WWALS signs letter to county commissions opposing the Sabal Trail pipeline

A citizen of Suwannee County, Florida has written a letter to county commissions, starting with her own Suwannee County Commission that meets tonight, and WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. has joined the many signers.

The Action letter to County Commissioners against Sabal Trail pipeline begins:

Dear Commissioner,

We are sure that you have heard of the Sabal Trail/Spectra Energy Pipeline and the resolution passed by Hamilton County BOCC August 22, 2014, to prohibit its path through the Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County (link below). It appears that that resolution has been successful. But the problem has not gone away in that Sabal Trail has already sent FERC and Rep. Ted Yoho a letter suggesting that they move the pipeline yet again! (link below).

We would also like to bring to your attention to other local government actions that have been implemented to protect the citizens of those counties. Our hope is that your county government will consider adopting one of these strategies in this crucial effort to protect their citizens, water, land, etc. from this gas pipeline which will provide zero benefit to the people of Florida….

It goes on to detail an ordinance passed by Jefferson County, Florida against water extraction for bottling plants, plus two resolutions against another Spectra pipeline, by Rappahannock County, Virginia and Warren County, Virginia, after which Spectra “suspended” that pipeline through Virginia. The letter suggests local county commissions use that ordinance or one of those or resolutions as a model, or write their own. It also provides many reasons to do so, which boil down to our local property, drinking water, and evironment are more important than a few remote companies’ profits.

Remember, this is not just a Florida problem. Especially now that FERC has directed Sabal Trail to analyse the Hillabee route that runs down I-75 through Tifton, Adel, and Valdosta. And of course Sabal Trail’s preferred route runs through Colquitt County, Brooks County, and Lowndes County. All these counties are in WWALS watersheds and all of them have the same fragile geology as Hamilton, Madison, and Suwannee Counties, Florida.

You may find these two WWALS blog items help explain why we have the same karst limestone aquifer sinkhole problems in south Georgia as in north Florida:

WWALS’ own op-ed against the Sabal Trail pipeline has appeared so far in the Moultrie Observer, the Ocala StarBanner, and the Gainesville, FL Sun.

Come see for yourself, as you paddle with WWALS past the proposed pipeline crossings of the Withlacoochee River and the Suwannee River, Sunday 21 September. The springs, sinkholes, and shoals, in our tea-colored blackwater rivers are much the same in Georgia as in Florida, through WWALS watersheds. Are they not more important to us than profit for a company from Houston?