Tag Archives: USACE

A Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida –Florida Waterkeepers 2017-12-18

Delivered via email as PDF to the Union BOCC before their phosphate mine workshop of Monday, December 18, 2017.


A Resolution
Against Phosphate Mines in Florida

WHEREAS, Waterkeeper Alliance Members are obligated and dedicated to protect the water resources, citizens’ interests, and related benefits in their jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, Resolution WHEREAS, phosphate mines have been shown to threaten and cause actual harm to these resources, interest, and related benefits; and

WHEREAS, there are several phosphate mine projects in various stages of permitting in local, state, and federal agencies including county and city governments, Water Management Districts (WMDs), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); and

WHEREAS, there seems to be no public list of current phosphate mines and related facitlities, which include at least

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Cherry Creek & Stillhouse Branch, Lift Station, Sinks, Withlacoochee River

Why should anyone downstream care about an obscure creek north of Valdosta? Because it runs past sinkholes that leak into the Floridan Aquifer, into the Withlacoochee River, then into the Suwannee River, then into the Gulf of Mexico, going by all seven of the downstream Florida counties that passed resolutions asking the state of Florida to do something about Valdosta wastewater, not to mention neighborhoods and wetlands closer to the recent Cherry Creek Lift Station sewage leak, which was at least smaller than previous spills.

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

The orange red-circled disk shows Continue reading

State and local responses to Dunnellon Sabal Trail stink

Sabal Trail did not notify state or local officials about their “odorant” leak at the Dunnellon Compressor Station site, and Sabal Trail’s response to WWALS failed to mention local people called the same stink in to 911 two days in a row. FDEP said there’s no need so long as Sabal Trail follows various permits, but gave no indication of who is checking to see if Sabal Trail does that. Apparently we the people have to keep doing what the state and federal agencies still aren’t doing: watch Sabal Trail like a hawk.

Via FL 200
Google map of locations of Dunnellon High School and Sabal Trail Dunnellon Compressor Station. You can see most of the 100-foot Sabal Trail right of way.

Below are responses from FDEP and more details from Marion County Public Relations and Fire and Rescue, and from Dunnellon Fire and Rescue: none of them were notified by Sabal Trail, and FDEP seems OK with that. For the rest, an emergency plan would be prudent: “Run like hell” as in Spectra compressor station incidents elsewhere, is probably not adequate. Continue reading

Stop Sabal Trail pipeline –Harriet Heywood, Citrus County Chronicle 2017-02-03

Harriet Heywood, Op-ed, Citrus County Chronicle, 2017-02-03, Stop Sabal Trail pipeline

Harriet Heywood Today Sabal Trail Inc. is pounding a 36-inch pipe under the Withlacoochee River to force-feed us Marcellus Shale fracked gas. The powers who own decision-makers have made sure laws and regulations designed to protect the planet don’t apply to themselves. Twentieth century mindset — 21st century reality notwithstanding, they’ll offer a few hundred temporary jobs, conduct corporate social responsibility PR programs before moving on to other ventures, enabled by government agencies and politicians eager to board the fracked-gas crony capitalist bullet train, while the people, our waters and health are classified acceptable risks.

Mission accomplished while taking land through eminent domain with an unknown (by the public) quantity for export — unsurprising since there are Continue reading

Solar power versus Sabal Trail –Suwannee Riverkeeper in VDT 2017-01-08

Op-ed, Valdosta Daily Times, today, January 8th 2017:

John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper Sabal Trail and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection assured us there would be no problems drilling a 36-inch natural gas pipeline through the fragile karst limestone under the Suwannee River in Florida, yet already Sabal Trail’s pilot hole under the Withlacoochee River in Georgia caused a frac-out of drilling mud into the river and a sinkhole.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should halt construction and do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

When I happened to fly over the Withlacoochee River frac-out, I also saw Continue reading

Stop Sabal Trail fracked gas pipeline; invest in solar –John S. Quarterman in Citrus County Chronicle 2016-12-25

Here’s a Christmas present for pipeline opponents and solar power proponents.

John S. Quarterman John S. Quarterman, Citrus County Chronicle, other voices, 25 December 2016, Stop gas pipeline; invest in solar,

Sabal Trail and FDEP assured us there would be no problems drilling a 36-inch natural gas pipeline through the fragile karst limestone under the Suwannee River and the Withlacoochee (south) River in Florida, yet already Sabal Trail’s pilot hole under the Withlacoochee (north) River in Georgia caused a frac-out of drilling mud into the river and a sinkhole. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should halt construction and do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

When I happened to fly over the Withlacoochee (north) River frac-out, I also saw Continue reading

National coverage of Sabal Trail as Florida’s DAPL: #NoDAPL, #NoSabalTrail, #WaterIsLife

Some national coverage! Now that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has backed off letting the Dakota Access Pipeline drill under the Missouri River in North Dakota because of concerns of local water users, the Corps, FERC, and FDEP should do the same: stop Sabal Trail from drilling under the Suwannee River.

Larry Buhl, DeSmogBlog, 4 December 2016, Critics Call $3 Billion Sabal Trail Pipeline Florida’s Dakota Access Pipeline,

As opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline swells at home and abroad, another pipeline project at the other end of the U.S. is quietly being installed as fast as possible, critics say, displacing residents, threatening water supplies, and racking up alleged construction violations.

And most people in the region — even those in the pipeline’s path — haven’t even heard about it.

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC, known as Sabal Trail, is using $3 billion of Florida Power and Light (FPL) ratepayer money to build a 515-mile pipeline to transport natural gas obtained via fracking from eastern Alabama to central Florida.

Activists Document Construction Violations

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Videos, Valdosta Wastewater and Flood Prevention 2016-10-27

The crowd was very attentive to every word about wastewater and flood prevention, with officials from the City of Valdosta presenting in the first of a new quarterly WWALS speaker series. If you didn’t come, you can see and hear in these videos Henry Hicks about wastewater, Emily Davenport about flood prevention, Tim Carroll about solar power, and Sementha Mathews about how to get more information from Valdosta. WWALS Treasurer and acting Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman opened and closed the meeting.

Each talk had many small but important stories, so we will probably blog more posts about those. Meanwhile, here are the videos: see for yourself! Continue reading

Sabal Trail requests variance to Colquitt County, GA creek 2016-10-17

Monday Sabal Trail asked FERC to add a contractor yard in Colquitt County, and to change routing under a small stream. No rush: Sabal Trail wants approval by tomorrow, Thursday, October 20th 2016. Presumably because they’re racing hell-for-leather to meet their May 2017 in-service drop-dead date, after which (according to FPL’s RFP) they could forfeit a $200 million bond or lose the contract.

Here, courtesy of Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), are Sabal Trail’s October 17th 2016 maps of that stream, plus Sabal Trail’s April 2016 maps of where it wants to cross the stream it flows into, Hog Creek and that stream’s downstream Okapilco Creek.

We’ve already seen where Sabal Trail is drilling under the Withlacoochee River between Valdosta and Quitman, Georgia and under the Suwannee River in Suwannee River State Park. Plus there’s an encampment of water protectors in Suwannee County.

Contractor Yard CY3-6

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Valdosta wastewater and flood prevention public meeting by WWALS 2016-10-27

New WWTP, 30.8327808, -83.3283234 Update 2016-10-23: Seen from the air.

Update 2016-10-19: PDF flyer.

Come hear about the $60 million in wastewater fixes Valdosta just finished, what remains to be done, and what they’re doing about flood prevention for the entire Suwannee River Basin in Georgia and Florida. You can ask questions in this first of a new WWALS Quarterly Speaker Series, and the people organizing this work will be there to answer:

  • Henry Hicks, Utilities Director, about wastewater
  • Emily Davenport, Assistant Director of Engineering, about flooding, and
  • Tim Carroll, Valdosta City Council, about solar power for utilities.

When: 6PM Thursday October 27th

Where: Valdosta City Hall Annex
Multipurpose Room
300 N Lee St.
Valdosta, GA 31601 Continue reading