Category Archives: Safety

Alapaha River Beauty should not be hidden 2018-04-07

Randy Patten used to say he’d never seen an alligator on the Alapaha River in Lanier County, but he just saw a log with eyes and a tail.

On Patrol, Stills

He also changed his mind about something else:

I have been against the publication and the making public of our river for people kayaking it, due to the fact that we couldn’t get people out of the river if they got in trouble.

Well, after a couple of years of planning with the assistance of the county commissioners, and volunteer firefighters, and everybody that would assist, we now have signs, 24 actually, up and down the river, from Atkinson County to Echols County. So every few miles you’ll see a sign with a phone number. And later on, when I get close to one I’ll go live again and show you what they look like.

But it makes it a lot nicer to know that if we have people looking at its beauty, which should never be kept a secret, but if something does happen, we have the ability to come get you. Continue reading

FPL wants Martin-Riviera Pipeline folded into FSC

What is FPL hiding in all that confidential and redacted material in a 117-page petition for approval of folding FPL’s Martin-Riviera Pipeline into Sabal Trail’s downstream Florida Southeast Connection (FSC)? This has been planned at least two years. on the excuse of lower rates for customers. Yet FPL redacted what FSC would charge and future cost projections, so FPL’s customers and the rest of the public affected by these unnecessary pipelines have no way of knowing what they would cost, and emergency responders can’t see what’s on this pipeline.

Indiantown to Riviera Beach
Indiantown to Riviera Beach, in FERC 20180309-5230, Docket CP18-108.

Eagle-eye WWALS member Janet Barrow spotted this Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) Docket 20170231 (OPEN) — Petition for approval to transfer Martin- Riviera Lateral Pipeline to Florida Southeast Connection and implement associated rate adjustments, by Florida Power & Light Company.

FPSC let FPL redact most anything it wanted to, in Continue reading

LNG truck on I-75 and I-10 2018-03-26

Seen southbound on I-75: a truck carrying Methane Refrigerated Liquid, highly flammable, evacuate up to 1/2 mile downwind if broken. Wait, wasn’t Sabal Trail supposed to eliminate the need for such trucks?

KAG, 1972, Methane Refrigerated Liquid, Southbound I-75

The truck said Kenan Advantage Group, but I’d bet it was carrying Continue reading

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: Continue reading

FGT pipeline noise, Suwannee County 2018-02-25

It sounded like a jet engine Wednesday evening, said a WWALS member as a pipeline let loose in Suwannee County. (Hear it for yourself in WWALS videos four days later.) Was it a leak? A planned release? A road construction break? We get no answers, just runarounds, from the federal and state agencies that permitted all the interstate natural gas pipelines into Florida. They passed the buck to Suwannee County Fire Rescue. At least Suwannee BOCC opposed the Sabal Trail pipeline and approved a solar farm.

Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS 2018-02-25 of FGT pipeline at Suwannee Oaks Drive.
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS 2018-02-25 of FGT at Suwannee Oaks Drive.

Neighbors preparing to evacuate February 21, 2018, confirmed the location: just north of 208th Street, at Continue reading

Mosquito spray Naled: worse than Dicamba

Apparently Suwannee County, Florida, sprayed for mosquitos in October, as reported by some WWALS members who got sick from that. Probably what was sprayed was the usual Naled such as is used in Miami and elsewhere, but there is some confusion as to what Naled is. It’s not Dicamba: it’s worse.

aerial mosquito spraying
An Air Force Reserve aircrew performing a mosquito control aerial spray mission in North Dakota back in 2011 Photo by U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Johnny Saldivar

WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter, Ph.D., writes:

See Pesticide Properties Database (EU). Best general data source on pesticides. As indicated below exposure to humans (e.g. getting is sprayed) is a primary concern. Likely to produce headaches and nausea. To be clear Naled is not dicamba. They are very different. Dicamba is much less toxic (acute) to humans.

“Naled is mainly used for Continue reading

Cattle, sinkholes, and digups vs. Sabal Trail: Janet Barrow 2017-11-20

Sabal Trail apparently doesn’t know cattle.

cattle go rogue over Sabal Trail pipeline markers

The pipeline company claimed they know restoration, but that’s not what the ground looks like now, with sparse vegetation and erosion. They say they love wildlife, but they drove off a heron and who knows what else. They’re driving down property values. What are those bubbles? Which milepoint is which, anyway? Janet Barrow lives in Marion County, but she also reports on Citrus County. For 54 pages, with a summation.

For the rest of FERC Accession Number 20171120-5026, “Comment of Janet L Barrow under CP15-17, et. al.; A Citizen’s Supplemental Information Regarding Sabal Trail’s October, 2017 Monthly Report” on the WWALS website, follow this link.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

EPA perfunctory Lack of Objections to FERC Sabal Trail DSEIS 2017-11-20

EPA doesn’t even remember when it sent its own greenhouse gas (GHG) comments to FERC, forgets that it already told FERC nevermind, and now says, despite copious evidence filed by Senators, professors, Riverkeepers, and environmental organizations from multiple states as far away as Colorado, that FERC’s incorrect and inadequate Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statemen (FSEIS) rates “Lack of Objections or “LO””.

EPA to FERC, Re: SMPP This latest EPA letter is dated November 20, 2017, but FERC didn’t inform intervenors about it until today, two weeks later. The EPA letter claims:

The EPA commented on the FEIS on January 25, 2016. In those comments the EPA provided several recommendations including that the FERC consider a detailed evaluation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in future analyses.

Yet FERC’s Docket CP15-17 shows no comment by EPA in January 2016. It does show this same G. Alan Farmer, Director, Resource Conservation and Restoration Division, EPA, wrote a letter to FERC filed 1 December 2015 as Accession Number 20171201-0034 (see also WWALS blog post), in which he said nothing I can see about greenhouse gases, but he did basically say “nevermind” to EPA’s extensive letter of October 26, 2015, filed as Accession Number 0151102-0219 (clean text on the WWALS website), which October letter did include: Continue reading

WWALS Alapaha Quest starts Saturday, January 6th27th, 2018

Update 2018-01-19: First leg rescheduled again, due to low water, to become a hike to the Dead River Sink, still on January 27, 2018.

Update 2018-01-01: The first leg of the Alapaha Quest is rescheduled to January 27, 2018! Follow this link for the revised details of that outing.

Join us to explore the entire Alapaha River Water Trail on the 2018 Alapaha Quest!

The Alapaha River is described as unspoiled, wild, and scenic. Add these remoteness features, some the dark reddish-brown waters with occasional shoals and it becomes a gem to paddle.

Landings, ARWT

What is the Alapaha Quest?

Continue reading

Heavy manufacturing near chemical leak, upstream from Knights Creek 2017-11-03

It’s not near any hazardous site on GA-EPD’s inventory, but it is right next to multiple heavy manufacturing companies and two railroads, in an area full of wetlands, upstream from Knights Creek, which runs into Mud Swamp Creek, then the Alapahoochee River, then the Alapaha River, then the Suwannee River: last night’s chemical leak on Clay Road next to the Lowndes County Schools Transportation Center on Howell Road.

Valorgis: heavy manufacturing, Clay Road
Valorgis: Clay Road, dark grey is zoned heavy manufacturing

According to the Lowndes County Tax Assessors maps, north up Clay Road are Steeda Autosports, Letica, Archer Daniels Midland, and other heavy manufacturing sites. Maybe the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and Valdosta Police should be asking them Continue reading