Daily Archives: January 26, 2017

Norman Bay resigns, leaving FERC without a quorum 2017-01-26

After Trump bumped LaFleur over his head today, former FERC Chairman Norman Bay resigned from the Commission this same day. That leaves FERC with only 2 out of five Commission slots occupied. I would guess that means no quorum, although what does it matter? The FERC Commissioners only ever rejected one pipeline in thirty years.

His resignation letter is a six-page pat on his own back that never once mentions solar power, eminent domain, landowners, water, river, aquifer, or environment. His biggest brag is: Continue reading

Cheryl A. LaFleur again FERC Acting Chairman 2017-01-26

President Trump just brushed aside FERC Chairman Norman Bay, one of the few FERC Commissioners to show any reservations about FERC’s rubberstamping of pipelines, and put Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur back once again as Acting Chairman. This while FERC has only three Commissions, when it’s supposed to have five, probably indicates FERC is going to be pushing ahead all pipeline projects. Of course, that’s not much different from what we’ve seen for years with Sabal Trail.

Johnathan Crawford and Jennifer A. Diouhy, Bloomberg Politics, 19 January 2017, Trump Picks LaFleur as Chairman of U.S. Energy Regulator, Sources Say, Continue reading

Moultrie sewage spill into Ocholockonee River

The city of Moultrie also had a small wastewater spill Sunday during the storm, but it was tiny compared to Valdosta’s, and Moultrie’s WTP is on the Ochlockonee River, not in the Suwannee River Basin.

Like Tifton, Moultrie’s wastewater operator is not listed on Moultrie’s city website, because its Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) is operated by the same private contractor, ESG Operations, Inc. That arrangement was announced in June 2015, shortly before major Moultrie WWTF improvements by RTD Construction were announced in September 2015.

Pretty quickly I got through to Bryan Roland, Project Manager, who said yes, Continue reading

Tifton wastewater spill into the New River

Valdosta wasn’t the only city to spill sewage in the recent storms, but Tifton’s spill was tiny by comparison.

Downstream from Tifton Regional Wastewater Treatment Complex (TRE) Following up a rumor, I called the city of Tifton and eventually got to Tommy Coker, Wastewater Superintendent, Tifton Regional Waste Water Treatment Complex (TRE). You won’t find him listed on Tifton’s website, because he works for the private contractor that runs TRE: ESG Operations, Inc. That arrangement was announced in November 2012.

Anyway, Tommy Coker says they did have a spill, of 9,500 gallons, into a storm drain inside the TRE site, that goes into the New River. It started Sunday January 22nd and stopped about midnight Monday January 23rd, 2017.

The TRE is located at 80 Old Brookfield Rd W, Tifton, GA 31794, which is east of Tifton on US 82 towards Alapaha and Willacoochee, GA.

The New River flows into the Withlacoochee River east of Adel and south of Nashville, between Cook and Berrien Counties, GA. The Withlacoochee forms the rest of the border of those two counties, then flows through Lowndes County past Valdosta and its WWTP, then forms the border of Brooks and Lowndes County, Georgia, and Madison and Hamilton County, Florida, until it joins the Suwannee River, which runs on along Suwannee County and others down to the Gulf.

So Valdosta was not the only city to have a spill during the recent storms, but Valdosta’s 2.2 million gallon leak was more than 230 times bigger than Tifton’s spill.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Valdosta WWTP spilled millions of gallons and didn’t tell the public for days 2017-01-25

Update 2017-01-30:

Valdosta also didn’t tell the public all day after the spill stopped, and then posted something that’s flat not true.

I just called Valdosta WWTP Superintendent John Waite, as it says to do on the city’s PR posted Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:09:00 PM, Withlacoochee Plant Warranty Repairs Underway, which says “The plant is under warranty and the repairs will be complete by end of day Jan. 25 at no cost to the city.” Meanwhile, the Valdosta Daily Times posted yesterday evening City sewage spill stopped.

I asked Superintendent Waite when the spill stopped.

Answer: Continue reading