Florida’s Phosphate Industry Officials Display Little Concern For Florida Riparian Waterways

The state of Florida supports riparian waterways as public domain by law. Riparian waterways are defined as rivers, stream, lakes, marshes, bogs, aquifers, springs, or any navigable waterway above or below ground, including freshwater and saltwater. For instance, one navigates a canoe from a riparian (public) river into a small spring that is surrounded by multiple landowners encompassing the land around the spring. Riparian water rights grant anyone the right to canoe, swim, boat, or just spend leisure time anchored just off the shoreline of the spring.

Following the example above, imagine one scuba diving into the aquifer feeding the spring through an opening between the rocks in an underground (riparian) cavern filled with crystal clear water that also traverses property bounds above. Once in the cavern, one can cross property bounds with riparian (public) waterway rights (2). The examples of riparian waterways described above do exist all over central Florida. Florida’s phosphate industry officials know this as well.

Phosphate industry officials know the irreparable environmental damage caused by strip mining riparian waterways. Florida’s phosphate industry officials buy television commercials showing wholesome industry practices that create local jobs to feed people worldwide. This is a “smoke and mirrors” tactic that Florida citizens as a whole do believe, based on Florida Institute for Phosphate Research, (FIPR) studies. However, industry practices have little if any relationship to the TV ads portrayed by phosphate officials as described above.

The TV ads do not mention the last seventy years of destruction to Florida’s unique hydrological landscape and riparian waterways. The ads are not true based on empirical daily industry practices by phosphate industry officials. Statistically speaking, historically, phosphate industry officials reclaim abandoned mines in a 1 to 5 ratio. Meaning, reclamation of abandoned mines occurs to one out of five abandoned mines. The rest of the environmental damage is hidden from public view by building thousands of acres of massive earthen berms to surround the abandoned highly toxic leftovers (1). When industry “mishaps” occurs in “abandoned phosphate mined lands”, historically, Florida’s taxpayers cover the cost to neutralize the severe environmental damage, not the phosphate industry.

Mishaps occur regularly at all Florida phosphate plants causing severe environmental impacts, being hidden from the public, only to be discovered later by state environmental officials. However, many “accidents” occur in public view such as when a phosphogypsum stack failed and billions of gallons of toxic radioactive wastewater and by-products inundate the surrounding areas with a radius measured in kilometers. Riparian (public) waterways also become polluted, disrupted, or entirely stopped from flowing by phosphate industry mishaps.

Natural water flow volumes in the major riparian waterways near phosphate industry operations decline steadily year after year without much ado from Tallahassee, (capital) or local authorities. Maybe the millions of dollars donated to both political parties in the state stop the legal process and oversight to remedy Florida phosphate industry accidents?

Reference
1. Phosphate Mining | Sierra Club. – sierraclub.org/florida/phosphate-mining.
2. Understanding the Science Behind Riparian Forest Buffers: Effects – pubs.ext.vt.edu/420/420-151/420-151.HTML.

Florida Mines is your website for learning the unethical practices of Florida’s phosphate strip mining industry. See how they destroy and pollute unique aquifer systems, watershed, springs, creeks, and rivers.

Florida’s residence should contact their elected officials over Florida’s phosphate industry’s severe environmental impacts.

The European Convention on Human Rights Has to Be Amended

The European Convention on Human Rights*1 has to be amended.

An inadmissibility of individual applications causing their rejection by judges of chambers of the European Court of Human Rights is an object of this research.

This article aims to ascertain whether certain provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights pertaining to finding individual applications inadmissible, causing a rejection of such applications, fall in compliance with the principles of the Rule of law and with the general doctrine of Judicial Review.

A necessity for such a research of the topic ensues from multiple facts when judges of chambers of the European Court of Human Rights, while acting in individual capacity ( i.e. the so- called-single judges) with competence mentioned in Article 27 of the European Convention on Human Rights adopt their decisions which prevent the Court from further making a thorough judicial scrutiny to merits and facts of applications received. One of the proving examples of this is the fact as follows.

Since 2007 the Kyiv Circuit court of Ukraine has not been hearing a law-suit of the Association of Independent jurists and journalists “The Democratic Space” (here and after – the Association) submitted against the Ukrainian State i.e. against: the president of Ukraine; the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine; the Ukrainian parliament; the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine; the State Savings Bank of Ukraine. The law-suit’s requirement before the court was: to enact a judgment which could state that the Ukrainian State violated the lawful right of Ukrainian nationals to receive back their economies ever deposited by them in banking facilities of the then Soviet Ukraine, prior to 02 January 1992, and which had not been returned to them since then.

Having ascertained that such a violation occurred on account of gross infringements by a judge of the Kyiv Administrative court of Ukraine, the Association required from the Highest Qualification Committee of judges of Ukraine to institute a disciplinary proceedings against that judge. But this committee, that deals, above all, with questions of bringing judges to disciplinary responsibilities rejected the Association’s request without any proving explanations.

Afterwards, on 10 July 2013, the Highest Administrative court of Ukraine by virtue of its resolution rejected the Association’s law-suit against the Highest Qualification Committee of judges of Ukraine. Within a necessary deadline of the 6- month-term, the Association submitted an application to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (here and after – the Court). In this application the association stated that Ukraine had violated the association’s human rights to fair hearing as it is foreseen by Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

On 20 March 2014 a chamber judge of the Court adopted a decision writing that the Association’s application was rejected by him because he had found it inadmissible and as such that might not be appealed before the Grand chamber of the Court. An examination of this very decision both as of some other decisions enacted on account of other applicants’ applications showed that such judicial decisions did not fall in compliance: with requirements: of Article 45 of the European Convention on Human Rights; with some democratic principles, such as: the Rule of law; the judicial review; and the transparency.

In 1977 influential political theorist and professor of law at the Columbia University, Law School, Joseph Razz in his “The Authority of law” in the second its edition”*2. identified constituent principles of the Rule of law as status when there should be clear rules and procedures for making laws, and when there should be transparency of legal provisions of the law and of judicial decisions. An examination of the aforementioned decisions of those single judges of the Court stated that the decisions lacked transparency of precise reasons for finding applications inadmissible. And if it is so, then these decisions have to be admitted as null and void and be repealed as invalid because they don’t fall in compliance with the Rule of law. But unfortunately the above-mentioned Article 45 of the European Convention on Human Rights, foreseeing a necessity to indicate reasons, for declaring applications inadmissible does not foresee any subsequent status for those applications fallaciously found by some single judges inadmissible as it is mentioned above, that certainly contributes to all judges not to indicate in their decisions precise reasons for declaring the applications inadmissible that in the long run contributes to a rejection of many individual applications without making a thorough expected scrutiny to merits and facts of the applications.

Judicial Review is the doctrine under which legislative or executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. According to a definition, drawn in the “Black’s Law Dictionary” *3, judicial Review is defined as power of courts to review decisions of another department or level of government. As we see, judicial review is an essential element of any judicial system that cannot do without the judicial review. A chamber of the Court may be incontrovertibly acknowledged to be a department of the European Court of Human Rights under which the Grand Chamber, if assessing the latter by its core is the department of Higher jurisdiction, that can be substantiated by provisions of Article 43 of the European Convention on Human Rights, that states that within a period of three months from the date of the judgment of a chamber, any party to the case may request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber that will have to decide the case by means of ruling a judgment. So if to admit, that the Grand Chamber has higher jurisdiction, then a chamber of a district Court has lower jurisdiction, like a lower department making an initial scrutiny of an application by virtue of reviewing the application with the object of finding an admissibility of the application. If so, then according to the democratic doctrine of Judicial Review, this chamber’s decision has to be also subject to judicial review by the Highest Chamber of the Court, i.e., – by the Grand Chamber on the basis of applying to the principle of the analogy of law as it is implied by the aforementioned Article 43 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Only such a procedure will ensure an activity of the democratic principles in the European Convention on Human Rights in the process of making justice by the European Court of Human Rights.

Going out of all this, there are enough grounds to conclude that provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights pertaining to finding inadmissibility of individual applications don’t fall in compliance with the Rule of Law and with the other democratic principles of making justice as it is mentioned above. In order these provisions could fall in compliance with the Rule of Law and with the other aforementioned democratic principles, there should be made amendments as follow:

Article 45 of the European Convention on Human Rights should be supplemented by clause 3, reading: If reasons are not given for judgments and for decisions declaring applications inadmissible, then such decisions shall be declared to be null and void, i.e. – repealed by the Grand chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

Further on: Article 43 should be supplemented with clause 4 reading that within a period of three months from the date of a judgment\a decision of a chamber, a party to the case whose application is declared inadmissible may request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber for reviewing legality of an ascertainment of inadmissibility of the application. In case of finding such an inadmissibility to be illegal, the Grand Chamber shall repeal such chambers’ decisions by virtue of its judgment.

References:

*1. European Convention on Human Rights,https:\\en.wilkipedia.org… /European_Conventi…
*2. The Authority of law-Hardcover-JosephRaz-Oxford…
*3. Black’s Law Dictionary:legalsolutions.thomsonreuters.com/law… /law… /…

The author of this article was born in 1952 in Kirovograd in Ukraine. While under the Soviets, he graduated from the English faculty of the Kirovograd Pedagogical University and the law faculty of the Odessa State University named after Mechnikov I.I. In July 1994 he graduated from the Central European University, the Constitutional Law stream in Budapest Hungary. In August 1995 he graduated from the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg,France. From September 1994 up to December 1995 he was exploring the US Legal and political systems first-hand. In 1995 the University of the State of New York awarded him with a Diploma of Master of Laws in Comparative Constitutional law. Beginning from 2003 he has been acting as an elected President of a community, non-profit organization-the Association of Independent jurists and journalists “The Democratic Space”.

New Bill May Help Improve Credit Score

Inaccurate and antiquated adverse items on credit reports can be extremely detrimental. They can adversely influence a consumer’s credit score, elevate interest rates and even lead them to incur a lot of money in payments they have to make. Yet most credit reporting system players emphasize that the processes, which handle contentious items in the consumer files of the 3-major credit bureaus are improving.

However, complaints concerning credit reporting are frequently handled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) each month. Many consumers are very disillusioned by the seemingly lack of a practical appeal system over contentious items. Additionally, they are left to bear the larger burden of proving the accuracy of credit data when compared to creditors. Therefore, it is hardly shocking that a major legislative proposal has now been tabled at Capitol Hill.

What Will The Bill Attempt To Improve?

This bill will attempt to overhaul many aspects of the US credit reporting system as we know it. This includes the gathering, usage and reporting of credit data. Not excluding potentially critical changes in the exact credit scores lenders utilize to assess mortgage applications. The 202 pages bill, which has been labeled the Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reforms Act, has been sponsored by Maxine Waters, the House Financial Committee’s ranking Democrat.

It dwells on a wide range of contentious issues like the restriction of credit data utilization in many hiring decisions. It will also attempt to shift the burden of proof to creditors whenever they report adverse items concerning consumers who opt to challenge them, whether it be the consumer or credit repair company. Once enacted, this bill will force credit bureaus to eliminate all paid/settled debt on consumers’ accounts in not more than 45 days after payment/settlement. It will also ensure that credit bureaus alert consumers at the first moment a creditor submits adverse data on their files.

At the same time, this proposed bill will attempt to minimize the maximum duration in which adverse data can be retained in consumer files to 4 years from the current 7 years. While also reducing the same for bankruptcies cases from 10 years to 7 years.

Will The Bill Affect the Housing Market?

Several changes proposed in this bill will directly influence home purchases and mortgages. Quite a large number of US citizens often face credit and unemployment challenges due to their files bearing traces of the Great Recession. This includes delinquencies, bankruptcies and short selling. All of which are products of unscrupulous or predatory lending and even unscrupulous loan servicing practices.

This new credit reporting system bill will necessitate credit bureaus to eliminate adverse data, which is associated with unscrupulous mortgages that the CFPB or law courts have proved to be linked with dishonest lending or servicing.

The bill will also attempt to initiate vital reforms to credit scoring. Consequently, it will outline when consumers can access yearly credit reports from the 3-major credit bureaus. This will allow consumers to obtain their credit scores at the same time, free of charge. It will also overhaul the kind of credit scores are permissible to the two prominent players in the mortgage industry; Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, to modern standards.

Instead of depending totally on the FICO credit scoring system, this bill will force Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s federal regulators to embrace much more advanced systems. These new systems will overlook or reduce the effects of contentious or cleared medical accounts. Just like the VantageScore 3.0 system, which happens to be a major rival of FICO. Newer systems are also noted for integrating rental and other data that can effectively prove good credit, whenever landlords report payments to the credit bureaus.

Will The Bill Be Enacted This Year?

Interesting enough, some pundits in this industry have asserted that a number of these interventions are already in place in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. One of the most vocal is Stuart Pratt, the head of the Consumer Data Industry Association, which is the representative of the 3-major credit bureaus. Mr. Pratt claims that most of the proposed reforms in this bill for dispute resolution have been adopted based on last year’s national settlement agreement.

Despite of this revelation, the Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reforms Act is still a major effort to enhance national standards. Most especially those which govern the current credit reporting system in America.

A system that quite a large number of people deem to be very detrimental to their financial well-being, as can be judged by the volume of complaints handled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The big question that is now in everyone’s mind is will this bill be enacted, particularly when you consider that this is an election year. Nevertheless, depending on the November elections results, it might be passed next year.