Tag Archives: Paige Dukes

Testing for firefighting chemicals in wells and waterways 2019-01-18

Those firefighting chemicals that leaked from Moody Air Force Base are on the front page of the Valdosta Daily Times today:

Moody recommends private well owners contact their county representatives for information on testing personal wells.

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County clerk and public information officer, said this is an opportunity for county residents such as Tann to have their water tested. Not only for PFAS but for any other contaminants that might be there.

Indeed, and Lowndes County operates the Moody AFB wastewater treatment plant that spilled into Beatty Branch and Cat Creek. So it’s an opportunity for Lowndes County to help organize testing for these per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), because testing for them isn’t nearly as simple or inexpensive as testing for other contaminants.

Reporter and photographer at Beatty Branch, 2019-01-07, VDT
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, nearby resident Debra Tann, VDT reporter Thomas Lynn and photographer Derrek Vaughn, at Beatty Branch, January 7, 2019. Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS.

Debra Tann and I were back at Beatty Branch on January 7, 2019, this time with the VDT, about the firefighting chemical issue that was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the first week of January. This time it was for local reporters. Moody neighbor wants water tested, Continue reading

Road Closures in 2009 Flood, Lowndes County, GA

Back in 2009, Lowndes County spent hundreds of times more in infrastructure repairs than the $40,000 that Valdosta is asking as a match to build an online flood warning map, beyond just fixing sewer system spills to dealing with the rest of the flooding problem. Map of roads closed At recent meetings, some County Commissioners seemed reluctant to authorize the request because the proposed map mostly covers subdivisions in Valdosta. But the entire county was affected by road closures in 2009, so maybe Commissioners could ask to expand the map to cover the whole county, which could also help find sources of the flooding problem. Sources and effects extend all the way to the edges of the county, as you can see in this a google map I built back then:

Roads closed in Lowndes County, Georgia, as of 9:38 a.m April 6th, according to the Valdosta Daily Times. This map shows locations and terrain. It’s a Google map, so it’s interactive: you can zoom and pan and change to satellite view, street map, street view, etc. Some of the locations are guesstimates from the cryptic descriptions in the VDT article. The one green blob is the one reopening mentioned in the article: “North Valdosta Road Withlacoochee River Bridge opened at 10 p.m. Sunday.”

That VDT article no longer seems to be online, but this one is. Jason Schaefer, VDT, 27 April 2013, What natural events cost Lowndes taxpayers, Continue reading

WWALS asks Lowndes County to do three things more against Sabal Trail 2016-04-24

Sent yesterday to the Chairman, the other five elected Lowndes County Commissioners, and the County Clerk (PDF). They meet again 5:30PM Tuesday evening, April 25th 2016.

Dear Commissioners,

Thanks to Chairman Bill Slaughter for saying in the Valdosta Daily Times that the Commission signing an easement contract was not an endorsement of the Sabal Trail pipeline.[1] Therefore I ask you to:

  1. Invite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate on site and on paper the numerous omissions by Sabal Trail of springs and underground water transmissivity in what it told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; .please see the letter from WWALS to the Army Corps,[2] attached with the letter from WWALS to you of April 12th.
  2. Ask our U.S. Congress member Austin Scott (GA-08) to join the four Georgia Congress members who have already asked FERC to fix its processes or deny a permit for Sabal Trail.[3]
  3. Join the hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals who have already asked the U.S. Congress to call in the General Accounting Office (GAO) to review FERC’s permitting processes.[4]

Please find appended further information about the issues the Chairman raised in the VDT of eminent domain, in differences in regulation of oil and gas pipelines, and in environmental and safety issues of natural gas pipelines.

Since I wrote to you on April 12th, two more major natural gas pipelines have run into serious problems.

On April 20th, Kinder Morgan shelved Continue reading

Lowndes County Chairman says accepting easement was not endorsement of Sabal Trail pipeline

So Lowndes County should have no problem asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to come investigate what Sabal Trail didn’t tell FERC. And if the county is concerned about legal expenses, maybe it should pay attention to the lawsuits happening right now in California about a natural gas leak that went up into the air, closing schools, evacuating hundreds, and making many of them sick.

The VDT article today doesn’t mention writing a letter to the Corps was one of my requests to the county. It does quote the Chairman expresssing interest in details of eminent domain, in differences in regulation of oil and gas pipelines, and in environmental and safety issues of natural gas pipelines. Treating his statements as questions, I have provided some further information below on those points.

And he does say the county might have incurred legal expenses if it hadn’t accepted Sabal Trail’s money for the easement. He doesn’t mention how much money Lowndes County spent suing a local company on behalf of a trash collection company financed out of New York City, or how much money the county spent suing a local church about a minor tax matter. It seems when Lowndes County wants to do something, it doesn’t worry so much about legal expenses. And maybe the county should worry more about legal expenses if something does go wrong with that pipeline, especially considering what’s happening with the Porter Ranch leak in California.

Besides, writing a letter Continue reading

Another sinkhole near where Sabal Trail proposes to gouge its pipeline

What if a sinkhole develops years later under the proposed pipeline in south Georgia or north Florida, and Sabal Trail declares force majeure and doesn’t pay, like FGT did in Louisiana in 2013?

Numerous news stories are linked in the LAKE blog post, but let’s pick just one.

Winnie Wright, WCTV, 5 August 2015, 150-Foot Sinkhole Opens in Lowndes County Residential Area, Continue reading