DEP failed to sufficiently review or verify Sabal Trail’s application, failed to timely place comments from affected landowners in the public record, and disregarded heightened protection requirements of Florida Outstanding Waters. Sabal Trail admitted Spectra Energy is its operator in perpetuity, and that horizontal directional drilling could adversely affect water quality of the Suwannee River, yet DEP failed to adequately consider such effects. DEP professed to be unaware of other potential risks such as crossing existing pipelines, including the Southern Natural Gas pipeline. Springs, fragile karst geology, leaks, LiDAR, and geologic collapse: all insufficiently considered by DEP. Sinkholes, springs, and gopher tortoises pointed out by landowners never examined by Sabal Trail or DEP.
A Spectra Energy executive from Houston deigned to come to “the middle of nowhere” to tell us they’d use thinner pipe in low population areas such as Suwannee County. He testified at length about Spectra’s safety history, even Continue reading