Category Archives: Law

City of Adel passed resolution against state fee diversions 2018-01-16

The City of Adel passed a city resolution in support of Georgia House Resolution 158, “a measure allowing the Georgia General Assembly to dedicate fee collections for their statutorily designated programs,” this Tuesday, January 16, 2018. That’s the second in the Suwannee River Basin, after Lanier County. The more of these urging resolutions that get passed, the more likely the legislature will act to schedule a Georgia Constitutional Amendment to stop many millions of dollars of diversions of state fees from their intended purposes.

Mayor, Council, Staff, Meeting
Photo: Adel City Council in their December 4, 2018 meeting, by John S. Quarterman for WWALS.

Text of the Resolution

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Resolution against state fee diversions discussed at Valdosta City Council 2018-01-11

For our waters, last Thursday, Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll recommended (Video) a resolution in support of a resolution in the Georgia state legislature to stop state fee diversions.


      12. Council Comments - Tim Carroll
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE) at Valdosta City Council, Thursday, January 11, 2018.

Newly elected Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Tooley wanted to know whether Continue reading

Lanier County Commission passes Resolution urging Georgia legislature to stop state fee diversions 2018-01-08

When you pay a state fee, be it for a license plate or for use of a landfill, chances are much of it is being diverted to some unrelated purpose. The Lanier County Commission today passed a resolution urging the Georgia legislature to dedicate state fees to their statutorily-designated programs.

Stop state fee diversion resolution, Board
Lanier County Commissioners Paul Brockington (District 1), Susan Bowling (District 3), Harold Simpson (District 2), Dennis Fender (District 4), and Alex Lee (Chairman). Neil Ginty (County Administrator) in pink shirt.

The Commissioners’ only question after I briefly spoke was to the County Administrator as to whether the county attorney had reviewed this resolution: she had. Thanks to Continue reading

ARWT Resolution passed by Lanier County Commission 2018-01-08

Unanimously, after reviewing the ARWT Brochure and a few words by Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, the Lanier County Commission passed a Resolution to support the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

Alapaha River Water Trail Resolution, Board
Commissioners Paul Brockington (District 1), Susan Bowling (District 3), Harold Simpson (District 2), Dennis Fender (District 4), and Alex Lee (Chairman). Neil Ginty (County Administrator) in pink shirt.

I believe Commissioner Susan Bowling made the motion. Thanks to her and to Continue reading

Motion to reject FERC DSEIS, to take Sabal Trail out of service, and to revoke its permit: WWALS to FERC 2017-12-29

reopen the whole basis of the FERC 2016 Order, Filing FERC, if it follows its own rules, should reject the DSEIS, stop Sabal Trail, and revoke its permit, says a motion filed today with FERC by Suwannee Riverkeeper.

Followup blog posts will feature major sections and arguments from these 20 pages with their 93 footnotes. The basic arguments are summarized on the first page:

WWALS argues that no SEIS can be complete without accounting for GHG from Liquid Natural Gas (“LNG”) exports, nor without comparing natural gas to solar power, according to precedents already set by FPL, FERC, and others, which also reopen the whole basis of the FERC 2016 Order.

FERC may not care, but the D.C. Circuit Court may, or candidates for office, or the voting public.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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


Filed with FERC today as Continue reading

SELC against proposed suspension of Clean Water Rule 2017-12-13

Yesterday, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) submitted a sixteen-page letter against the EPA’s proposed suspension of the Clean Water Rule, on behalf fifty-six organizations including WWALS.10

Struggling to eliminate, Letter Much of that letter could as easily apply to today’s foregone vote to eliminate the FCC’s net neutrality rule. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s “‘unalterably closed’” views should have been enough for him to recuse himself. The three FCC Commissioners for the elimination of net neutrality made it clear they were not paying attention to the millions of public comments, despite requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act to do so. Chairman Pai with perhaps unintentional irony even argued that there was no need to hold public hearings since far more people commented online, which of course is only possible through an open Internet. Nevermind that the FCC appears to be ignoring those comments.

Similarly, the EPA does not seem to be paying attention to the “more than 680,000 public comments” on the Clean Water Rule repeal beyond taking only six days to come up with a two year delay in implementation of that rule.

The SELC letter to the EPA even cites two cases against the FCC when it says: Continue reading

Impervious surface from development causes flooding

Could similar development in the Suwannee River watershed have something to do with the 700-year floods in 2009 and 2013?

Georgia State University, PR, December 6, 2017 Researchers Find Urban Development Dramatically Increases Stream Flow,

Fig. 1 watersheds

…Between 1992 and 2011, the amount of developed land in these watersheds also doubled, almost entirely at the expense of forest land.

In both watersheds, this urbanization led to Continue reading

WWALS to FCC: Cancel vote on Order against net neutrality

If you like hearing about outings and advocacy so you can participagte, please contact the FCC today to oppose their vote tomorrow that would greatly damage the open Internet we all use to communicate and organize.

Please call or email the three Commissioners who favor this unfortunate Order:

  • Main #: 1-888-225-5322
  • Chairman Pai: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov
  • Commmissioner Rielly: Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov
  • Commissioner Carr: Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov

You can also file comments, which are publicly visible, and thus may help get others to call or write the FCC.

To submit a written comment:

  1. https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings
  2. Either in the menu on the left (desktop) or the pulldown from the top (mobile), select Express.
  3. File a comment in WC Docket 17-108.
  4. Be sure to say you are against the proposed Order and for net neutrality.

Below is the letter I filed with the FCC today, confirmation number 20171213002539051; or see PDF.

Preserve an open Internet, Letter

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Cattle, sinkholes, and digups vs. Sabal Trail: Janet Barrow 2017-11-20

Sabal Trail apparently doesn’t know cattle.

cattle go rogue over Sabal Trail pipeline markers

The pipeline company claimed they know restoration, but that’s not what the ground looks like now, with sparse vegetation and erosion. They say they love wildlife, but they drove off a heron and who knows what else. They’re driving down property values. What are those bubbles? Which milepoint is which, anyway? Janet Barrow lives in Marion County, but she also reports on Citrus County. For 54 pages, with a summation.

For the rest of FERC Accession Number 20171120-5026, “Comment of Janet L Barrow under CP15-17, et. al.; A Citizen’s Supplemental Information Regarding Sabal Trail’s October, 2017 Monthly Report” on the WWALS website, follow this link.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

EPA perfunctory Lack of Objections to FERC Sabal Trail DSEIS 2017-11-20

EPA doesn’t even remember when it sent its own greenhouse gas (GHG) comments to FERC, forgets that it already told FERC nevermind, and now says, despite copious evidence filed by Senators, professors, Riverkeepers, and environmental organizations from multiple states as far away as Colorado, that FERC’s incorrect and inadequate Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statemen (FSEIS) rates “Lack of Objections or “LO””.

EPA to FERC, Re: SMPP This latest EPA letter is dated November 20, 2017, but FERC didn’t inform intervenors about it until today, two weeks later. The EPA letter claims:

The EPA commented on the FEIS on January 25, 2016. In those comments the EPA provided several recommendations including that the FERC consider a detailed evaluation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in future analyses.

Yet FERC’s Docket CP15-17 shows no comment by EPA in January 2016. It does show this same G. Alan Farmer, Director, Resource Conservation and Restoration Division, EPA, wrote a letter to FERC filed 1 December 2015 as Accession Number 20171201-0034 (see also WWALS blog post), in which he said nothing I can see about greenhouse gases, but he did basically say “nevermind” to EPA’s extensive letter of October 26, 2015, filed as Accession Number 0151102-0219 (clean text on the WWALS website), which October letter did include: Continue reading