land to extract phosphate, and in the last hour, commissioners voted to move forward with talks.

“We don’t want mosaic to come and destroy the land,” said resident Molly Bowen.

Molly Bowen has lived near Horseshoe Lake, and says she doesn’t want the Mosaic Company mining in her backyard.

“We don’t want that. They can go somewhere else. We’ll buy the land back,” Bowen said. “Just because they own the land doesn’t mean they get to mine it.”

Bowen isn’t alone: Dozens of people of people from neighboring Charlotte County, and as far as Manatee county came to show their support to Charlotte County commissioners.

County commissioners denied Mosaic’s request to rezone more than 18,000 acres of land to open it up for mining last month.

Now Mosaic wants to meditate so they come to a mutually beneficial outcome.

“It’s money to them, but people over money,” Bowen said.

But many environmental advocates say it’s a waste of time and money because they believe Mosaic will sue if they don’t get a favorable outcome.

“We want to save our environment,” said Paul DeGaeta, of the Peace River Charlotte Harbor Environmental Awareness Group.

DeGaeta says they’re worried about potential phosphate spills and its impact on water quality in Charlotte Harbor.

“They didn’t get charged $2 billion by the EPA for having a great environmental record,” DeGaeta said. “This is a water (aquifer) that serves a lot o people, tens of thousands of people.”

So they want commissioners to, “just say no to mosaic.”

Mosaic sent WINK News the following statement. Read it below in its entirety:

Mosaic is committed to following the alternative dispute resolution process as set forth by state law which allows for continued conversation with DeSoto County. We remain confident our rezoning application met the requirements of the law but look forward to the opportunity to better understand the County’s concerns.