Hamilton County resolution to ban fracking in Florida

Chris Mericle reported yesterday:

The Hamilton Co. BOCC voted today to pass Resolution 2015-2, a resolution to support SB-166 and HB-169 to ban Fracking in the State of Florida.

For background, see previous post. Here is the text of the resolution:

RESOLUTION 2015-02

300x400 WHEREAS, in Resolution to ban fracking in Florida, by Hamilton County BOCC, for WWALS.net, 3 March 2015 A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA, SUPPORTING PROPOSED LEGISLATION (SB 166 and HB 169) PROVIDING A STATEWIDE BAN ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, ACID FRACTURING, AND WELL STIMULATION PERFORMED FOR THE PURPOSES OF EXPLORATION OR PRODUCTION OF OIL OR NATURAL GAS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, well stimulation treatments may involve the use of hundreds of chemicals, some of which are known to be carcinogenic or could otherwise be harmful to human health; and Continue reading

Valdosta spilled into Alapaha as well as Withlacoochee watersheds in February

Spilling sewage into the Withlacoochee River apparently wasn’t enough 300x388 Figure 2.2.5. Sub-basins Areas, in Section 2 Methodology, by City of Valdosta, for WWALS.net, 14 January 2011 for Valdosta: in February it also spilled three times into the Alapaha River watershed. At least once this was due to rains directly on Valdosta, for which the levee proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers on Sugar Creek at the Withlacoochee River wouldn’t help. It’s time for Valdosta to move along with fixing its wastewater problems. More transparency from Valdosta would also help. And I, for one, would like to see that promised Corps flooding study of the entire Suwannee River Basin.

In three different reports in February, Valdosta mentioned sewage overflows into either Knights Creek or Dukes Bay Canal, without mentioning that those flow into Mud Swamp Creek, which joins with Grand Bay Creek to form the Alapahoochee River, which joins the Alapaha River, which flows into the Suwannee River. The Florida Department of Health apparently didn’t know that, since it didn’t mention the Alapaha River in its advisories for counties downstream. But Valdosta should know, according to its own SWMP Update Phase 1 Final Report, Section 2 Methodology, 2011-01-14, that about half of Valdosta is drained by Knights Creek and Dukes Bay Canal: Continue reading

Regional aquifers crossed, according to Sabal Trail

300x388 Figure 2.2-1, in Regional Aquifers Crossed by the Sabal Trail Project, by John S. Quarterman, for SpectraBusters.org, 20 February 2015 Sabal Trail seems to have a very constrained idea of the Floridan Aquifer that doesn’t include areas in for example Colquitt, Brooks, and Lowndes County that USGS says are in the Floridan Aquifer. But at least Sabal Trail is admitting its fracked methane pipeline would cross numerous aquifer systems.

Filed with FERC 2015-02-20 as Accession Number: 20150220-5131, “Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC submits supplemental information on adopted alternatives and information on other reroutes and modifications under CP15-17.” PDF. Continue reading

Anti-fracking on the agenda Tuesday in Hamilton County, Florida

Chris Mericle reports an anti-fracking resolution is on the agenda for the the Hamilton County, Florida Board of Commissioners Tuesday 3 March 2015.

The agenda for the March 3rd Hamilton Co BOCC meeting is published in the Jasper News this week. Listed Item #6 reads:

RESOLUTION — SUPPORTING SB-166/HB-169-BILLS IN OPPOSITION TO FRACKING IN FLORIDA

The meeting starts at 9am, Room 112, Courthouse, 207 Northeast First Street, Jasper, FL 32052.

It is unclear whether Continue reading

Withlacoochee River sewage spills, Suwannee River Basin flooding study, and Valdosta’s funded plan to fix its problem

Someone referred to the mid-February Old Statenville Road spill in asking:

What’s happening in your watershed? This is the most recent of several sewage overflow issues I’ve been reading about.

Brief answer: this flooding issue is one of many reasons WWALS Watershed Coalition was formed; we’ve been on it since then; the City of Valdosta is being fixed the immediate problem; however there’s a much bigger problem throughout the entire Suwannee River Basin that the Army Corps of Engineers is studying.

Long answer: This has been going on for years, especially starting with the 700-year flood in 2009, which overflowed the City of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and backed up sewage out of manholes, in addition to rivers and streams running over roads and bridges; see this USGS two-pager on that.

Larry Hanson, Valdosta City Manager, presented to Continue reading

Shadrick and Cherry Creek Sinks on the Withlacoochee River near Valdosta

300x225 Don Thieme and Dan Chapman at Shadrick Sinkhole, in Sinkholes near the Withlacoochee River, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 18 February 2015 Yesterday Prof. Don Thieme, WWALS member Dan Coleman, and I showed a reporter around some sinkholes near the Withlacoochee River, including one that’s been there for decades, leaking into the Floridan Aquifer, and one that opened up within a couple of months only a few years ago.

Dan Coleman says Shadrick Sinkhole has been there probably at least Continue reading

No fracking in Hamilton County, Florida?

Chris Mericle reports from last night’s (17 Feb 2015) meeting:

Tonight at the Hamilton Co. BOCC meeting the chairman, Josh Smith, directed the county attorney to get copies of the Senate and House bills to ban Fracking in FL to supply to the board at the next meeting. Josh also asked the board to consider a resolution of support of those bills just as Alachua, Union and Miami-Dade Counties have done. This should be on the agenda for the next scheduled meeting.

-Chris Mericle

For those bills, see this WWALS blog post. For ongoing updates on Florida anti-fracking resolutions and laws, see the fracking category on Our Santa Fe River, which also leads you to reports on the Alachua County and Union County resolutions. And if you’re near Tallahassee today, there’s the noon rally on the steps of the old Capitol.

-jsq

Floridians for Clean Water & Amendment 1 Rally tomorrow in Tallahassee

Tomorrow in Georgia it’s Capitol Conservation Day in Atlanta, and in Florida it’s Floridians for Clean Water & Amendment 1 Rally tomorrow in Tallahassee. That’s 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM on the steps of the Old Capitol, 400 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

See Our Santa Fe River, Sierra Club Florida, and FloridaWaterLandLegacy.org.

-jsq

Capitol Conservation Day 2015

It’s the annual Georgia Water Coalition Capitol Conservation Day, Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

Save the date for the Georgia Water Coalition’s Capitol Conservation Day on Feb. 18, 2015. While there, you can meet with your state legislators and tell them what you expect them to achieve during the 2015-2016 sessions. Bring your fellow members and other friends with you to support environmental and conservation causes!

The day will begin at 8:00 a.m. with Continue reading