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Resolution of the Sierra Club opposing the construction of an immigration detention center in the Town of Southwest Ranches WHEREAS

, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) seeks to build a 1,500 bed (minimum) immigration detention center for use by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), within the municipal limits of the Town of Southwest Ranches in Broward County, Florida; WHEREAS, the facility would be one of the largest structures in western Broward County, and would be located only a mile from Broward’s Everglades and Water Conservation Area 3B; WHEREAS, the proposed facility would utilize approximately 180,000 gallons of water per day, which would place additional strain on the Biscayne Aquifer, virtually the sole source of drinking water for all of Broward County; WHEREAS, the regional water supply remains at risk and under water restrictions due to inadequate rainfall and heavy demand from human consumption; WHEREAS, the detention facility would likewise generate 180,000 gallons per day of wastewater, which would be injected approximately 2,600 feet underground, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that injected wastewater may migrate horizontally into marine and other waters and vertically into usable drinking waters; WHEREAS, the City of Pembroke Pines would be the supplier of water for the facility, and in 2007 the City was within 100,000 gallons per day of the use level at which the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Regional Water Availability Rule requires the city to construct an alternative water supply at great public cost; WHEREAS, the construction and operation of the facility will significantly contribute to the City of Pembroke Pines reaching this trigger point for an alternative water supply; WHEREAS, the SFWMD approved alternative water supply for Pembroke Pines would inject up to 7 million gallons per day of treated sewage directly into the Biscayne Aquifer, and research has indicated available treatment processes do not remove all traces of household chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other contaminants, and these will likely accumulate over time and possibly migrate to other portions of the regional aquifer;

WHEREAS, Broward County Parks and Recreation has made a significant commitment to expand opportunities for ecotourism in the area by the planned takeover of Everglades Holiday Park in June of 2012; WHEREAS, the siting of a massive detention facility less than 2.5 miles from Everglades Holiday Park, a popular entry point to the Everglades for residents and visitors, will significantly degrade the gateway to Broward’s Everglades and is incompatible with expanded ecotourism in the area; WHEREAS, no review was ever undertaken to determine the environmental impacts of this project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), or any other regulatory framework, and no Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Environmental Assessment (EA), or any other environmental review was ever carried out; THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Sierra Club strongly opposes the construction of the proposed CCA detention facility in the Town of Southwest Ranches, or any other comparable facility in this location. Approved by the Broward Group of the Sierra Club Mara Shlackman, Chair February 7, 2012