Madison, FL BOCC tonight: WWALS on agenda about Sabal Trail 2016-06-22

Sabal Trail would go far too close to Madison Blue Spring and water wells in Madison County, it doesn’t have all permits, and the Madison BOCC could help stop this unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous fracked methane pipeline boondoggle. I have five minutes to say all that tonight to the Madison Board of County Commissioners.

Madison County, FL Courthouse Annex
Photograph by George Lansing Taylor Jr.

Anybody else who wants to speak, please sign up in advance, according to the Madison BOCC meeting rules. And the more people who come, the more likely they’ll pay attention.

When: 6PM Wednesday June 22nd 2016

Where: Courthouse Annex, 229 S.W. Pinckney Street, Madison, Florida 32340

Excerpt from the agenda.

June 22, 2016, 6:00 p.m.

New Business

  1. Presentation on Sabal Trail Pipeline — Mr. John S. Qua[r]terman, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.

Here’s what I sent Madison County Planner Jeanne Bass at Gale Dickert’s suggestion.

As we discussed, WWALS would like to make a brief presentation to the Madison BOCC about the Sabal Trail pipeline.

The main points are:

  1. The Sabal Trail pipeline threatens the Floridan Aquifer, including Madison Blue Springs. Decades of evidence published by USGS and others demonstrates that water travels at least 15 miles undergound to Valdosta’s water wells, and the situation is probably not much different in Madison County. For example, a dye test conducted by SRWMD last year showed dye put into Falmouth Spring in Suwannee County came up in Suwanacoochee Spring in Madison County. Sabal Trail’s drilling and other construction could trigger sinkholes and produce leaks of drilling materials, river water, or other contaminants into the aquifer. As we all know, sinkholes appear unexpectedly anyway, and if one appeared under the pipeline, it could cause a break. Spectra Energy, the pipeline company that wants to build Sabal Trail, has a long history of corrosion, leaks, explosions, property damage, and even fatalities. This year a Spectra pipeline blew up in Pennsylvania, incinerating trees and a house, putting its owner in the hospital with third-degree burns, and melting house siding half a mile away. This was one year after the same Spectra pipeline blew up under the Arkansas River in Little Rock. Such a pipeline threatens local property and water. Especially given that conservation and solar power could supply all of Florida’s new power needs, there is no reason to accept any risk from this pipeline.
  2. Sabal Trail does not have several permits it would need. At least one it cannot get until next year at earliest: easements to drill under Georgia rivers, including the Withlacoochee River upstream of Madison County, which were denied by the Georgia House 128 to 34. Clean Water Act Section 401 permits are also still not issued by Georgia or Alabama. According to the Clean Water Act, it was illegal for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to issue any permit without all of the above state permits first. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also has not yet issued a permit, and it is also apparently illegal for it to do so without all of the above state permits.
  3. WWALS asks Madison BOCC to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to open a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) about Sabal Trail. Hamilton, Suwannee, and Marion Counties, FL have already made such a request. A SEIS would require the Corps to seriously consider evidence such as that about long-distance undergound water transfer; more seriously than Sabal Trail’s recent dismissal in response to a request by U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop GA-02. WWALS also asks Madison BOCC to ask Rep. Ted Yoho FL-03 to send a letter like Rep. Bishop did. For example, Sabal Trail did not address the question of private water wells.

For background, please see the documents below.

Videos: Elected Officials see sinkholes where Sabal Trail would cross Suwannee River State Park 2016-05-15

Sanford Bishop GA-02 requests Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement for Sabal Trail from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016-05-27

Sabal Trail reacts to Sanford Bishop GA-02, WWALS, Price P.G.

See you in Madison tonight.


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

One thought on “Madison, FL BOCC tonight: WWALS on agenda about Sabal Trail 2016-06-22

  1. Pingback: Pipeline Opposition Meeting in Gainesville, FL 2016-08-06 | WWALS Watershed Coalition

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