WWALS cites dangers to environment and conflict of interest against Sabal Trail –Miami Herald via Florida Bulldog

A major Miami newspaper picked up a Florida Bulldog story after a week. Meanwhile, CBS Miami covered FL-DEP asking for an administrative law judge. And see previous post for what’s safer than any pipeline: solar power, ready now for the Sunshine State.

Dan Christensen, Miami Herald, 6 September 2015, Pipeline foes ask DEP to deny key permit, cite ‘conflict of interest’ by Gov. Rick Scott,

Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline in North Florida are asking Florida regulators to reject the project, citing both dangers to the environment and a “conflict of interest” by the regulators’ boss, Gov. Rick Scott.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced in July its intention to award a crucial environmental permit and rights to drill beneath riverbeds that would allow Houston-based Spectra Energy to construct the controversial, $3 billion Sabal Trail Transmission.

State records show Spectra Energy’s investors have included Scott.

On Aug. 28, the nonprofit WWALs Watershed Coalition, an affiliate of the Waterkeeper Alliance, filed an amended petition asking the DEP to deny the permit or “at the very least” reroute the underground pipeline to avoid “the sensitive karst terrain that underlies north central Florida … especially drilling under the Withlacoochee, Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers.”

“The risk is not just to these waters … it is to the entire state of Florida whose growing population relies on the Floridan aquifer for much of its drinking water,” says the 34-page petition filed by WWALs president John S. Quarterman. The Floridan aquifer underlies all of Florida and parts of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

The Withlacoochee (south) River mentioned is the one from the Green Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico, under which Sabal Trail wants to drill an offshoot pipeline to Crystal River.

Meanwhile, Sabal Trail wants to drill its main yard-wide explosive fracked methane gas pipeline under Santa Fe River and the Suwannee River in Florida, and under WWALS’ Withlacoochee River (known to Flordians as the Withlacoochee (north) River) from Brooks County to Lowndes County, Georgia.

WWALS members and the Hamilton County, Florida Commission already got Sabal Trail to move off the Withlacoochee (north) River in Florida. Where Sabal Trail wants to drill under the Suwannee River is hardly any better, with the same kinds of springs and sinkholes in the fragile karst limestone containing the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink.