Title: Letter: 9/21/1973
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 Material Information
Title: Letter: 9/21/1973
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Letter: 9/21/1973 To: Garald Parker From: Thomas Harris
General Note: Box 10, Folder 12 ( SF Water Rights-Water Crop - 1973, 1976-77 ), Item 37
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002273
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text




PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF ADDRESS:

STATE o FOI Department of Legal Affairs
STATE OF FLORIDA Civil Division
DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS 222 W. Poenarcla St
OFFICE Or THE ATTORNEY GENERAL Petroleum %,iljing
OFC^ THE CAPITOL Tallahassee, Florida 32304
ROBERT L. SHEVIN TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 03804
ATTORNEY GENERAL tr



S EP .-5
September 21, 1973 SEP5 i



Mr. Garald G. Parker, C.P.G.
Senior Scientist and Chief Hydrologist
Southwest Florida Water Management District
Post Office Box 457
Brooksville, Florida 33512

Dear Mr. Parker:

You will find enclosed a copy of the Complaint we are
going to file in the Green Swamp case and the original and
one copy of your affidavit which we plan to file with the
Complaint. Please sign the original of the affidavit and
return it to me. The remaining documents are yours to
keep for your own information and records.

If you should find anything in the affidavit about
which you have reservations, please call me. I tried to
be true to the information you supplied us, but I may
have misstated something.

Thank you for your help on this matter. I look
forward to working with you more closely as this case
progresses.

Sincerely yours,



THOMAS A. HARRIS
Assistant Attorney General

TAH: jar


Enclosures






u I


IN THE
TENTH
FLORID


STATE OF FLORIDA, ex rel.
ROBERT L. SHEVIN, Attorney
General,

Plaintiff,
vs.

GROVELAND RANCH ACRES, INC., a
Florida corporation; ZENITH
AMERICAN LAND AND DEVELOPMENT
-CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation;
ATGAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, a
Florida corporation; and, ZENITH
AMERICAN CORPORATION, a Florida
corporation,

Defendants.


CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF
)A, IN AND FOR POLK COUNTY.



) 3 4".


i /530 /se.


CIVIL ACTION NO.


COMPLAINT FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
AND PERMANENT INJUNCTIVE RELIEF


1. This is a civil action for a temporary and

permanent injunction for which this Court has jurisdiction

pursuant to Section 6(3) of Article V of the Constitution

of the State of Florida.


2. The State of Florida, as a Sovereign State,

brings this action as parents patriae, trustee, guardian and

representative, in behalf of the citizens and residents of.

the State of Florida, to protect and preserve the property,

health and welfare of the people of the State of Florida,

and the environment of the State of Florida.


3. Relator, ROBERT L. SHEVIN, as Attorney General -

of the State of Florida, and as the Chief Legal Officer of

the State, is required to represent the people of the State

when their rights are affected, and to act as legal guardian

of the people, under Article IV, Section 4(c), Florida Consti-

tution, 1968 Revision, and the Common Law, such represen-

tation including the abatement of public nuisances. Further,

realtor, ROBERT L. SHEVIN, as Attorney General and Chief Legal

Officer of the State, is authorized to seek abatement of public

nuisances under the provisions of Section 60.05, Florida


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Statutes, as amended by Chapter 71-268, Laws of Florida, 1971,

and Section 823.05, Florida Statutes.


4. Article II, Section 7, Florida Constitution,

1968, provides:


It shall be the policy of the state
to conserve and protect its natural re-
sources and scenic beauty.

This section is self-executing and enforceable by the.Attorney

General acting as parents patriae to protect public and

charitable trusts.


5. Defendant Zenith American Land and Development

Corporation is a Delaware Corporation licensed to do business

and currently engaged in business in the State of Florida.


6. Defendants Zenith American Corporation, Grove-

land Ranch Acres, Inc., and Atgar Development Corporation are

Florida corporations currently engaged in business in the

State of Florida.


7. All. Defendants have been and presently are

dredging, filling, draining, sub-dividing and selling for

.human habitation certain portions of Green Swamp, to wit:

as to the Defendants, Zenith American Corporation, Groveland

Ranch Acres, Inc., and Zenith American Land and Development

Corporation, 11,000 acres in the southeast quadrant of Green

7 7 Swamp, northeast of Lakeland, Florida, along Deestill Road;

and, as to Defendant Atgar Development Corporation, 1350 acres

in the southwest quadrant of Green Swamp, north of Lakeland

along Old Polk City Road.

8. Green Swamp, covering approximately 870 square

miles, is not a typical swamp but a high, poorly drained plateau
I with only patches and strands of true swamp scattered widely

over it. It lies mostly in Polk and Lake Counties with smaller

parts in Sumter, Pasco and Hernando Counties.


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9. The Green Swamp benefits the State of Florida

and its citizens in the following ways:


(a) It is the center of the largest single
recharge area for the Floridan Aquifer, which
aquifer supplies 90% of the water currently used
in Peninsular Florida;

(b) It is the source of five rivers: the
Withlacoochee, Hillstorough, Peace, Oklawaha,
and Kissimmee rivers;

(c) It provides the habitat for numerous
forms of wildlife which have adapted to Green
Swamp environment;

(d)' It provides aesthetic beauty and en-
richment to the lives of Florida citizens who
live in or visit the area.


10. The continued activities of the Defendants will

injure the State of Florida and its citizens by:


(a) Significantly decreasing the recharge
of the Floridan Aquifer and the amount of ground
water available for human use in peninsular
Florida;


----I-----


and will


S---- PUb)- llunAn -waters of Green Swamp,
creating a huge, noisome sump of human wastes
and ruining the; major recharge source of the.
Floridan Aquifer;


(c) Creating flooding of significantly
greater magnitude than now endured on the lands.
which border the five rivers originating in
Green Swamp;

(d) Destroying the natural habitat of the
wildlife inhabitants of Green Swamp, resulting
in the demise of such wildlife;

(e) Destroying the aesthetic beauty and
value of Green Swamp as it is presently consti-
tuted;

(f) Creating fire hazard conditions threatening
all of Green Swamp and surrounding areas.


11. The aforesaid activities of the Defendants do

deleteriously affect, in the State of Florida, public


water supplies, public health, and the use and enjoyment of

public and private lands.

12. The Defendants, by their activities mentioned

above, have created and are creating a public nuisance in


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violation of the Common Law and the provisions of Section 60.05

Florida Statutes, as amended by Chapter 71-268, Laws of Florida,

1971, and Section 823.05, Florida Statutes, such public

nuisance being continued and unabated.


13. The relator has reason to believe and fear that

unless restrained by order of this court, Defendants will con-

tinue their aforementioned activities to the injury of the

State and citizens of Florida.


S14. In this case, the potential harm to the State
\ of Florida, its natural environment and resources, and its

citizens far outweighs the detriment to the Defendants should

they be enjoined from-engaging in the activities complained of

herein.


S15. Defendants' dredging, draining and selling

activities complained of herein are and continue to bring

immediate and irreparable harm upon the Plaintiff and its

citizens.


16. The Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law.

Wherefore, Relator, ROBERT L. SHEVIN as Attorney

General of Florida, prays that the Court:

S' (a) Issue a preliminary injunction enjoining
the Defendants from all further activity, including
dredging and draining, which could reasonably re-
sult in the lessening of water quantity or quality
in Green Swamp;

(b) Permanently enjoin the Defendants from
all development activities which could reasonably
result in the lessening of water quantity and
quality in Green Swamp;

(c) Order such other relief as the Court may
Sdeem appropriate.


DATED at Tallahassee, Florida, this day of

-- September, 1973.


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Respectfully submitted,

ROBERT L. SHEVIN
Attorney General


K4NETH F. HOFFMAN
Assistant Attorney General




Ti6OMAS A. HARRIS
Assistant Attorney General


Department of Legal Affairs
Civil Division
212 West Pensacola Street
Tallahassee, Florida -. 32301


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STATE OF FLORIDA )

COUNTY OF HERNANDO )

AFFIDAVIT

BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, personally

appeared GARALD G. PARKER, who being first duly sworn, deposes
and says:


I am a Certified Professional Geologist, A.I.P.G.

No. 691, and presently am both Chief Hydrologist and Senior

Scientist of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Science from Central
Washington College (1935) and a Master's of Science in Geology

From the University of Washingtqn (1947). I have served

nearly 30 years as a professional geologist and hydrologist

with the U. S. Geological Survey and was, from 1940 to 1948,

in charge of the Survey's cooperative investigations in the. -

southern Florida District. I am the principal author of the

definitive report on geology and water resources of southeastern

Florida, U. S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1255, cora-
"' prising 965 pages, 24 plates, 223 figures and 147 tables.

Additionally, I have written numerous other published reports
on Florida geology and hydrology, one of which won for me the

S. Gold Medal Achievement Award of the Florida Academy of Sciences

in 1945.

Z have served the U. S. Geological Survey as research

geologist and hydrologist and as administrative geologist, and

advanced from Junior Geologist io Principal Geologist in the

period 1940-59, and was awarded in 1958 an Outstanding

Achievement Award for my work on the Delaware River Basin

.I |Project, which was published as U. S. Geological Professional

Paper 381. My last tour of duty with the U. S. Geological
Survey was as District Hydrologist for the New York State

District, a position I resigned to accept my present job. I
am a member of a number of professional societies including

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______ ___________ .. _____-__--r .y1. .
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the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the American

Petroleum Geologists, American Water Resources Association,
Geological Society of America and others. I was national

president of American Water Resources Association in 1968 and
Currently am a member of AWRA's Executive Board. I was selected

for membership in the National Research Council-National Academy
of Sciences in 1963.

I will explain here the probable effects of dredging,

draining, and urbanization of Green Swamp. What I shall say is

opinion of reasonable scientific certainty based on my expertise,

training, observations, experiences and reading. I have been
through the Green Swamp and surrounding geological area on

geological reconnaissance trips and, thus, have an acquaintance

with the area; by studying geologic reports, I have gained_
additional pertinent information.i -" A

Peninsular Florida drads more than percent of its O

water supplies from the Floridan Aquifer. The highest elevation

of the Floridan Aquifer underlies Green Swamp. From its high

position Green Swamp is one of the major sources of new water

and hydraulic pressure for the aquifer, thus playing an important

role in recharging and maintaining the water supply for a large

part of Florida. Recent hydrologic studies of water available
in the Southwest Florida Water Management District show that

the district, for once-only uses of water, will be using all

S of the natural annual fresh water replenishment by 1985.
0
Draining of Green Swamp will substantially decrease the amount

of water available from the Florida Aquifer, move up the date

of the end of water source sufficiency, and most probably cause
S' water shortages in the near future.

SFurther, allowing urbanization of municipal-type

developments in the Green Swamp, would carry with it the seeds

of destruction to the water supply even if over-drainage were


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not the cause. The problem is how to dispose of the human,

industrial, commercial and agricultural wastes that would

accumulate from development of the Green Swamp lands. Lacking

streams to carry away and dilute the wastes, the poorly drained

Green Swamp could well become a huge sump of human and industrial

wastes that would ruin the heart of the recharge source for

*the major water supply of Central Florida.

There is no place to dispose of either liquid or

solid wastes except onto or into the ground, and thus no way.

to keep wastes out of the water supply. Nature can handle

wastes from the sparse population now occupying the Green

Swamp area, but could not possibly handle safely the tons of

daily waste that would be generated from urbanization -- not

unless such liquid wastes were all to be treated to the quality

of drinking water and the solid wastes be so processed and

isolated from both surface waters and ground waters that

poisonous and injurious leachates could be forever kept out

...-*..-_ f 4the. jimnlfer 4 and streams--.------- .

An additional effect of draining Green Swamp is

creation of fire hazard conditions. During the eons prior to

drainage, the wetlands ecosystems developed and were essentially

immune to forest, brush or grass fires. Such immunity resulted

from constantly wet solid, overflowed lands (swamps, bogs.,

*streams, lakes, marshes, etc.) and the lush plant growth

which, together with atmospheric moisture produced by evapo-

transpiration, created a situation in which fires simply could.

not develop or spread. Once these wetlands are drained and

when drought conditions develop, the soils dry out, Vegetation

wilts or becomes so desiccated that much of it dies, and the

once fire-immune swamp suddenly becomes a huge tinderbox. It

was just such a condition as this that permitted the devastation
by fires of more than 22,000 acres of the Big Cypress Swamp this

past spring and summer.


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Five major rivers originate here. At the U. S.

Geological Survey stream gaging stations located closest to the

outer boundaries of the Green Swamp proper, the streams and

their average annual flows are: Withlacoochee River at Croom,

541 mgd (million gallons a day) which is a runoff equivalent
of 8.09 in/yr (inches a year); Hillsborough River near

Zephyrhills, 188 mgd 17.44 in/yr; Peace River at Bartow,

190 mgd 13.71 in/yr; Oklawaha River at Moss Bluff, 240 mgd

.. 5.52 in/yr; and Kissimmee River near Lake Wales, 747 mgd =

9.70 in/yr. Thus, total annual runoff is about 1,706 mgd or

more than 3.5 times the runoff (potential water supply that

might be derived from streamflow) of the Big Cypress.

These streams are less sources of water supply than

* they are sources of flood-control problems. No deep valleys
are present anywhere in the area in which large and economical

*water supply reservoirs can be constructed and into which the

annual flood flows could be stored. The dredging and draining

......-----. o--of- n Swamp will must puby-result in larger and more

destructive seasonal floods in each of the five rivers.

Green Swamp is the habitat of many of the forms of 7

flora and fauna adapted to its particular environment. Drainage

Sof the swamp would destroy the natural habitat of these life

forms and hasten their demise.

FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NOT.



^/ -- Affiant -


.Sworn to and subscribed .. .
before me this day
< ",of ,- ,. S W. .1973.



NOTARY PUBLIC, State of
Florida.at Large

I. My Commission Expires:
age gittg so stI F orol d WIA
1. tistn ExApiresx Fib. 2. 19A



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