WCTV’s Winnie Wright interviewed VSU’s Don Thieme, and VSU’s Can Denizman navigated her to the the Cherry Creek sinkhole site for part of her report about the Withlacoochee River in Georgia Water Coalition Dirty Dozen 2014 Item 9 as threatened by the Sabal Trail pipeline. Sabal Trail’s Andrea Grover is “disappointed” in being on the Dirty Dozen; does she also find it “hard to believe” like Sabal Trail’s well-documented eminent domain threats?
Winnie Wright, WCTV, 26 November 2014, Sabal Trail Pipeline Environmental Concerns Cited In Annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ Report,
Recently, The Georgia Water Coalition put the Sabal Trail Pipeline on their Dirty Dozen Report for 2014.
“We know existing pipelines have contributed to soil and water contamination in Georgia, so there is a reasonable concern that a future pipeline could also fail, and thus harm folks dependent on surface and groundwater for drinking in Georgia and Florida.” What could cause the pipeline to ‘fail’? Sinkholes, which scientists say are becoming more common.
Sinkholes like the one in North Valdosta that opened suddenly. Local scientists say if a similar sinkhole were to open underneath a pipeline, the results could be catastrophic.
“All of our drinking water comes from the aquifer under our feet. This pipeline is hazardous to that aquifer. It could leak some of these PCBs. It could leak in to it. It could cause a sink hole which could leak into the aquifer”, says John Quarterman, President of WWALS Watershed Coalition who suggested Sabal Trail be included in the report.
After Spectra Energy’s Andrea Grover was recently caught by the Valdosta Daily Times claiming “hard to believe” eminent domain threats from her company that are copiously documented by local landowners, perhaps a grain of salt is needed for this statement by her:
“We were disappointed to see that reference on this list and certainly disagree with the generalized statement. This is an interstate pipeline project that will receive the scrutiny of federal and state agencies. These agencies only approve projects which can be responsibly constructed and operated while protecting the interests of both the human and environmental resources”, says Andrea Grover, Director of Stakeholder Outreach for Spectra Energy.
So “these agencies” would be sure to see the many statements that Ms. Grover apparently found no evidence to argue against, WWALS filed Dirty Dozen Item 9 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC),, along with still more evidence.
Winnie Wright interviewed “some local scientists” who don’t agree with Spectra’s assertions that “their pipelines are safe”.
“We don’t really know what the reason for it is, but to risk something that unique, like a globally significant aquifer for one company’s speculation on the price of fossil fuels is crazy”, says Don Thieme, a local Geoscientist.
Here’s video of VSU Prof. Don Thieme’s talk for WWALS about sinkholes, the Withlacoochee River, and the Floridan Aquifer. Here’s more about possible sinkhole collapse due to pipeline drilling under the Withlacoochee River, from geologist David Brown.
Maybe Sabal Trail will founder on the shoals of the Withlacoochee River at Spook Bridge, where Winnie Wright took this picture.