Category Archives: Agriculture

Levy Co., FL, ranch invaded by Sabal Trail’s invasive weeds

A pair of ranchers report an epidemic of stillborn calves, four dead mother cows, equipment damaged by too-steep grades, invasive weeds planted as a “cover Crop” by Sabal Trail and now spreading through seeds in cow manure, hay unusable, and:

At this point we are requesting help to repair the land that was never restored. The grade and the grasses require a farmer to repair not a Sable trails employee can repair

We have waited until now for you to not answer or get back with us and still our ranch issues are growing while you look into your options.

WWALS Digitized Pipeline Path, Google Maps, Maps
WWALS Digitized Pipeline Path

Maybe FERC didn’t want the public to see this. FERC’s elibrary shows Accession Number 20180716-5129, Report / Form of alexander cochrane under CP15-17,, but attempts to retrieve the files listed get:

The requested URL was rejected. Please consult with your administrator.

Your support ID is: 7429593144853677013

As so often, FERC’s backup elibrary Continue reading

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

Landowner wins over Sabal Trail in jury trial, jsq on Scott James radio 2018-06-29

The just compensation for property takings required by the Fifth Amendment is not “just” compensation, said Scott James. And a jury of peers of a landowner told Sabal Trail to pay up five times what it offered for an easement for its fracked gas pipeline.

“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
—Fifth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Scott said this jury award was big news and asked if it was just compensation. I said yes, front page in the Valdosta Daily Times.


VDT front page

And five times is more just than before. But how is a one-time payment Continue reading

Pictures: WWALS at A Day in the Woods 2018-04-21

Here are Gretchen Quarterman and Dave Hetzel at Heather Brasell’s annual A Day in the Woods at the Gaskins Forest Education Center near Alapaha, Berrien County, Georgia.

Gretchen Quarterman, Volunteers

Continue reading

Farmer Randy Dowdy objects to Sabal Trail’s soil mixing evaluation plan 2018-03-13

How can there be soil mixing yet zero noncompliance incidents? FERC saw soil mixing first visit without digging, Dowdy to FERC Randy Dowdy asked directly to FERC, following up his call in AgWeb for an independent investigation of Sabal Trail’s destruction of his world-record-holding soybean fields in Brooks County, Georgia.

Dowdy doesn’t trust Sabal Trail or anybody it sends to investigate that soil mixing. He’s hardly the first to say Sabal Trail’s inspectors don’t; see for example FERC’s Moultrie Scoping Meeting 2015-09-29 where James Bell said pipeline inspectors stood around until they noticed him watching, Sandra Jones said the surveyors were not qualified, and Attorney Daniel Dunn said Sabal Trail operates under darkness of misinformation. Dowdy may be late to the opposition, but he is determined.

Sabal Trail is still a stagecoach line in an electric car world, except stagecoaches didn’t destroy farmers’ fields.

Letter from Randy Dowdy to FERC

Continue reading

WWALS at A Day in the Woods 2018-04-21

At Heather Brasell’s annual outdoor event at the Gaskins Forest Education Center, WWALS will have a table as usual, thanks to WWALS Ambassador Dave Hetzel.

When: 1PM-5PM Saturday, April 21, 2018

Where: Gaskins Forest Education Center
3359 Moore Sawmill Rd., Alapaha

What: A Day in the Woods:
FREE Community Event Activities for all the family

Event: facebook, meetup


Photo: WG Bailey of Dave Hetzel at WWALS table, 2015-04-18.

The GFEC backs up to several miles of the Alapaha River on the Alapaha River Water Trail, and is itself an excellent example of native longleaf and riparian forest.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Randy Dowdy calls for independent investigation of Sabal Trail soil mixing 2018-03-06

Dear pipeline companies: if you gouge through a rock-star farmer’s world-record-holding soybean fields, you may find he gets national coverage.

Bryan Mitchell, March 6, 2018 08:16 AM, AgWeb powered by Farm Journal, Pipeline Nightmare: Randy Dowdy Calls For Independent Investigation,

Randy Dowdy’s soil death is no mystery, insists the Georgia producer, and now a federal inspection report appears to back his claims of soil damage on record-breaking farmland due to pipeline construction. A letter (Feb. 6) from the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) to the Sabal Trail Pipeline Project describes “topsoil and subsoil mixing” on Dowdy’s farming operation, yet significantly does not address issues of noncompliance.

GA-BR-029.000 Dowdy south field, Little Creek, MP 217, 1657-PL-DG-70197-219,, Dowdy parcel 053 00161 Brooks County, GA
GA-BR-029.000 Dowdy south field, Little Creek, MP 217, 1657-PL-DG-70197-219, 30.9439700, -83.6154600

Dowdy signed Continue reading

Sabal Trail alleged plan for soil mixing 2018-03-09

Yesterday Sabal Trail filed with FERC a sketchy plan to investigate the subsoil and topsoil mixing it caused on four farmers’ lands in two Georgia counties. The tail wagging the dog, Sabal Trail demanded FERC rubberstamp this plan within one week.

GA-BR-028.000 Dowdy north field, Little Creek, MP 216.4, 1657-PL-DG-70197-218
GA-BR-028.000 Dowdy north field, Little Creek, MP 216.4, 1657-PL-DG-70197-218, 30.9503000, -83.6217700

Needless to say FERC didn’t supply the GPS coordinates, nor the county parcel numbers, nor the related Sabal Trail alignment maps: WWALS did that, to figure out things are in what Sabal Trail filed.

The details are on the WWALS website, also including maps by WWALS.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

FERC requires Sabal Trail report mixing of Randy Dowdy’s subsoil and topsoil

Bad news doubled for the little pipeline that cried wolf: FERC did not file any certificates today for Sabal Trail, and Brooks County farmer Randy Dowdy is vindicated with a letter from FERC demanding a plan from Sabal Trailwithin 20 days” (emphasis in the original) for “for investigating the actual extent of the topsoil and subsoil mixing on the Dowdy and Robinson properties and the reported mixing on the Jones property.”

Sabal Trail through Randy Dowdy fields and Little Creek, Google Map
Map: Google, of Sabal Trail pipeline through Randy Dowdy’s soybean fields, next to Little Creek, which runs into Okapilco Creek, into the Withlacoochee River, into the Suwannee, to the Gulf.

That letter refers to an inspection report of November 14, 2017, also filed by FERC today, that documents that “topsoil and subsoil mixing has occurred in agricultural areas during construction of Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC’s (Sabal Trail) Sabal Trail Pipeline Project.”

FERC has thus validated Continue reading

WWALS Motion for FERC to reject Sabal Trail et al. request for reissued or emergency certificates 2018-02-05

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, February 5, 2018 — Suwannee Riverkeeper objects to Sabal Trail’s last-minute Request to make an end run around an impending mandate from the D.C. Circuit Court that could shut that pipeline down. Granting the Applicants’ Request for reissued or emergency certificates would amount to the same kind of “multi-billion dollar bailout” that FERC recently rejected for the failing coal and nuclear industries, this time targeted at the natural gas industry. The Applicants for that Request claim need for the pipeline, yet they cite themselves for evidence, in a massive conflict of interest, with internal contradictions, and replete with conflicts with other sources deriving from some of those same Applicants.

WWALS Motion for FERC to reject Sabal Trail et al. request for reissued or emergency certificates, Filing

If, as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said in Warsaw, Poland, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built by Russian gas giant Gazprom PJSC is “undermining Europe’s overall energy stability and security,” and Europe should seek to diversify energy supplies, the same applies to the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline Canadian gas giant Enbridge is now seven months late building through the U.S. Southeast. The Sunshine State already gets 60% of its electricity from existing pipelines, and it should get on with solar power.

The Applicants listed in Friday’s Request are Continue reading