Other Florida, Georgia, and Alabama counties could do what Hamilton County, Florida just did in this this resolution. Even before it got this resolution, FERC yesterday directed Sabal Trail to deal with what Chris Mericle had been saying, including proposing routes to minimize crossing the Withlacoochee River or to avoid crossing it entirely.
Chris is the local host for the September WWALS Outing on the Withalacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, where you can come float past that same area Sunday 21 September, and see many local springs, sinkholes and shoals that need to be protected from that pipeline.
RESOLUTION NO. 14-10
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA
A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA, A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA, IDENTIFIED IN SECTION 7.24, FLORIDA STATUTES; 1DENTI.FYING THE SUBJECT AND EXPRESSING CONCERNS WITH REGARD TO THE PLACE OR LOCATION PROPOSED FOR THE SABAL TRAIL NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINE REGARDING THE WIIHLACOOCHEE RIVER CROSSING IN HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA; THIS RESOLUTION IS BEING ADOPTED FOLLOWING THE REGULAR MEETING OF SAID BOARD ON AUGUST 19, 2014, AT WHICH TIME THE SUBJECT WAS ON THE AGENDA FOR THAT BOARD MEETING AND THE PRINCIPAL PRESENTATION WAS MADE BY CHRIS MERICLE; AND PROVIDING FOR DISTRIBUTION OF COPIES OF THIS RESOLUTION.
Whereas, the subject as herein provided was an Agenda item, set for 6:20 P. M. on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, at a regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of Hamilton County, Florida (hereaﬁer “Board”). A copy of that Agenda being attached hereto. The principal speaker at that time was Chris Mericle. Other speakers were: Wayne Crotty, Joe McClung, and Russell Tapem. In addition to those speakers, there were numerous persons present in the audience supporting the speakers.
Whereas, the speakers aforesaid stated that there was no opposition on their part to the Natural Gas pipeline, but expressed concem and opposition to the proposed Withlacoochee River Crossing site or location in Hamilton County, Florida, based on the ﬁndings and explanation as shown in the geologist report hereafter mentioned.
Whereas, at the time of the meeting as aforesaid, the Board was presented with copies of the following items which are attached hereto:
- A report signed by David Brown, a professional geologist, titled “Karst Features and Hydrogeology of the Proposed Sabal Trail Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Withlacoochee River Crossing — Hamilton County, Florida”, being a total of 21 pages, (hereafter referred to as “ the Geologist Report”);
- A letter dated April 18, 2014 with attached Memorandum of same date, from the Suwannee River Water Management District, being a total of 5 pages (hereaﬁer referred to as “Water Management District Report”)
- A letter dated July 17, 2014 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, being 3 pages (hereaﬁer referred to as “USEPA Report”)
NOW, THEREFORE, THE PREMISES CONSIDERED, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA:
- The Board ﬁnds that the foregoing recitals (“Whereas” paragraphs) are true and correct.
- The Withlacoochee River forms the Western boundary of Hamilton County, Florida, as shown in Section 7.24, Florida Statutes:
“The boundary lines of Hamilton County are as follows: Beginning in the thread of the Withlacoochee River where the boundary line between the states of Georgia and Florida intersects said river; thence southerly along the thread of said river to where it joins the thread of the Suwannee River; thence east and northerly following the thread of said Suwannee River where same is intersected by the boundary line between the states of Georgia and Florida; thence west along said boundary line to the place of beginning”.
- The Conclusions and Recommendations shown at pages 13 through 15, inclusive, of the Geologist Report”), are accepted and adopted by this Board at this time and being based on the facts and study as shown in that report.
- This Board adopts the observation and conclusions as shown in the “Special Aquatic Sites” paragraph at the top of page 3 of the USEPA Report. Like the USEPA, this Board is particularly concemed for proposed wetland and stream crossings that may impact special aquatic sites. The USEPA Report citing heightened concem to include Southwest Georgia, the ecologically signiﬁcant Suwannee River and Santa Fe River, and associated freshwater springs within the north Florida region.
- This Board ﬁnds and concludes, as shown in the last full paragraph near the bottom of page 3 of the Water Management District Report, that there is no opposition as to the installation of pipelines that support Florida’s economy for the reasons shown in that report. This Board, based on the information provided to date, recommends that the pipeline route be reconsidered to avoid sensitive karst regions that can have a signiﬁcant impact on the water resources in the area of that location, all as more speciﬁcally shown and described in the Water Management District Report.
- As soon as reasonably possible, the Clerk of this Board shall ﬁimish copies of this Resolution to Chris Mericle, the Congressional Delegation and the State Legislative Delegation for Hamilton County, Florida, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
DULY ADOPTED, at Jasper, in Hamilton County Florida, this 22nd day of August 2014, to be effective as of August 19, 2014.
Attest: BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA
Clerk, Greg Godwin
Chairman, Josh B. Smith
Commissioner, Randy Ogburn
Commissioner, Harry D. Oxendine
Commissioner, Robert E. Brown
Commissioner, Beth Burnam