Florida DEP meets with concerned residents about oil drilling
FOX 4 NewsPhoto: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla. - On Tuesday the Florida Department of Environmental Protection met with concerned Southwest Floridians about a proposed oil drilling project in Golden Gate Estates.
At least a hundred southwest floridians poured into the Golden Gate Community Center for a public meeting with the DEP who said their concerns about oil drilling aren't falling on deaf ears
(Sot- Danielle Irwin Florida dep - "We have been listening we've been getting a lot of public feedback and saw that there was a great need and desire to get some information out there." Danielle Irwin with the Florida DEP said.
Representatives withthe Florida DEP said they're taking into account protection of water resources, sensitive land and endangered species like the Florida panther. Alexis Meyer said panthers are running out of safe havens
"They don't have permanent protection of their habitat, there is no critical habitat for Florida panthers and as development picks up as the economy picks up, their existing habitat is going to be continually shrinking." Alexis Meyer with the Sierra Club said. Neighbors who live near the drilling site on Desoto Boulevard fear they'll be living in a 24/7 danger zone.
"I still get up at night 2 or 3 o clock in the morning wondering what's going to happen if this comes through? I'm afraid, I have a son and a family." Eduardo Villalonga said.
Reps with the DEP said the project won't put anyone in harms way.
Fox 4 asked: They're worried about their safety do you think this project is safe? I do without a doubt especially in south Florida. Drilling in south Florida has been going on for 70 years we've never had an issue never had a blowout preventer die never had a hydric sulfide leak so it is a very safe project from our perspective." Danielle Irwin with the Florida DEP said.
The Florida DEP must make a decision on whether or not to issue the construction permit by September 30th.