Tag Archives: Division of Administrative Hearings

Judge ruled against WWALS in DOAH case: WWALS fights on

The judge’s ruling was disappointing, but not unexpected. He found for the Respondents Sabal Trail and FDEP on every issue, even standing. WWALS and others will fight on for the Suwannee River, for the Floridan Aquifer, and for the property rights of local citizens against this pipeline boondoggle.

Recommendation Indeed, “the project would result in unavoidable temporary and permanent losses of portions of wetlands along the route.” Mitigation somewhere else, not even in the same watershed, is no excuse. Nor does such “mitigation” stop the eminent domain takings of local Florida citizens’ lands, or the bulldozing of a grandmother’s ashes, for the profit of a company from Houston, Texas.

This ruling, with its rather remarkable irregularities, appears to provide additional grounds for appeal beyond those we already knew. The judge repeatedly said in the hearing, and we quoted in the WWALS Proposed Recommended Order, that activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, and scuba diving counted for standing, yet his Order only accepts Continue reading

WWALS moves to enter EPA letter to FERC into evidence in Florida case

Everyone from the Atlanta Journal-Constition to the Palm Beach Post to the Ocala StarBanner Comes now, Petitioner... and moves.... considers the EPA letter to FERC to be of great significance. WWALS agrees, and has filed a motion to ask the judge to take notice in WWALS v. Sabal Trail & DEP.

§ 373.414 Florida Statutes, begins:

(1) As part of an applicant’s demonstration that an activity regulated under this part will not be harmful to the water resources or will not be inconsistent with the overall objectives of the district, the governing board or the department shall require the applicant to provide reasonable assurance that state water quality standards applicable to waters as defined in s. 403.031(13) will not be violated and reasonable assurance that such activity in, on, or over surface waters or wetlands, as delineated in s. 373.421(1), is not contrary to the public interest. However, if such an activity significantly degrades or is within an Outstanding Florida Water, as provided by department rule, the applicant must provide reasonable assurance that the proposed activity will be clearly in the public interest.

Not just “not contrary to the public interest”. For an Outstanding Florida Water applicant (Sabal Trail) “must provide reasonable assurance that the proposed activity will be clearly in the public interest.” The Suwannee River is an Outstanding Florida Water. And the EPA letter is pretty good evidence that Sabal Trail did not provide such reasonable assurance.

Filed October 30, 2015 4:43 PM Division of Administrative Hearings (also PDF on WWALS website): Continue reading

Come to the hearing, WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FL-DEP, Jasper, FL 2015-10-19

We aim to win through evidence and argument! If we can stop either the Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) or the Easement to Use Sovereign Submerged Lands (Easement) that the Florida Department of Environmental Resources (DEP) intends to issue for Sabal Trail, there may be no pipeline.

Witnesses can still come forward to testify for the Suwannee or other Rivers, the Florida Aquifer, or their own land, water, and air against Sabal Trail. WWALS invites the public to attend; This is a court of law, so please be polite, and silent while proceedings are in progress.

Here’s some background on the case. Below is Judge Canter’s order of this morning about place, date, and time (PDF): Continue reading

Judge assigned for WWALS v. Sabal Trail and FL-DEP

Here’s the letter DOAH sent Friday 4 September 2015 that we received on paper yesterday. Fortunately, it’s also online along with the rest of Case No: 15-004975. It’s been assigned Judge Bram D. E. Canter.

STATE OF FLORIDA
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS

 
 
 
Case No. 15-4975
15-0468

 
WWALS WATERSHED COALITION, INC.,

      Petitioner,

vs.

SABAL TRAIL TRANSMISSION. LLC AND
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,

      Respondent.
/

INITIAL ORDER

Initial Order
  1. Any document filed with DOAH by a party represented by an attorney shall be filed by electronic means through eALJ located at www.doah.state.fl.us. Parties not represented by an attorney may file by electronic means through eALJ. Any document filed through eALJ shall include the filing party’s e-mail address and be served upon all other parties. All pleadings and motions must contain the DOAH style and case number.
  2. THE AGENCY OR, WHERE THE AGENCY IS NOT A PARTY, THE PETITIONER SHALL COORDINATE WITH ALL PARTIES AND PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WITHIN SEVEN DAYS Continue reading

Sabal Trail faces opposition in Florida and Georgia –Palm Beach Post

The evidence stacks up against the three-part pipeline, Sabal Trail, Florida Southeast Connection, and Hillabee Expansion Project, despite rote denials by FPL and Sabal Trail. And this article ties the WWALS petition against drilling under the Suwannee River with the Georgia opposition to a compressor station in Albany.

Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 31 August 2015, Gas pipeline slated to supply FPL’s plants faces opposition,

A proposed $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline is either essential to Florida’s energy future or a looming disaster that has the potential to damage the iconic Suwannee River and the state’s fragile limestone Floridan Aquifer on its way to Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast….

In recent months, concerns have been raised Continue reading