Category Archives: Agriculture

Pictures: WWALS at A Day in the Woods 2018-04-21

Here are Gretchen Quarterman and Dave Hetzel at Heather Brasell’s annual A Day in the Woods at the Gaskins Forest Education Center near Alapaha, Berrien County, Georgia.

Gretchen Quarterman, Volunteers

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Farmer Randy Dowdy objects to Sabal Trail’s soil mixing evaluation plan 2018-03-13

How can there be soil mixing yet zero noncompliance incidents? FERC saw soil mixing first visit without digging, Dowdy to FERC Randy Dowdy asked directly to FERC, following up his call in AgWeb for an independent investigation of Sabal Trail’s destruction of his world-record-holding soybean fields in Brooks County, Georgia.

Dowdy doesn’t trust Sabal Trail or anybody it sends to investigate that soil mixing. He’s hardly the first to say Sabal Trail’s inspectors don’t; see for example FERC’s Moultrie Scoping Meeting 2015-09-29 where James Bell said pipeline inspectors stood around until they noticed him watching, Sandra Jones said the surveyors were not qualified, and Attorney Daniel Dunn said Sabal Trail operates under darkness of misinformation. Dowdy may be late to the opposition, but he is determined.

Sabal Trail is still a stagecoach line in an electric car world, except stagecoaches didn’t destroy farmers’ fields.

Letter from Randy Dowdy to FERC

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WWALS at A Day in the Woods 2018-04-21

At Heather Brasell’s annual outdoor event at the Gaskins Forest Education Center, WWALS will have a table as usual, thanks to WWALS Ambassador Dave Hetzel.

When: 1PM-5PM Saturday, April 21, 2018

Where: Gaskins Forest Education Center
3359 Moore Sawmill Rd., Alapaha

What: A Day in the Woods:
FREE Community Event Activities for all the family

Event: facebook, meetup


Photo: WG Bailey of Dave Hetzel at WWALS table, 2015-04-18.

The GFEC backs up to several miles of the Alapaha River on the Alapaha River Water Trail, and is itself an excellent example of native longleaf and riparian forest.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Randy Dowdy calls for independent investigation of Sabal Trail soil mixing 2018-03-06

Dear pipeline companies: if you gouge through a rock-star farmer’s world-record-holding soybean fields, you may find he gets national coverage.

Bryan Mitchell, March 6, 2018 08:16 AM, AgWeb powered by Farm Journal, Pipeline Nightmare: Randy Dowdy Calls For Independent Investigation,

Randy Dowdy’s soil death is no mystery, insists the Georgia producer, and now a federal inspection report appears to back his claims of soil damage on record-breaking farmland due to pipeline construction. A letter (Feb. 6) from the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) to the Sabal Trail Pipeline Project describes “topsoil and subsoil mixing” on Dowdy’s farming operation, yet significantly does not address issues of noncompliance.

GA-BR-029.000 Dowdy south field, Little Creek, MP 217, 1657-PL-DG-70197-219,, Dowdy parcel 053 00161 Brooks County, GA
GA-BR-029.000 Dowdy south field, Little Creek, MP 217, 1657-PL-DG-70197-219, 30.9439700, -83.6154600

Dowdy signed Continue reading

Sabal Trail alleged plan for soil mixing 2018-03-09

Yesterday Sabal Trail filed with FERC a sketchy plan to investigate the subsoil and topsoil mixing it caused on four farmers’ lands in two Georgia counties. The tail wagging the dog, Sabal Trail demanded FERC rubberstamp this plan within one week.

GA-BR-028.000 Dowdy north field, Little Creek, MP 216.4, 1657-PL-DG-70197-218
GA-BR-028.000 Dowdy north field, Little Creek, MP 216.4, 1657-PL-DG-70197-218, 30.9503000, -83.6217700

Needless to say FERC didn’t supply the GPS coordinates, nor the county parcel numbers, nor the related Sabal Trail alignment maps: WWALS did that, to figure out things are in what Sabal Trail filed.

The details are on the WWALS website, also including maps by WWALS.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

FERC requires Sabal Trail report mixing of Randy Dowdy’s subsoil and topsoil

Bad news doubled for the little pipeline that cried wolf: FERC did not file any certificates today for Sabal Trail, and Brooks County farmer Randy Dowdy is vindicated with a letter from FERC demanding a plan from Sabal Trailwithin 20 days” (emphasis in the original) for “for investigating the actual extent of the topsoil and subsoil mixing on the Dowdy and Robinson properties and the reported mixing on the Jones property.”

Sabal Trail through Randy Dowdy fields and Little Creek, Google Map
Map: Google, of Sabal Trail pipeline through Randy Dowdy’s soybean fields, next to Little Creek, which runs into Okapilco Creek, into the Withlacoochee River, into the Suwannee, to the Gulf.

That letter refers to an inspection report of November 14, 2017, also filed by FERC today, that documents that “topsoil and subsoil mixing has occurred in agricultural areas during construction of Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC’s (Sabal Trail) Sabal Trail Pipeline Project.”

FERC has thus validated Continue reading

WWALS Motion for FERC to reject Sabal Trail et al. request for reissued or emergency certificates 2018-02-05

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, February 5, 2018 — Suwannee Riverkeeper objects to Sabal Trail’s last-minute Request to make an end run around an impending mandate from the D.C. Circuit Court that could shut that pipeline down. Granting the Applicants’ Request for reissued or emergency certificates would amount to the same kind of “multi-billion dollar bailout” that FERC recently rejected for the failing coal and nuclear industries, this time targeted at the natural gas industry. The Applicants for that Request claim need for the pipeline, yet they cite themselves for evidence, in a massive conflict of interest, with internal contradictions, and replete with conflicts with other sources deriving from some of those same Applicants.

WWALS Motion for FERC to reject Sabal Trail et al. request for reissued or emergency certificates, Filing

If, as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said in Warsaw, Poland, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built by Russian gas giant Gazprom PJSC is “undermining Europe’s overall energy stability and security,” and Europe should seek to diversify energy supplies, the same applies to the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline Canadian gas giant Enbridge is now seven months late building through the U.S. Southeast. The Sunshine State already gets 60% of its electricity from existing pipelines, and it should get on with solar power.

The Applicants listed in Friday’s Request are Continue reading

Emergency! Cries Sabal Trail 2018-02-02

Desperately seeking loopholes, at 4:58 PM today on a Friday, Sabal Trail claimed “Applicants would face irreparable financial harm,” which is pretty rich for the company that stuck the Bell Brothers with $47,000 in Sabal Trail legal fees for fighting eminent domain from that same FERC certificate the DC Circuit Court is likely to void next week.

Emergency,

It wants to “avoid the irreparable impacts of a system shutdown,” says the company that destroyed world-record-holding soybean farmer Randy Dowdy’s soybean fields. As Randy Dowdy said last May, and Sabal Trail’s own reports then say they have done nothing to correct:

“We’ve got loss of production for the future that will take not my lifetime, Continue reading

Fragility of monoculture agriculture in varying water conditions

They don’t want to say “we don’t know,” but they don’t know. At least they have a working hypothesis about the collapse of the 2017 peanut crop in much of Florida: it has to do with variations in rainfall.

Bob Kemerait, Southeast Farm Press, 22 January 2018, Peanut collapse: Something happened but it’s not clear exactly why,

…For months, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agents led by Anthony Drew, Mace Bauer and Dee Broughton had been sounding the alarm that an unprecedented collapse of the peanut crop was occurring across large areas of Florida’s production region. Symptoms of this collapse included stunted plants, late-season yellowing and leaves with distinctive marginal leaf necrosis. Where most severe, entire fields wilted in the weeks prior to harvest. Abysmal yields, off by as much as 45 percent, forced some to consider their future in farming if solution could not be found.

During the latter third of the season, Continue reading

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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