Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the toll road bill, SB 7068, Suwannee Riverkeeper — which was among the 90 organizations throughout Florida that asked him to veto it — continues to oppose that boondoggle and propose actual benefits to Florida’s economy and waters.
Google map of one likely route of the Suncoast Connector.
One of these three unneeded turnpikes would have to cross the Suwannee River, plowing through counties where we have many members. All this very poorly written bill says about its route is: “Suncoast Connector, extending from Citrus County to 164 Jefferson County.” Apparently that means from Crystal River to Monticello, and on to Thomasville, Georgia, through farms, forests and swamps. If this toll road builds its bypasses, bye-bye local businesses in Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Old Town and Cross City.
Yes, the turnpike bill has a “project development phase” for $45 million and increasing each year, with a Continue reading
From Martin County, FL to Charlotte, NC, news stories related to the WWALS PR of 16 July 2017. Some protesters still have court cases pending; more on that later.
Bruce Ritchie, Politico, 17 July 2017,Charges dropped against some North Florida gas pipeline protesters,
On Monday, the State Attorney’s Office in Gainesville said charges had been dropped against 11 and that one case remained pending while two others entered pleas of no contest. The charges were dropped because of insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, said Jeanne M. Singer, chief assistant state attorney.
The WWALS Watershed Coalition, which opposed the pipeline, issued a news release announcing that the charges had been dropped and criticizing police for the arrests.
“These exaggerated charges were intended to Continue reading
Marihelen Wheeler, Gainesville Sun, 9 September 2015, Stop the pipeline,
We must continue to resist the efforts of the Texas-based company, Spectra, to build the Sabal Trail pipeline through Alachua, Gilchrist, Suwannee, Levy and Marion counties.
The proposed pipeline will carry natural gas through a 36-inch pipe over 515 miles to serve Continue reading
WWALS is about environmental issues such as those FL-DEP said could proceed. However, environmental issues extend far beyond FL-DEP’s narrow view. A pipeline sinkhole could affect springs or wells miles away, and that could affect property values, insurance rates, and of course eco-tourism. Tourism brings in $67 billion a year to Florida. Why would any Florida state agency want to risk that for a pipeline when the Sunshine State can go straight to solar power?
Yep, we created a Florida subsidiary, and lots of new members joined WWALS in order to get listed in the amended petition (PDF).
Two weeks after the Florida Department of Environmental Protection rejected a Georgia group’s petition to challenge a DEP permit for the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, the WWALS Watershed Coalition — an advocacy group focused on the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little and Upper Suwannee rivers in Georgia and Florida — has filed another petition.
The DEP general counsel will now review this petition and decide whether to allow it to proceed to the state Division of Administrative Hearings.
The story notes DEP claimed WWALS hadn’t dotted enough is and crossed enough ts, but now we have: Continue reading