IMG: via Shutterstock.

Earlier this month, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida spoke out against oil drilling at a county commission meeting in Collier County, Florida. The local environmental group is concerned about the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and how it isn’t doing enough about oil drilling and the controversial well near Immokalee.

The DEP recently wrote to the Dan A. Hughes Company with a list of demands the company must meet by July 15th. The Texas-based drilling company is accused of using illegal fracking methods to drill at the Collier-Hogan site near Immokalee, so the state wants to ensure more testing and transparency.

Dan A. Hughes Company spokesman David Blackmon emailed a response in regards to the fact that containers of chemicals, some of them carcinogens, were found at the documented by Collier-Hogan well site. The state DEP documented the chemicals in photographs taken Dec. 31 at the site.

Blackmon said: “Just as in our bathrooms and kitchens, gasoline stations and light bulbs, oilfield activity involves the use of chemicals that can be harmful to humans if they are exposed them in high enough doses over long enough periods of time. A key part of the regulatory process and safety considerations in oilfield operations is to ensure that such exposures do not happen. In its 53 years in business, Hughes has compiled an outstanding safety record.”

More local environmental activists are speaking out against the environmental impact of oil drilling in Florida, and elsewhere. Collier Resources released a letter in response to the public debate and controversy surrounding the presence of the Dan A. Hughes Company in Florida, which reads in part: “public confusion has created an environment where a number of groups, well intentioned and otherwise, have made unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims about unplugged oil wells, oil drilling in the Everglades, threats to the Florida panther and most recently, the safety of our drinking water,” of the backlash and public hysteria that has been caused by the presence of oil drilling companies.

As this environmental debate unfolds, drilling continues at the Collier-Hogan site, and a permit for the Dan A. Hughes company to drill in Golden Gate is still pending.