FDEP could have stuck with U.S. EPA’s recomendations for water quality, but instead did a complicated statistical analysis to excuse raising the amounts of benzene and other toxins in Florida’s waters. Drinking, fishing, swimming: all are affected. The decision may be made 9AM this Tuesday morning, July 26th 2016, by the Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) in Tallahassee. Please call or write its members, your newspaper or TV stations, or come to the meeting early for the demonstration and then attend (see below for details).
Received today from FDEP:
Recreation and Parks Public Hearing
CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us
DEP’s Florida Park Service is in the process of updating the Unit Management Plan for Suwannee River State Park. Citizens are invited to attend a public hearing to learn more about the proposed plans for the state park and to provide their comments.
Please review the public notice, agenda and draft plan. Copies may also be obtained by emailing Craig.Liney@dep.state.fl.us or calling 386-362-2746. The public is invited to review and submit comments to the Division of Recreation and Parks at FL_StateParkPlanning@dep.state.fl.us until Aug. 10, 2016.
WHAT: Public Hearing
WHEN: July 26, 2016
WHERE: Suwannee River Water Management District ComplexContinue reading
9225 County Road 49
Live Oak, FL 32060
Thanks to Chairman Bill Slaughter for saying in the Valdosta Daily Times that the Commission signing an easement contract was not an endorsement of the Sabal Trail pipeline. Therefore I ask you to:
- Invite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate on site and on paper the numerous omissions by Sabal Trail of springs and underground water transmissivity in what it told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; .please see the letter from WWALS to the Army Corps, attached with the letter from WWALS to you of April 12th.
- Ask our U.S. Congress member Austin Scott (GA-08) to join the four Georgia Congress members who have already asked FERC to fix its processes or deny a permit for Sabal Trail.
- Join the hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals who have already asked the U.S. Congress to call in the General Accounting Office (GAO) to review FERC’s permitting processes.
Please find appended further information about the issues the Chairman raised in the VDT of eminent domain, in differences in regulation of oil and gas pipelines, and in environmental and safety issues of natural gas pipelines.
Since I wrote to you on April 12th, two more major natural gas pipelines have run into serious problems.
On April 20th, Kinder Morgan shelved Continue reading
Debra Johnson, SpectraBusters, 15 March 2016, Hamilton County takes exception with Sabal Trail,
Tonight, Tuesday March 15, 2016, Hamilton County unanimously voted to request that the Army Corps of Engineers perform an independent study on site concerning the ommisions and discrepancies contained in the final environmental study that FERC and Florida DEP used to issue the[ir] permit[s] for the Sabal Trail pipeline.
These ommisions in the EIS were discovered by Mr Chris Mericle when Continue reading
Apparently fracked methane is Sierra Club Georgia’s next fight now that Keystone XL is dead, since almost its entire January/February/March issue of Georgia Sierran is about opposing natural gas: PDF.
See for example “Why Natural Gas Is Not a Climate Solution”, by Joshua Hanthorn. And “LNG Puts Savannah at Risk”, by Karen Grainey and Stacey Kronquest. Karen is chair of the Coastal Group of Sierra Club Georgia. Pretty much everything in that article also applies to Jacksonville, and quite likely to Palm Beach and other locations in Florida very soon.
Mentioning WWALS is “Pipeline in Southwest Georgia and Central Florida Risks Drinking Water,” by Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper,
The Sabal Pipeline, a joint venture of Spectra Energy, Duke Energy, and NextEra Energy, poses threats to Georgia and Florida communities on multiple fronts. For southwest Georgia and north Florida residents it’s all risks and no rewards. However, so far federal and state authorities have thus far been unmoved by arguments against it.
During the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) public comment period, the agency received more than 1,000 written comments, mostly opposing the project, including resolutions against it from seven counties in Georgia and Florida, and three of the largest cities in its path (Albany, Moultrie and Valdosta).
The article talks about FERC’s FEIS, EPA, GA-EPD, and other matters, before turning to WWALS and Florida. Continue reading
Does this sound like a level playing field to you? Basically Sabal Trail claims “reasonable assurances” mean the pipeline can be completed and that’s a public good for the state of Florida, nevermind any destruction or hazards, while WWALS would have had to demonstrate specific direct damages to many of its members because of pipeline installation just to get standing. A Spectra Energy executive from Houston, Texas automatically has standing to claim safety using evidence from other pipelines and even other pipeline companies,explicitly referencing the U.S. Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, while WWALS and its local members in Florida are precluded from introducing any evidence about safety in the same case, or so Sabal Trail seems to say in its objections filed today 4 January 2016 (PDF) to the judge’s Order in WWALS v Sabal Trail & FDEP.
Seems like the limestone underlying the Floridan Aquifer are not the only cracks and fissures in Florida.
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
The judge’s ruling was disappointing, but not unexpected. He found for the Respondents Sabal Trail and FDEP on every issue, even standing. WWALS and others will fight on for the Suwannee River, for the Floridan Aquifer, and for the property rights of local citizens against this pipeline boondoggle.
Indeed, “the project would result in unavoidable temporary and permanent losses of portions of wetlands along the route.” Mitigation somewhere else, not even in the same watershed, is no excuse. Nor does such “mitigation” stop the eminent domain takings of local Florida citizens’ lands, or the bulldozing of a grandmother’s ashes, for the profit of a company from Houston, Texas.
This ruling, with its rather remarkable irregularities, appears to provide additional grounds for appeal beyond those we already knew. The judge repeatedly said in the hearing, and we quoted in the WWALS Proposed Recommended Order, that activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, and scuba diving counted for standing, yet his Order only accepts Continue reading
This Friday, December 11, 2015:
Deadline to comment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
The Corps wants comments on cumulative effects, including from local governments and other organizations, as well as individuals. No Corps permit, no pipeline.
Why does Duke Energy now want to dispose of industrial wastewater from its Suwannee River power plant in Suwannee County? Why did Duke apply for a water permit for the same plant the same day that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asked for comments about Sabal Trail? Why does Sabal Trail want the same type of permit?
Permit: Water – Industrial Wastewater Facility Permit
Project Name: DUKE ENERGY – SUWANNEE RIVER
Location Id: FL0000183
Location Name: Duke Energy Florida – Suwannee River Generating Plant
Application Number: FL0000183-007
For further information, please contact the Tallahassee Headquarters permitting office in Tallahassee at (850) 245-8589
Why is a wastewater permit labeled “Suwannee Air”? And more questions…. Continue reading
National news notes Florida doesn’t want DOAH to listen to EPA about Sabal Trail, after WWALS asked DOAH to do so.
Bruce Ritchie, POLITICO Florida, 25 November 2015, Scott administration helped keep scathing EPA pipeline report out of legal challenge,
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott’s top environmental agency helped block a scathing federal report outlining environmental concerns from being submitted as part of a challenge to a controversial natural gas pipeline that would run across some of Florida’s most “environmentally sensitive areas.”
The Sabal Trail pipeline, a joint venture of Spectra Energy, Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light Co.’s parent company, would extend 515 miles from central Alabama to Osceola County. The project, which covers more than 260 miles in Florida, faces a legal challenge to a state permit in Florida from an environmental group named the WWALS Watershed Coalition.
On Oct. 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying it had “very significant concerns” about Continue reading