Tag Archives: Andrea Grover

Pinocchio or Vulcan? Still claims Sabal Trail is safe 2017-09-14

Is Ms. Grover is a Vulcan now?

Asked why a pipeline dispatcher apparently told the fire department that “this was a new system and they are still learning,” Grover responds that “it would be illogical to speculate as to what the fire department has quoted as part of a conversation.”

Or are those just Pinocchio donkey ears? That would be more logical.

Who do you believe? A local county fire department, or someone paid by a pipeline company to put the best face on any event? Especially when she didn’t actually deny anything Marion County Fire Rescue reported?

Amy Martyn, ConsumerAffairs, 14 September 2017, Company says its natural gas pipeline ‘operated safely’ through Hurricane Irma; However, activists say the Sabal Trail Pipeline is dangerous and needs to be removed,

The Sabal Trail Pipeline, a new natural gas pipeline that critics have charged is uncomfortably close to Florida’s main aquifer, “operated safely throughout Hurricane Irma,” a spokesperson with the pipeline operator tells ConsumerAffairs.

“We were and continue to be able to meet any customer needs,” says an email from Andrea Grover of Enbridge Energy, the natural gas company behind the Sabal Trail Pipeline. “Operations was not affected by the hurricane impacts.”

Andrea Grover’s linkedin page lists her as “Director, Stakeholder Outreach at Enbridge (Oil & Gas)”. For four years we were told the pipeline’s “stakeholders” were landowners along the way.

You know, like Brooks County, Georgia, farmer Randy Dowdy, whose world-record-holding soybean fields Sabal Trail destroyed, causing generational damage that Sabal Trail has not addressed.

Or Robin Koon, whose family graveyard Sabal Trail disturbed, which is part of why he helped Sierra Club, Flint Riverkeeper, and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper get standing for their recent historic victory over FERC that could still shut down Sabal Trail and already was cited in a denial of a different pipeline.

Curious how now that Sabal Trail has gotten its pipe in the ground, Ms. Grover no longer mentions “stakeholders,” just “customer needs.” Which is all Sabal Trail has been about all along: profit for a few utilities and pipeline companies, and for the frackers in the Marcellus Shale and Oklahoma and elsewhere to sell their greenhouse-gas-producing product through a 500-mile IED. Even FPL has admitted Florida needs no new electricity until 2024 at the earliest, and a stock analyst has revealed that all Sabal Trail is doing is decreasing gas shipped into Florida through FGT and Gulfstream by the same amount Sabal Trail is shipping. Why did local landowners have to give up easements for nothing but profit for utiltiies, frackers, and Spectra Energy of Houston, Texas, now owned by Enbridge of Calgary, Alberta, Canada?

But is Sabal Trail even serving those customers well? Cody Suggs reported yesterday from the Hildreth Compressor Station site near O’Brien, in Suwannee County, Florida, that power is still off there and it took two days for trees to be cleared off the access road.


Photo: Cody Suggs at Sabal Trail Hildreth Compressor Station Site 2017-09-14.

Natural gas began flowing through the Sabal Trail Pipeline in June 2017. People like John Quarterman, a Georgia landowner and activist with WWALS Watershed Coalition, a group that aims to protect watersheds in Georgia and Florida, say that federal regulators are typically asleep at the wheel for these projects.

“We have this 500-mile improvised explosive device, under our rivers, next to our schools and next to people’s houses and nobody is handling pipeline safety,” he tells ConsumerAffairs.

Well, I remember three years ago when Ms. Grover said she found it “hard to believe” that Sabal Trail was threatening landowners with eminent domain until the Valdosta Daily Times (VDT) published one of the actual letters.

Ms. Grover’s response? She used the VDT to threaten landowners with eminent domain.

That was shortly after Sabal Trail attempted to claim customers in Georgia to justify the Georgia eminent domain they were threatening, but didn’t bother to contact the local governments they claimed needed the gas.

Four years ago, Ms. Grover and Brian Fahrenthold, “the state and local government affairs director for Houston-based Spectra Energy”, told me they were “not familiar with” Spectra’s well-known public record of safety violations. She did claim everybody in Pennsylvania was happy after the infamous Steckman Ridge Compressor Station leak, for which she was called in to do spin control, which led to a rebuttal from Pennsylvania, beginning:

“I speak for more than a dozen families who live next to or near the problematic compressor facility; and your statement is incorrect and misleading.”

Neither Ms. Grover nor Spectra Energy ever responded to that rebuttal, to my knowledge.

Please let me be clear: this is not about Ms. Grover personally. As I told her the first time I met her, she is the best I have ever seen at doing her job. Which is to market her company.

Too bad her company is a pipeline company that gouged under our rivers, causing a frac-out and sinkholes, destroyed farmlands, goes right past schools and homes, and has already leaked hazardous Mercaptan at its Dunnellon, Florida, Compressor Station site.

That Steckman Ridge Compressor Station blowout? They called in Ms. Grover because another “stakeholder outreach” Spectra Energy rep. had to backtrack. And for that 2009 incident, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania fined Spectra in 2010.

Back to the ConsumerAffairs story:

Sinkholes and hurricanes

Florida’s landscape is characterized by karst terrain, or land made of porous limestone, caverns, and water dissolving into the bedrock, all of which are a recipe for sinkholes. Man-made infrastructure can increase the chance of a sinkhole forming, and so can intense rain.

“Man-induced sinkholes typically involve collapse of old mine workings, drainage infrastructure or other underground workings,” explained meteorologist Jim Andrews in one recent report. “Naturally, such can fail over time, and rainfall can be a major factor.”

In fact, at least four homes have been evacuated in central Florida this week after sinkholes formed in the wake of Hurricane Irma, according to reporters on the scene. Still, Enbridge Energy says that their pipeline can handle sinkhole-prone terrain.

Well, we’ve already come pretty close to finding out, with a sinkhole a half mile away Monday from Sabal Trail’s sister Florida Southeast Connection (FSC).

Sinkhole, FPL pipeline, FLiNG, FSC
Sinkhole, FPL pipeline, FLiNG, FSC; map by John S. Quarterman for WWALS.

Back to the ConsumerAffairs story:

“While opposition has raised the issue of the pipeline being constructed in karst terrain, this was thoroughly examined by the appropriate federal and state agencies,” responds Enbridge representative Andrea Grover by email. “They concluded it was unlikely that Sabal Trail would impact springs or the Floridan Aquifer in the karst regions. Sabal Trail is well equipped to safely construct and operate the pipeline in karst areas.”

Violations Sabal Trail and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) told us would not happen, under oath in WWALS vs. Sabal Trail & FDEP (October 2015), have already been happening.


Photo of John S. Quarterman at Sabal Trail frac-out into the Withlacoochee River between Quitman and Valdosta, Georgia: Bruce Ritchie, Politico, 17 November 2016.

But Quarterman says he does not trust the company to voluntarily report any issues that may arise. Activists with his group who live along the pipeline route have been tracking the project themselves, both before and after Hurricane Irma, to make sure no leaks, sinkholes underneath the pipeline, or any other issues have occurred.

Why, yes, I do have some sceptism about that.

As always, there’s more in the story.

No more pipelines. Here are some things you can do to help with that.

Let the sun rise on Florida, Georgia, Alabama, the southeast, and the rest of the country and the world.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Sabal Trail says hazaradous Mercaptan leaks are no danger to the public 2017-08-17

OSHA says the Mercaptan that was smelled miles from the leak “can cause problems for the respiratory system and the central nervous system” but Sabal Trail’s Andrea Grover says “there is no danger to the public”. Which do you believe?

Pinocchio Hint: this is the same Andrea Grover about which the newspaper of record in Valdosta, Georgia wrote four years ago:

Letters submitted to the Valdosta Daily Times and to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could contradict a recent statement by Sabal Trail’s Andrea Grover.

Looks like we have Pinocchio with her nose growing doing PR for the Three Stooges.

Jessica Lipscomb, Miami New Times, 17 August 2017, Stinky Leaks From Florida’s Controversial Sabal Trail Pipeline Scares Residents, 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

Sabal Trail starts stagecoach line in an electric car world 2017-07-05

Let me fix some typos in Sabal Trail’s PR of yesterday, Sabal Trail Transmission Project Placed In-Service: New Pipeline System Increases the Reliability and Diversity of the Southeast U.S. Natural Gas Infrastructure.

Corrected headline: Sabal Trail starts stagecoach line in an electric car world.


Apologies to the 1877 Omaha Herald and True West.

Adding a third natural gas pipeline merely makes Florida even more than 60% dependant on natural gas, as Sierra Club Alabama, Georgia, and Florida pointed out three years ago. The people of Florida voted for solar power twice last year. Yet Sabal Trail is wasting $3 or $4 billion on Continue reading

Sabal Trail a month late and still sending the press disinformation

No, Ms. Grover, your pipeline is not a job generator for Florida, Georgia, or Alabama, and yes, you’ve slipped your schedule.

“Florida is swarming with protests, like an antbed stirred up by a 600-mile pipeline stick,” John S. Quarterman, president, WWALS Watershed Coalition

You know what would bring economic benefits to the Sunshine State? Solar power, which already employs more people than coal, oil, and natural gas combined, which produced 1 in 20 new jobs last year, and last year solar power produced more new electricity than any other source.

Ms. Grover is paid to picture that fossil-fuel cash-out in the best possible light. Yet once you know the actual facts, it looks more like the Picture of Dorian Gray.


“How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June…. If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that—for that—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!” —Dorian Gray, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

Joseph A. Mann Jr., FloridaBulldog.org, 23 March 2017, With help from investor-Gov. Scott, Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline looks to open in June, Continue reading

Sabal Trail dispenses misinformation even in response to a shooting death

The Palm Beach Post heard of the shooting and did a story, in which Sabal Trail claims their construction is “on target” when clearly it is not.

Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 3 March 2017, Sabal Trail pipeline shooter killed by law enforcement in Citrus County,

The $3.2 billion natural gas pipeline is slated to begin bringing fuel to Florida Power & Light’s South Florida plants by June. The pipeline has been the subject of numerous protests by people who say its construction and presence will harm the environment and threaten the water supplied from the Floridan Aquifer, but this is the first death known to have occurred in connection to pipeline opposition.

And the opposition has never killed or injured anyone.

Bell Lago, 14130 SW 121st Court, Dunnellon, FL 34432,
Bell Lago, 14130 SW 121st Court, Dunnellon, FL 34432, 29.0170900, -82.3227090
Photograph by Continue reading

Wide-ranging Sabal Trail opposition article by Molly Minta in The Fine Print

Molly Minta, The Fine Print, 5 February 2017, Rise Against the Machine: In 2013, Marion County residents began to receive letters from Sabal Trail Transmission. Now, they’ve made it their mission to save their land, and stop Sabal Trail.


Photo: Molly Minta.
An oak tree is felled by Sabal Trail construction workers.

Months before the town considered bankruptcy in 2013, residents of Dunnellon began to receive letters from a company called Sabal Trail Transmission. The letters were an introduction and explained why the company was coming to the area: to build a natural gas pipeline and compressor station. The letters were part of the first step in the process of getting a pipeline approved.

Only landowners within 600 feet of the pipeline received a letter, so not many people in Dunnellon are aware of it. But the ones who are fear it could completely disrupt their way of life.

The pipeline will pass within a mile of the Rainbow River; residents fear Continue reading

Quarterman: Sabal Trail pipeline already damaging our area

Op-ed Tallahassee Democrat, today, Sunday 29 January 2017:

Floridians are withdrawing money from banks backing the Sabal “Sinkhole” Trail pipeline, and demonstrating daily from Miami to Jacksonville and Tallahassee, sometimes physically blocking pipeline destruction. Fossil fuel profits do not justify eminent domain takings of local lands nor any risk to our waters. Solar power is cheaper, faster, and far safer.

Image: Electric power generation employment by technology, U.S. Department of Energy

The solar industry provides more jobs than coal, oil, and natural gas combined. Sabal Trail’s own figures show 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

Sabal Trail is surrounded in Live Oak

Update 2016-04-21: Longer report here.

See also Short-term jobs are not worth long-term Sabal Trail risk –Locals to Sabal Trail jobs-seekers at Contractor Fairs, which has a link to the PDF flyer we were passing out. Some of that PR was picked up by ValdostaToday; it begins:

LIVE OAK, Fla. — Local residents and half a dozen environmental organizations want applicants at Sabal Trail pipeline job fairs to know a job for a few weeks isn’t worth risking drinking water for all our families and children and grandchildren.

Opponents of the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline and supporters of solar power include the Suwannee-St Johns Sierra Club Group, St Johns Riverkeeper, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Our Santa Fe River, Earth Ethics, Gulf Restoration Network, and SpectraBusters.

As a group of students said in unison: No Fracking!

-jsq

PS: Hi, Andrea Grover. Good to see you as always, and looking forward to the end of this project.