All the public speakers were against the phosphate mine. Before the Commissioners decided, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson spoke about rain, the Chemours mine, and how what Bradford County does affects her business downstream. (I think Stasia Rudolph also spoke before I got there.) After some confusion on timing, afterwards Marc Lyons reminded them Citizens Against Phosphate Mines (CAPM) is ready to sue, and Kate Ellison said she hopes this means we will all see the consultant’s report before the public hearings. I sent a letter and a resolution the previous day and gave them paper copies.
“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.”
Apparently not only FDEP’s sole witness Lisa Prather believed Sabal Trail; according to a video yesterday by Cody Suggs at the Suwannee River, Sabal Trail’s own workers seem to believe their company’s propaganda.
Much more about WWALS v Sabal Trail & FDEP is on the WWALS website, including videos and transcripts of the landowners who also tried to warn FDEP that sinkholes happen like they already have including under at least two public roads in Suwannee County, Florida. And more about what already happened is on the WWALS website, plus things you can do to stop this $3 billion dollar fracked methane boondoggle.
For example, you may want to ask the permitting agencies some of the questions WWALS asked, including this one:
Which of FERC, FDEP, GA-EPD, USACE, SRWMD are working to protect the health, welfare and safety of the communities surrounding this pipeline and how are they doing that?
Given that I asked them for a prompt answer and two weeks later have gotten no answer at all, it sure looks like we the people will have to find and report violations and use other methods to stop this pipeline.
The transcript questions quoted below are Continue reading
Here’s the letter DOAH sent Friday 4 September 2015 that we received on paper yesterday. Fortunately, it’s also online along with the rest of Case No: 15-004975. It’s been assigned Judge Bram D. E. Canter.
STATE OF FLORIDA
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
Case No. 15-4975
WWALS WATERSHED COALITION, INC.,
SABAL TRAIL TRANSMISSION. LLC AND
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,
- Any document filed with DOAH by a party represented by an attorney shall be filed by electronic means through eALJ located at www.doah.state.fl.us. Parties not represented by an attorney may file by electronic means through eALJ. Any document filed through eALJ shall include the filing party’s e-mail address and be served upon all other parties. All pleadings and motions must contain the DOAH style and case number.
- THE AGENCY OR, WHERE THE AGENCY IS NOT A PARTY, THE PETITIONER SHALL COORDINATE WITH ALL PARTIES AND PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WITHIN SEVEN DAYS Continue reading
The hearing will be about the Suwannee River in Florida, and the same pipeline wants to cross the Withlacoochee River in Georgia (and the Ochlockonee, Flint, and Chattahoochee in Georgia, and the Santa Fe and the other Withlacoochee River in Florida).
Winnie Wright, WCTV, 4 September 2015, WWALS Receives Hearing on Sabal Trail Pipeline,
“Everyone told us we’d never get a hearing, so apparently we interpreted the previous day’s FL-DEP dismissal too broadly. But sometimes if you try, you succeed. And WWALS continues to try to stop the unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous Sabal Trail pipeline,” said Continue reading
You’ve mostly been hearing about WWALS v. Sabal Trail lately because of all the news coverage related to the petition to FL-DEP, which is great. But of course WWALS does a lot more than that and WWALS has been around before anybody ever heard of Sabal Trail.
Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 4 September 2015, State regulators grant hearing to anti-pipeline group,
WWALS Watershed coalition and WWALS-Florida which advocate for conservation of Suwannee River and other rivers in south Georgia and North Florida believe the proposed pipeline is not in the public interest and could have severe adverse effects on fish, wildlife, public recreation and navigation.
The pipeline would also go through the fragile karst limestone containing 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?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FL-DEP grants hearing to WWALS against Sabal Trail pipeline under Suwannee River
September 4nd, 2015, Jasper, Florida — Yesterday the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL-DEP) asked for an administrative law judge (ALJ) “to conduct all necessary proceedings required by law and to submit a recommended order to the Department”. FL-DEP apparently interprets its Order of the previous day as dismissing only the petition of WWALS-FL, a Florida nonprofit corporation, and not that of the parent corporation, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS). So it seems WWALS gets a hearing after all.
WWALS president John S. Quarterman remarked:
“Everyone told us we’d never get a hearing, so apparently we interpreted the previous day’s FL-DEP dismissal too broadly. But sometimes if you try, you succeed. And WWALS continues to try to stop the unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous Sabal Trail pipeline.”
And it seems FL-DEP is reading the news about this case, because Continue reading
FL-DEP is reading the news about the WWALS petition, we know because DEP sent a copy of yesterday’s FL-DEP request for an administrative law judge directly to the Palm Beach Post. The Post had already published a story saying the WWALS petition had been dismissed, and changed it to say WWALS has been granted a hearing. (See also WWALS press release.)
Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 3 September 2015, Florida DEP says anti-pipeline group’s case to be heard,
A conservation group seeking to stop the proposed 465-mile Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline from boring under the iconic Suwannee River has now been granted its request for a hearing.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said late Thursday Continue reading
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
OGC CASE NO.: 15-0468
WWALS WATERSHED COALITION, INC.,
SABAL TRAIL TRANSMISSION, LLC and
STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT
OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,
REQUEST FOR ASSIGNMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGEContinue reading
AND NOTICE OF PRESERVATION OF RECORD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WWALS petition against Sabal Trail dismissed by FL-DEP on technicality, not real issues
2015-09-04: New DEP message, new press release.
September 3rd, 2015, Jasper, Florida — Despite the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL-DEP)’s Order of yesterday dismissing WWALS’ amended petition with prejudice on a technicality, including an attempt to deny FL-DEP’s responsibilities to the citizens of Florida, WWALS and WWALS-FL continue to point out the obvious: Spectra Energy’s proposed Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline is not in the public interest, would interfere with property rights far beyond the crossing of the Suwannee River, would not maintain natural conditions, and could have severe adverse effects on fish, wildlife, public recreation, and navigation, especially if it blew up like a Spectra Energy pipeline did in May under the Arkansas River.
Hamilton County, FL resident Deanna Mericle, who wrote much of the WWALS amended petition that was dismissed, responds,
“DEP is doing a disservice to the citizens of Hamilton and Suwannee Counties by not hearing the legitimate argument and hiding behind a questionable technicality. I am sorely disappointed but not surprised.”
Yesterday WWALS received Continue reading