Tag Archives: Lisa Prather

Permit-less Sabal Trail pipeline risked by new sinkhole

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(See also PDF and previous blog post.)

Live Oak, FL, October 5, 2017 — Sabal Trail, operating without a permit, is at risk from a new sinkhole within 60 feet of its 36-inch diameter, high-pressure, fracked methane pipe under Suwannee River State Park (SRSP), between the Suwannee River and the drill site in Hamilton County. Such sinkholes are among the geological risks WWALS warned about that have happened in the fragile karst limestone containing our drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer. We were assured in October 2015 by Sabal Trail and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) that sinkholes and frac-outs would not happen or would be detected and fixed. They keep happening, and Sabal Trail has done nothing about this one. Sabal Trail should not even be continuing operations after the DC Circuit Court vacated its permit six weeks ago.

jsq over sinkhole, SRSP
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman at new sinkhole in Suwannee River State Park, 2017-10-03.
Photo: Christopher J. Mericle, Chair, N. Florida Working Group, Suwannee-St. Johns Group, Sierra Club Florida.

In WWALS vs. Sabal Trail & FDEP (October 2015), FDEP’s one witness, Lisa Prather, said under oath (see http://wwals.net/blog/?p=27799):

Well, the Suwannee River crossing doesn’t, in fact, have any impacts to an outstanding Florida water, because the directional drill commences in uplands and terminates in uplands. So there are no surface water impacts at that crossing that would affect the outstanding Florida water.”

“Well, any work within, or could have adverse effects on OFW, is considered.In this case, we determine that there would be no impacts to the OFW.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman says:

“Email to Ms. Prather’s address now comes back with an error message, while the rest of us are left 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 violations FDEP assured us would not happen are happening

Already under the Withlacoochee River in Georgia there’s been a frac-out and a sinkhole at a drilling site, upstream from the Suwannee River in Florida, under which FDEP told us it couldn’t happen:

Lisa Prather, sole FDEP witness Well, the Suwannee River crossing doesn’t, in fact, have any impacts to an outstanding Florida water….”

“Well, any work within, or could have adverse effects on OFW, is considered. In this case, we determine that there would be no impacts to the OFW.

Apparently not only FDEP’s sole witness Lisa Prather believed Sabal Trail; according to a video yesterday by Cody Suggs at the Suwannee River, Sabal Trail’s own workers seem to believe their company’s propaganda.

Much more about WWALS v Sabal Trail & FDEP is on the WWALS website, including videos and transcripts of the landowners who also tried to warn FDEP that sinkholes happen like they already have including under at least two public roads in Suwannee County, Florida. And more about what already happened is on the WWALS website, plus things you can do to stop this $3 billion dollar fracked methane boondoggle.

For example, you may want to ask the permitting agencies some of the questions WWALS asked, including this one:

Which of FERC, FDEP, GA-EPD, USACE, SRWMD are working to protect the health, welfare and safety of the communities surrounding this pipeline and how are they doing that?

Given that I asked them for a prompt answer and two weeks later have gotten no answer at all, it sure looks like we the people will have to find and report violations and use other methods to stop this pipeline.

The transcript questions quoted below are Continue reading

Videos: WWALS witnesses in Day 2, WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP 2015-10-20

Dennis Price cross-examination DEP’s only witness yesterday, today also a witness for WWALS, couldn’t find a document she needed in the Respondents’ cartload (literally) of documents, not even with the help of five Respondent attorneys, yet everyone could find items in the two WWALS exhibit books quite readily.

We also learned that concerns were irrelevant, only actual effects on WWALS members count, which made it too difficult for Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson to get qualified as an expert witness, even though she has assisted DEP and SRWMD in environmental issues. And we couldn’t talk about air quality issues, since DEP already issued an air quality permit for the Sabal Trail Hildreth compressor station in Suwannee County, so what David Shields could talk about was very limited, even though he and his family with their organic farm live downwind of that compressor station. However, WWALS expert witness Dennis Price hit geological questions out of the ballpark. And a cow did fall into a sinkhole.

Here are WWALS videos of each witness, followed by a video playlist. See also much more about this case, including videos of the other two days, and how you can help WWALS defend our members, the Suwannee River, and the Floridan Aquifer.