It’s time to photograph and report all potential Sabal Trail violations after last night’s storm. Pipeline construction should stop until damage can be independently assessed. I-75 is shut down, and so should Sabal Trail be.
The sky was lit by lightning all night as a tornado killed two people in Brooks County and more in Cook County, Georgia. In between is Sabal Trail’s pipeline path across Okapilco Creek. I-75 is closed. What did that tornado do to the unfinished pipeline? What will all this water and wind do to all the Sabal Trail pipe exposed on top of the ground? What about that frac-out and sinkhole at Sabal Trail’s Withlacoochee River drilling only a short way downstream? What about Sabal Trail’s pipe going into that now probably waterlogged ream under the Suwannee River, or the Withlacoochee River South? What about the pipe wallowing in a trench at the Santa Fe River? What about the joint welds, the usual location of so much previous Spectra Energy pipeline corrosion leading to explosions, property damage, and even fatalities?
What about runoff into nearby waterbodies altered by pipeline construction? What about turbidity curtains? Where are the turbidity reports?
How about all pipeline construction in the affected area stop until it can be evaluated by independent technical experts, not just by Spectra Energy with its history of not following federal law or its own corporate procedures?
We all already demonstrated the permitting agencies can’t (state have been defuned) or won’t (FERC is funded by the industries it supposedly “regulates”) do this job for us. Time to get out there and find out. And demand a halt to this pipeline until this situation is assessed.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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