Northeast Florida Roundup
Mining for jobs in northeast Florida
Rural Florida series
Last year, a group of four landowners formed a company called HPS Enterprises and filed applications to establish a phosphate mining operation on 3,600 acres in Union County and 3,800 acres in Bradford.
HPS – formed by members of the Hazen, Howard, Pritchett and Shadd families, who say they’ve lived in the area for generations — says the project will bring 152 direct jobs, create $156 million in annual stimulus to the regional economy and boost Union County's property tax revenue by 28%.
But HPS faces some local opposition, led by a group called Citizens Against Phosphate Mining in Union and Bradford Counties. The group fears that mining may create cancer risks, and that pollution of the Santa Fe River could affect the area’s drinking water supply.
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