Tag Archives: Christopher J. Mericle

Permit-less Sabal Trail pipeline risked by new sinkhole

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(See also PDF and previous blog post.)

Live Oak, FL, October 5, 2017 — Sabal Trail, operating without a permit, is at risk from a new sinkhole within 60 feet of its 36-inch diameter, high-pressure, fracked methane pipe under Suwannee River State Park (SRSP), between the Suwannee River and the drill site in Hamilton County. Such sinkholes are among the geological risks WWALS warned about that have happened in the fragile karst limestone containing our drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer. We were assured in October 2015 by Sabal Trail and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) that sinkholes and frac-outs would not happen or would be detected and fixed. They keep happening, and Sabal Trail has done nothing about this one. Sabal Trail should not even be continuing operations after the DC Circuit Court vacated its permit six weeks ago.

jsq over sinkhole, SRSP
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman at new sinkhole in Suwannee River State Park, 2017-10-03.
Photo: Christopher J. Mericle, Chair, N. Florida Working Group, Suwannee-St. Johns Group, Sierra Club Florida.

In WWALS vs. Sabal Trail & FDEP (October 2015), FDEP’s one witness, Lisa Prather, said under oath (see http://wwals.net/blog/?p=27799):

Well, the Suwannee River crossing doesn’t, in fact, have any impacts to an outstanding Florida water, because the directional drill commences in uplands and terminates in uplands. So there are no surface water impacts at that crossing that would affect the outstanding Florida water.”

“Well, any work within, or could have adverse effects on OFW, is considered.In this case, we determine that there would be no impacts to the OFW.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman says:

“Email to Ms. Prather’s address now comes back with an error message, while the rest of us are left Continue reading

Sinkhole at Sabal Trail path through SRSP, Hamilton Co., FL 2017-10-03

Update 2017-10-05: Press Release.

Yesterday we found a fresh sinkhole within 60 feet of Sabal Trail’s pipe under Suwannee River State Park (SRSP), between the Suwannee River and the drill site in Hamilton County.

60 feet from sinkhole to pipeline, SRSP

These pictures are by Christopher J. Mericle. He is a WWALS member, and also the Chair of the North Florida Working Group of the Suwannee-St. Johns Group, Sierra Club Florida.

You can see the sinkhole extends underground to the south, on the far side in this picture, towards the pipeline: Continue reading

SRWMD listens about Sabal Trail easements, chooses unfortunately, yet offers assistance 2016-07-12

Attached are my comments to the SRWMD Governing Board today (July 12th 2016) in regards to the Sabal Trail crossing site over the Falmouth Cathedral Cave System.

I was the first to speak at the public comment period followed by Jim Tatum then Merrillee. Jim and Merrillee echoed my concerns. The three of us set the tone for the meeting! The Board was interested and engaged asking questions to better understand what impacts Sabal Trail poses for the cave system and the District. About Time!


Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Sierra Club Florida speaking to SRWMD 2016-07-12
Photo credit: Our Santa Fe River

Executive Director, Noah Valenstein offered to personally call the ACE to request Continue reading

New hydrology report exposes Sabal Trail pipeline risk to Floridan Aquifer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jasper, Florida, July 1st 2016 — Another independent professional geologist reveals more omissions and discrepancies in pipeline company reports and faults in federal oversight of the Sabal Trail pipeline: Figure 7: Locations of the caves and springs mentioned in this study groundflow actually goes the other way, drilling under a river will change water flow in the Floridan Aquifer, and there is very high risk of sinkhole collapse. An indigenous Floridian commissioned this scientific report to protect his mother, the living earth. This geological report provides compelling additional reasons for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to open a new process to evaluate this and other new information.

Bobby C. Billie, one of the Clan Leaders and Spiritual Leader, Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples, asked professional geologist and hydrologist Peter Schreuder, P.G. to conduct investigations at the proposed Sabal Trail crossing under the Suwannee River from Hamilton County and under U.S. 90 in close proximity to the Falmouth Cave System in Suwannee County.

This Schreuder report concludes about the Floridan Aquifer System (FAS): Continue reading

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern, HDD under Suwannee River –Peter J. Schreuder 2016-06-23

See press release, New hydrology report exposes Sabal Trail pipeline risk to Floridan Aquifer, and this report is also available in PDF.

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern

Schreuder, Inc. Water-Resources & Environmental Consultants

Directional Horizontal Drilling (HDD) under the
Suwannee River
At Suwannee River State Park

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern

In any review of potential environmental consequences related to the use of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), both the geotechnical and scientific communities can be expected to raise serious concerns when such drilling is done around karst areas, and in regions which over lie the Floridan Aquifer System (FAS), which includes the Upper Floridan Aquifer, and the karstic geologic subsurface features at the location proposed in Continue reading

Who, beside the public,is checking the data Sabal Trail is providing? –Chris Mericle to FERC

WWALS board member Chris Mericle just asked FERC:

Why the huge discrepancy….? [W]hy should we believe that the information Sabal Trail provided anywhere is correct?

Chris pointing to tree that fell in sinkhole 30.4080314, -83.1609955 Apparently unlike FERC, Chris knows what he’s talking about, from on-the-ground observation to a local study by a geologist, to Sabal Trail’s own docuemnts.

Filed with FERC as Accession Number: 20151207-5015, “Comment of Christopher J Mericle in Docket(s)/Project(s) CP15-17-000 Submission Date: 12/6/2015”, Continue reading

Landowner on Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County FL moves to intervene against Sabal Trail –Chris Mericle

Drilling under the Withlacoochee River could have catastrophic effects, a landowner near the Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County, Florida reminds us. Chris Mericle is also a WWALS board member.

Intervenor is a resident of Hamilton County, Florida and lives near the Proposed Sabal Trail Route where it crosses the Withlacoochee River. As such, I am concerned about the adverse and potentially catastrophic effects that the construction and operation of a 36” diameter gas pipeline will have on Fresh Water Resources including Springs and the Floridan Aquifer.

Here’s how you or your organization can file a motion to intervene.

Filed with FERC 22 December 2014 as Accession Number: 20141222-5037, “Motion to Intervene of Christopher J Mericle under CP15-17, et. al.” Continue reading