Resolution Against Drilling a Pipeline in the Indian River Lagoon

WHEREAS, the Indian River Lagoon (the “Lagoon”) is one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America, home to more than 2,000 species of plants, 600 species of fish, 300 species of birds, and 53 threatened or endangered species; and

WHEREAS, Indian River County (the “County”) is reliant on the Lagoon for its economic prosperity and scenic beauty, which can only be maintained by the preservation of the Lagoon through sound environmental management; and 

WHEREAS, the John’s Island Water Management Inc. (the “JIWM”), is planning to construct a dedicated wastewater effluent pipeline from the barrier island to the county’s mainland wastewater effluent storage tanks, which includes drilling under the Lagoon for more than a mile; and.

WHEREAS, such construction poses a substantial risk of “frack-out”, whereby drilling fluids escape the intended drill bore, which drilling fluid is toxic to already struggling aquatic life; and 

WHEREAS, there is also the long-term risk of wastewater effluent leakage from such a pipeline into the Lagoon, which effluent is nothing less than treated liquid sewage containing nitrogen, phosphorous, pharmaceuticals and, potentially, human fecal coliform bacteria; and  

WHEREAS, there is a better immediate solution to Johns Island’s wastewater needs, specifically two existing wastewater pipelines with excess capacity, strapped onto the Wabasso Bridge which then merge, run across the barrier island, and proceed down A1A and could be extended farther down A1A to John’s Island; and 

WHEREAS, the Indian River Mosquito Control District commissioners have firmly put the environment and public interest first by unanimously rejecting an easement for this pipeline under their island; and

WHEREAS, the JIWM hopes to bypass this rejection by attempting to convince the County to assert a highly questionable right-of-way over the district’s island and thereby “overrule” the rejection; and

WHEREAS, because the Democrats of Indian River support an environmentally clean economy and the preservation of the Lagoon;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE DEMOCRATS OF INDIAN RIVER, for the sake of continuing to protect our endangered Lagoon, urge the Indian River County Board of Commissioners to reject the JIWM attempt to overrule the Mosquito Control District by granting the JIWM an easement for its proposed pipeline.

Passed unanimously by the Indian River County Democratic Executive Committee on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

Please come and attend the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners Meeting on Tuesday, April 23rd from 9 am to 1 pm at which time they have placed consideration of an easement to allow building of the pipeline under the Lagoon.  Come and tell them NO!  Gambling with the health of the Lagoon is not an option.

Join us!  Be part of the solution.