Tag Archives: Shadrick Sink

Excluding groundwater makes no sense above the Florida Aquifer –WWALS to EPA 2019-04-15

Approved at the Sunday WWALS board meeting and filed last night via regulations.gov as PDF.


April 15, 2019

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Docket Center
Office of Water Docket
Mail Code 28221T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Re: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149,
       Revised Definition of Waters of United States

To Whom it May Concern:

WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS), also known as Suwannee Riverkeeper, submits the following comments on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) proposed rule entitled “Revised Definition of Waters of United States,” 84 Federal Register 4154-01 (February 14, 2019) (hereinafter “Proposed Rule”).

In addition to supporting the comments of Waterkeeper Alliance and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), WWALS adds these comments on groundwater.

The Proposed Rule’s categorical exclusion of groundwater makes no sense here above the Floridan Aquifer where surface water and groundwater constantly interchange, and pollutants travelling through groundwater are a frequent source of health, environmental, and economic problems.

[2019-04-15--WWALS-to-EPA-0001]
2019-04-15–WWALS-to-EPA-0001

This proposed exclusion of groundwater is called out repeatedly in the Proposed Rule, starting with this:

Continue reading

EPA considering abandoning Floridan Aquifer?

The new water rule EPA plans to propose may be much more about all our drinking water underground in Florida and south Georgia than about anybody’s private pond.

Stacey H. Mitchell, David H. Quigley and Bryan Williamson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, 11 December 2018, United States: Dipping Its Toe In The Groundwater? Supreme Court Eyes Expedited Review For Clean Water Act Case,

Specifically, the Court aims to address a circuit split among the 4th, 5th and 9th Circuits in determining whether only direct discharges to “navigable waters” (rivers, lakes and other surface waters, for example) are covered or whether groundwater that is “hydrologically connected to surface water” is subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) pollution discharge requirements.2 Groundwater—that is, water held beneath the soil or in between rock structures—does not fall under CWA jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for many years, maintained that pollutants that flow with a direct and immediate hydrologic connection through groundwater into surface waters are properly regulated under the CWA.3 Environmentalists agree with EPA’s long-standing position, while many in industry say that the agency is reaching beyond its scope.

Surface water interchanges with groundwater all the time here in the southeast coastal plain, where we all drink with straws from the groundwater.


Figure from same USGS study as below.

This SCOTUS case appears to be related to the forthcoming EPA rule change proposal that has been all over the news lately. More from the same article: Continue reading

Staten Road to Langdale Park, Withlacoochee River, 2018-03-03

A leisurely five mile paddle in about two and a half hours through a surprisingly wild section of the Withlacoochee River, much of it actually inside Valdosta, the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin, on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

When: 9 AM, Saturday, March 3, 2018

Put In: Staten Road Landing, 4556 Staten Road, Valdosta, GA 31605, Lowndes County, GA. 7.1 miles north of downtown Valdosta. Beware: it’s a long rough dirt road access, then a scramble down the riverbank.

GPS: 30.9328, -83.28227

Take Out: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, Lowndes County, GA.

Free: This outing is Free! And we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

VALORGIS, Route
Map: VALORGIS. White is Valdosta inside grey city limits, yellow is recharge zones for the Floridan Aquifer, green is Langdale Park.

We start in Lowndes County, cross over the county’s expanded sewer and water lines at Bay Branch (those lines head for Stafford-Wright Road). Then the City of Valdosta is on our left briefly before back to county both sides, and Sermons Branch (is that its real name?). Into a Floridan Aquifer recharge zone, passing on our right the Shadrick Sink, notorious for Continue reading

Cherry Creek & Stillhouse Branch, Lift Station, Sinks, Withlacoochee River

Why should anyone downstream care about an obscure creek north of Valdosta? Because it runs past sinkholes that leak into the Floridan Aquifer, into the Withlacoochee River, then into the Suwannee River, then into the Gulf of Mexico, going by all seven of the downstream Florida counties that passed resolutions asking the state of Florida to do something about Valdosta wastewater, not to mention neighborhoods and wetlands closer to the recent Cherry Creek Lift Station sewage leak, which was at least smaller than previous spills.

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

The orange red-circled disk shows Continue reading

USACE refuses Madison County’s request for a Sabal Trail SEIS 2016-07-29

They didn’t even bother to fill in the year on the date, and “File with original letter”. Here’s what the Corps wrote (PDF) in response to Madison County’s request for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) about Sabal Trail.

File with
original letter

DEPARTMENT or THE ARMY
JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT CORPS 0F ENGINEERS
POST OFFICE BOX 4970
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32232-0019

July 29, 201

USACE Response to Madison County re Sabal Trail Reply to attention of
Regulatory Division
North Permits Branch
Jacksonville Permits Section
SAJ-2013-03030

Madison Board of County Commissioners
Attn: Mr. Brian Kauffman, County Coordinator
Post Office Box 539
Madison, Florida 32341

Dear Mr. Kauffman:

Please accept this correspondence as Continue reading

Madison County, FL asks USACE for a SEIS 2016-07-18

This request for a Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), mentioning Madison Blue Spring in particular, was sent July 18th or 19th 2016, one copy to each of the Corps addresses. (PDF). That’s the fourth Florida county to make such a request, after Hamilton, Suwanee, and Marion Counties. The Corps already responded to Madison County.

Board of County Commissioners
Madison County, Florida

to express our concerns

Jacksonville Permits Section
U.S.A.C.E. Regulatory Division
Attn: Mark R. Evans,
  Senior Project Manager,
Post Office Box 4970
Jacksonville, Florida 32232

Commander, U.S.A.C.E.,
Savannah District
Attn: Mr. Terry C. Kobs
1104 N. Westover Boulevard, Unit 9
Albany, GA 31707

U.S.A.C.E.
Mobile District Reg. Div.
Montgomery Field Office
Attn: Mr. James S. Cherry II
605 Maple Street
Building 1429 Room 105
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6017

 

Norman C. Bay, Chairman Continue reading

Staten Road bridge to Langdale Park, Withlacoochee River through Valdosta 2016-03-20

Explore the Withlacoochee River as it meanders thru the edge of Valdosta, past Shadrick Sink, Cherry Creek, and under North Valdosta Road, Back along the bank on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. Wave at some of your friends in the houses nearby.

Update 2016-03-19: Yes, there are potholes at Staten Road Bridge, but that never stopped us from paddling. Come on down!

Update 2016-03-14: Langdale Park will be closed, but VLPRA will let us in.

Event: facebook or meetup.

When: 9AM Sunday March 20th 2016

Put in: Staten Road Bridge, 7.1 miles north of Valdosta, Lowndes County.

Take out: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, Lowndes County.

Distance: About 5 miles

Duration: About 2.5 hours

Shuttle: About half an hour

Take out: Langdale Park Boat Ramp

Also passing: Bay Branch, Sermons Branch (if that is its real name), Withlacoochee Slough at Cherry Creek, Cherry Creek Sink, and Stillhouse Branch coming out of Valdosta Country Club.

Responsible party: Chris Mericle

Local host: John S. Quarterman

Directions from Valdosta: head north on Ashley Street, turn left on Oak Street Extension,

Directions from I-75: take exit 22, go east on North Valdosta Road, left on Perimeter Road, left on Oak Street, continue onto Staten Road, cross Orr Road, and after about 2/3 of a mile just before the bridge, turn off to the right.

Map from Staten Road Bridge to Langdale Park Boat Ramp

Too low: we’re guessing 2 feet on either the at Skipper Bridge or US 41 gauges.

Too high: flood stage is 15 feet at Skipper Bridge and at US 41.

This outing is Free! But we encourage you to join WWALS today to support our fun outings and important work: http://wwals.com/blog/donations/. See our newsletters, and the press Releases and news. And consider joining the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail Committee.

Backup in case of low or high water:

Where: Ray’s Millpond

When: 9AM March 20th 2016

Directions: From Valdosta, north on Bemis Road (GA 125) to Ray City, right on Jones St. to boat ramp.

Coming up even sooner:

For more outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar.

-jsq

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

HAAs in Valdosta drinking water 2015-12-21

Valdosta has a water treatment byproduct over the recommended limit in its drinking water. Janet McMahan supplied the image below of part of a notice, which says there’s no cause for alarm at the moment:

HAA5 Warning

There is nothing you need do at this time. These violations do not pose 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

AJC video: Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Through 9 Counties

Most people are opposed to the Sabal Trail pipeline, as the Colquitt County landowner says. Drilling in our fragile karst limestone “could potentially carry any contamination down into our groundwater source”, as VSU Geology Prof. Don Thieme says. Why should we risk that for profit for companies from somewhere else and no benefit for here?

Atlanta Journal Constitution, Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Through 9 Counties, Continue reading