Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and soon in Columbia County? 2018-07-11

Thanks to Jim Tatum of OSFR for spotting this op-ed in the Lake City Reporter yesterday by WWALS member and Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida about Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and likely planning to expand to Columbia County.

Dennis Price explains, Down to a sunless sea
Photo by John S. Quarterman of Dennis J. Price at the Dead River of the Alapaha River, 2018-01-27.

To the Editor:

Much has been written in the last year about Sam Oosterhoudt’s mitigation bank. I was involved in permitting the bank through the Army Corps (ACOE) and The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. It took about 5 years to get all the permits. Now, 9 years after work began on the project, the phosphate company (then PCS now Nutrien) petitioned the state to shut down the mitigation bank.

I do not know for sure, but, Nutrien may tell you that during the recent sale of PCS and the review of mineral interests owned, they discovered that the mitigation bank had snuck in there and set up shop over their minerals. This probably has some truth to it but I think there is a much more involved reason.

In Hamilton County, Nurtrien/PCS is planning to run out of phosphate to mine in about 10 years, give or take a few years either way. I do not believe they are planning on shutting the doors and leaving. Occidental Chemical Company started mining in Hamilton County Continue reading

Valdosta sewer main repair, N. Oak St. 2018-07-12

See if you can do it without spilling into One Mile Branch, Valdosta. Also, despite the date on the PR on the city’s website (see below), WWALS got it via email a day later at 4:01 PM 11 July 2018, the day before the work started this morning.

Valdosta State University, Maps

Ashlyn Becton, Valdosta, Press Release, 4:17 PM, 10 July 2018, Sewer Main Repair / Road Repair at 1522 N Oak St starting Thursday July 12,

The City of Valdosta Utilities Department will be closing Continue reading

Raffle kayak winner(s) from Live Oak, Florida 2018-07-08

Once again the kayak raffle winner was a surprise, this time with a twist.

The winner of the draw for the Perception Swifty Deluxe 95 Angler Sit Inside Kayak at the WWALS Annual Member Meeting, Sunday, July 8, 2018, in Valdosta, Georgia is…

Raffle Kayak, Wheels
The raffle kayak at the BIG Little River Paddle Race, April 28, 2018.

Continue reading

Powelson leaves FERC with a split board as Sabal Trail loses legal cases 2018-07-02

Just one day before FERC admitted Sierra Club won in D.C. District Court, and a week after Sabal Trail Sabal Trail lost a jury trial in the U.S. Middle District of Georgia in Valdosta,

something else at FERC put pause to further pipeline and LNG export rubberstamps.

Ellen M. Gilmer, Rod Kuckro and Sam Mintz, E&& News, 2 July 2018, Powelson’s departure means fallout for pipelines, policies,

Robert F. Powelson by FERC
Photo: FERC, of Robert F. Powelson, via E&E News

Robert Powelson’s decision to exit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission less than a year into his term could leave natural gas pipeline developers in the lurch and policy critics scrambling for how to approach the commission’s coming 2-2 partisan split.

That’s the consensus among Continue reading

Cleanup at Sheboggy plus upstream paddle Alapaha River 2018-09-09

The traditional annual WWALS Sheboggy Georgia Adopt-A-Stream cleanup at Sheboggy, plus an upstream paddle, from this most upstream of the access points on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT). Oh, and we still want those Sheboggy road signs back.

When: 1 PM, Sunday, September 9, 2018

Put In: Sheboggy Boat Ramp, 11004 US Highway 82, Alapaha, GA 31622, a few miles east of Alapaha, Georgia, in Berrien County.

GPS: 31.386279, -83.191609

Take Out: Sheboggy Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members for the paddle (the cleanup is free to everyone). We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Sign, Last Seen
Sheboggy road signs last seen, April 27, 2018. Photo: Jack Hickox; we still want them back.

Continue reading

FERC and Sabal Trail admit Sierra Club won 2018-07-03

One week after losing a jury trial in the U.S. Middle District Court of Georgia, the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline and its purveyor of federal eminent domain, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), declined to appeal their huge DC District Court loss of last August.

Sierra Club, Press Release, 3 July 2018, Fracked Gas Pipeline Company and Federal Regulator Will Not Seek Supreme Court Review of Landmark Ruling: Existing Decision Means FERC Must Consider Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions,

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Neither the builders of the fracked gas Sabal Trail Pipeline nor the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will ask the Supreme Court to review a landmark ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from last year. That decision required FERC to consider the effects of downstream greenhouse gases when deciding whether to approve proposed pipelines that transport gas.

In response, Sierra Club Staff Attorney Elly Benson released the following statement:

Elly Benson, Sierra Club Attorney
Elly Benson, Sierra Club Staff Attorney

“We are glad to see FERC accept its responsibility to consider greenhouse gas emissions from burning transported gas at downstream power plants. These dirty, dangerous, and unnecessary pipelines pose a threat to our communities and climate. They should not be proposed, much less built, at a time when clean, renewable energy sources are abundant and affordable. We will continue to monitor the pipeline permitting process to ensure the law is followed.”

The pipeline industry press was not thrilled. Charlie Passut, Natural Gas Intelligence, 5 July 2018, FERC Declines to Appeal Landmark GHG Case to Supreme Court, Continue reading

WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting 2018-07-08

Preliminary Draft Agenda
WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting

2:30-4PM, Sunday, 8 July 2018
Wooden Nickel, 3269 Inner Perimeter Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602

Following the WWALS Annual Member Meeting

Dial-in Number: (641) 715-3580
Meeting ID: 855-676
facebook event

Election of officers, Annual Financial Report, Budget, Alapaha Quest, festivals, projects and programs, water trails, water quality monitoring, pipelines, phosphate mines, and more.

Invited to attend: WWALS members, especially committee members, and the general public.
All WWALS Board Members are expected to attend in person or by telephone.
The more done on the board list, the less time we’ll have to spend on them in this meeting.

Board Members (will change at the immediately preceding WWALS Annual Member Meeting): Continue reading

DoE FE can’t identify the circumstances for revoking an LNG export authorization

What sort of oversight can the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) be performing for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export terminals when it says that: “DOE has stated that it ‘cannot precisely identify all the circumstances under which such action would be taken.’” Further:

DOE/FE has never rescinded a longterm non-FTA export authorization for any reason. Further, DOE has no record of ever having vacated or rescinded an authorization to import or export natural gas over the objections of the authorization holder.

This is all from a recent DoE article in the U.S. Federal Register, in which DoE manages to come up with only one example:

Louisiana LNG Energy LLC, in google cache
Louisiana LNG Energy LLC, in google cache

DOE has rescinded (or “vacated”) one long-term LNG export authorization to FTA countries (see supra note 2)—DOE/ FE Order No. 3482, issued to Continue reading

All winners of BIG Little River Paddle Race 2018-04-28

Previously you saw the overall winner of the 6th Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race, organized by WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) and Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB), Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Here are all the winners:


The prize category is included for each winner.

Continue reading

A week on the Withlacoochee River in June?

Somebody asked recently whether it is possible to paddle a week on the Withlacoochee River in Georgia in June. Sure, as long as you start not too far upstream on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), you can paddle past shoals and little-known Georgia springs into the Florida springs heartland, and then continue a day or two on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT). WWALS has paddled many of the most interesting stretches multiple times, often in June.

Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous
Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous

Here’s some history of the Withlacoochee River: fishing weirs, shoals, ghost towns, and springs.

Here is a list of access points on the Withlacoochee River with recommended water levels.

Troupville Boat Ramp, Hahira GA 122 Little River Gauge, 137-144′ NAVD88

Your first put in will actually be on the Little River, slightly upstream from its confluence, at Troupville Boat Ramp.

27 April 2016, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 70.9′ (140.6′ NAVD88).
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) fixed the Troupville access road back in April 2016.

Boatramp
Photo: Julie Bowland

21 April 2018, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 7.2′ (140′ NAVD88).
WWALS did a cleanup at Troupville, in which you can see our water trail signs. See also some history of Troupville, the previous county seat of Lowndes County, Georgia.

Scouts and all, Sign
At Troupville Boat Ramp, by the signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) that Phil Hubbard planted yesterday (2018-04-20).

Georgia Springs on the Withlacoochee River

Three of the six second-magnitude springs in Georgia used to be in Brooks County, Georgia, before somebody apparently tried to Continue reading