All the public speakers were against the phosphate mine. Before the Commissioners decided, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson spoke about rain, the Chemours mine, and how what Bradford County does affects her business downstream. (I think Stasia Rudolph also spoke before I got there.) After some confusion on timing, afterwards Marc Lyons reminded them Citizens Against Phosphate Mines (CAPM) is ready to sue, and Kate Ellison said she hopes this means we will all see the consultant’s report before the public hearings. I sent a letter and a resolution the previous day and gave them paper copies.
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.
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
The regular attendees said there would be no fireworks this time. Yet it was a very interesting meeting, especially once the County Attorney asked for scheduling a date to select the consulting engineer about the phosphate mine. The Commissioners and staff discussed August 8 in the morning or August 17 in the evening. Public comment preferred the latter. The County Attorney strongly advised they go ahead and decide when so there will be plenty of time to advertise it. The decision: Thursday evening, August 17, 2017.
Below are links to each WWALS video, followed by a video playlist. See also the agenda.
You never know on our blackwater rivers in south Georgia and north Florida. The danger! The thrill of the rapids!
OK, it was actually more like paddling on a lake with a current. The hardest part was when the wind picked up against us a few times. Sometimes we heard what sounded like rapids, but it was just flotsam lodged against oak trees.
But that’s the point: you really never know until you’re on the water, and on a trip like this with no good takeout until the end of the 18.25 miles, being prepared it much better than not.
The current did make for Continue reading
Update 2016-02-21: Actually it took 6 hours. Here are some pictures.
The water is high and fast, so expert paddlers only, arrive by 8AM at GA 135 (Atkinson County side), and be ready so we can shuttle quickly and get on the Alapaha River as soon as possible. It’s a long way and we need to be off the river before dark. Berrien County Sheriff, game warden, and emergency response have all been advised of this trip, but expert paddlers only, please. As always, bring personal flotation devices, warm layers of clothes, drinking water, food, and a change of dry clothes. There is no good place to take out before the end point, so be prepared to paddle all day.
The USGS Gauge at Alapaha, GA shows 9.41 feet this morning, which is a good level. The Statenville gauge shows 17.32, which while well below flood level is also well above our usual recommended high of 9 feet. That Statenville gauge is quite a few river miles (56 miles) below our takeout point at GA 168, so the main bulk of rainfall in the river has apparently already moved downstream. But the water is very high and very fast. You will come up on any deadfalls or overhanging limbs quite quickly. Expert paddlers only. There are many other outings and events coming up that are much better suited for other paddlers.
Continuing our exploration of the entire Alapaha River Water Trail, we’re into the longer stretches, including this one.
When: 8AM Saturday 20 February 2016
Put In: GA 135, MILE 106.5, Atkinson County side, 2.8 miles south of Willacoochee, GA, Atkinson County.
Take Out: GA 168 (Berrien Beach), MILE 88.24, N side of GA 168, west side of Alapaha River; float downstream under the bridge to the sand beaches, Berrien County
Duration: 18.25 miles. This paddle could take as long as 9-10 hrs.
Shuttle: Probably more than 30 minutes due to distance.
End time: Around 6PM. Yes, really all day.
Responsible party: Chris Mericle
Chairman Bashaw cited “economic impact” and backed down, according to Debra Johnson by telephone and and Carl McKinney on twitter. SBOCC meets again Tuesday evening, and people may want to tell them what they think about this.
Debra says Sessions also backed down, and one of them referred to natural gas as a “bridge fuel”, an old position Sierra Club abandoned years ago after realizing methane is a bridge to nowhere, because it is a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Apparently they talked to somebody named Evans (presumably Mark R. Evans) of the Army Corps Jacksonville office and somebody from Orlando, presumably a Sabal Trail contractor.
So after calling an emergency meeting and drafting an excellent letter the Suwannee County Board of Commissioners fell for misinformation from fracked methane proponents and backed down.
Wow! They’re not kidding around. Suwannee County calls on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to keep the Sabal Trail invading pipeline out of Suwannee County and out of the state of Florida.
Here’s the agenda for tomorrow morning’s 9:30 AM Thursday December 10th 2015 meeting:
SUWANNEE COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
COUNCIL MEETING ROOM
LIVE OAK CITY HALL
101 SOUTHEAST WHITE AVENUE
LIVE OAK, FLORIDA
TENTATIVE AGENDA FOR SPECIAL-CALLED MEETING
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2015
- Consider sending a letter from the Board to the US Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pertaining to the Sabal Trail Pipeline.
Here’s the draft letter: Continue reading
Suwannee County, Florida leads the fight against Sabal Trail!
Carl McKinney, Suwannee Democrat, Twitter, noon 9 Dec 2015,
Suwannee County calls emergency meeting on fight against #sabaltrail pipeline. Tomorrow, 9:30 am, Live Oak City http://m.suwanneedemocrat.com/community/suwannee-county-calls-emergency-meeting-tomorrow-morning-instead-of-next/article_0b6c8600-9e95-11e5-bdc9-87508a5e1960.html?mode=jqm
Note that’s a different location than usual.
Carl McKinney, Suwannee Democrat, 9 Dec 2015, Suwannee County pipeline fight: Sabal Trail emergency meeting tomorrow morning,
The Suwannee County Commission has called an emergency meeting tomorrow, Dec. 10, at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the fight against the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline. It was originally on the agenda for next week’s meeting on Dec. 15.
The meeting will be at Live Oak City Hall, 101 SE White Ave in Live Oak.
Commissioners will discuss sending a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers asking it Continue reading