No pipeline! Suwannee County to FERC, Army Corps, and Florida

Suwannee County has waked up! Carl McKinney, Suwannee Democrat, 7 December 2015, Suwannee County seeks allies in pipeline fight,

County staff is writing a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state of Florida, requesting the pipeline not enter Suwannee County.

The commission will vote on whether to send the letters during its Dec. 15 meeting. Both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have to issue permits for the venture.

Commissioner Larry Sessions proposed the idea during Tuesday’s meeting, stressing the need to protect the delicate geology of the region.

“We don’t want the pipeline coming into our county,” he said in an interview. “We really don’t even want it coming through Florida.”

You can see SBOCC in that meeting in their own videos.

The Commission

Environmental groups and individuals have raised concerns about Sabal Trail’s potential impact, including damage to sensitive limestone layers and the risk of sinkholes.

Locally, residents have also spoken out at county commission meetings regarding a controversial compressor station for the pipeline, planned to be placed in O’Brien. The commission sent a letter to Sabal Trail Transmission member Spectra Energy late last month asking it to reconsider that location.

Here’s that letter.

John Quarterman, the president of WWALS Watershed Coalition environmental group, said he suspects several people will show up to the Dec. 15 meeting.

“There are certainly people in Suwannee County and nearby who are worried,” he said.

Carl McKinney knows that’s so, because he was at the packed November 17th SBOCC meeting where many citizens spoke against Sabal Trail, and he was at the October 19-21 legal hearing where many citizens testified under oath against Sabal Trail.

Yet, as McKinney points out in this article, Sabal Trail has never sent anyone to a Suwannee County Board of Commissioners meeting. Their excuse back in November was they didn’t know in advance, although their attorneys managed to send a letter that was read at the meeting.

Maybe Sabal Trail doesn’t want to have to answer questions like the ones Chris Mericle just sent to FERC, about why the discrepency?.


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