Monthly Archives: November 2021

Petition to Initiate a Rulemaking for Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities –WWALS to FERC 2021-11-19

Update 2022-07-22: New method, now in a new FERC docket, Petition for Rulemaking on FERC Oversight of Small-Scale Inland LNG Export Facilities 2022-07-22.

Suwannee Riverkeeper asks FERC to oversee inland Liquid Natural Gas export facilities

Hahira, Georgia, November 26, 2021 (PDF)  —  After years of trying to get FERC to pay attention to an economic, health, and safety issue, Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. has asked FERC to make a rule requiring inland LNG export facilities at least to ask FERC whether it has oversight.

Because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) half a decade ago disclaimed oversight of export facilities for explosive compressed Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) unless ships loaded right there for overseas shipping, such facilities are lacking FERC’s environmental, construction, and safety oversight, causing risk of “ loss of life and significant environmental and economic consequences,” according to FERC’s own strategic plan. Residents of densely populated neighborhoods where inland LNG export plants are being sited, constructed, and operated are in harm’s way. FERC has relegated the responsibility to citizens to police potential threats to public health, safety and welfare posed by these high-risk LNG operations. There are no official Dockets that provide the public an opportunity to participate in any approval process.

[LNG export facilities; WWALS Rulemaking petition to FERC]
LNG export facilities; WWALS Rulemaking petition to FERC

Even a competing inland LNG company complained of economic issues: “During its pendency, the Commission has determined that certain LNG projects are outside its jurisdiction, permitting those projects to compete free from the FERC regulatory burdens that FGS and other FERC-regulated projects bear in what has become an active, urgent and highly competitive small-scale LNG market."

WWALS views the FERC regulatory burdens as public goods of construction, environmental, and safety review, but the point remains that competition has been warped by FERC’s inland LNG export decisions.

“We filed this Petition under the same Federal law as three cases back in 2013-2015 when FERC abdicated oversight of inland LNG export operations,” said WWALS member Cecile Scofield, who opposed an ill-conceived huge 8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year LNG import terminal in Massachusetts in early 2000 .   She also noted that, “A Rulemaking is needed to determine FERC jurisdiction before a developer spends millions of dollars constructing an inland export facility only to have it shut down by FERC after it begins operation.”

“Last March, Continue reading

Please deny second Adel wood pellet plant –WWALS to GA-EPD 2021-11-19

Let one pellet plant in, and another follows. WWALS asked GA-EPD to stop that second one in Adel, Georgia, on the divide between the Little and Withlacoochee River Basins, between Morrison Creek of the Little River and Bear Creek of the Withlacoochee River. Any contaminant spills could end up in one or the other. Deforestation could affect water flows and increase flooding.

[Tree cutting radius, plant location, letter]
Tree cutting radius, plant location, letter

WWALS Public Comments on Air Permit Application No. 28143 for Spectrum Energy Georgia, LLC

See also the PDF, and the permit application. Continue reading

Clean rivers still 2021-11-20

Update 2021-12-03: Good Withlacoochee River water quality except GA 133 2021-12-02.

The Withlacoochee still tested clean for Saturday. No rain is expected for the next ten days except possibly a bit on Friday. So the rivers will probably stay clean.

Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend and week.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide Map]
Chart, River, Swim Guide Map

Jacob and Michael Bachrach tested at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps Saturday, and got clean results at all three.

This confirms our clean report from Wednesday and Thursday WWALS test results.

Also, it’s great that people love our water trail signs, but please stop shooting at them, painting on them, and stealing them. They’re there to help people enjoy the rivers and keep them clean. Continue reading

Clean rivers again 2021-11-18

Update 2021-11-21: Clean rivers still 2021-11-20.

Another clean week! Have fun fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend. Well, swimming if it warms up.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide Map]
Chart, River, Swim Guide Map

The most E. coli WWALS testers found was 200 cfu/100 mL for Thursday at Folsom Bridge Landing @ GA 122 on the Little River. That’s well below the 400 cfu/100 mL one-time sample limit. Thanks to Elizabeth Brunner for that location and for zeroes at Hagan Bridge Landing on the Withlacoochee River and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, both also on GA 122.

Valerie Folsom also got zero for Wednesday at Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River.

Gus Cleary got a very low 33 for Wednesday at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River.

Thanks to the WWALS testers and to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for herding the cats.

Valdosta’s Monday upstream results were also clean. Continue reading

Valdosta council opposes swamp mine plan –VDT 2021-11-17

The Valdosta resolution could influence the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), especially through elected state and national officials. So it doesn’t matter that the head of the LLC from Alabama that wants to strip mine next to the Okefenokee says that resolution won’t affect his decisions.

You can help influence by talking to your elected officials or by writing to GA-EPD: https://wwals.net/?p=55092

Terry Richards, Valdosta Daily Times, November 17, 2021, Valdosta council opposes swamp mine plan,

[Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson; Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman; Map: Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta, mine site]
Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson; Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman; Map: Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta, mine site

VALDOSTA — An Alabama-based mining concern said a resolution by Valdosta’s city council won’t stop them from starting a controversial South Georgia mining project.

“The Valdosta City Council’s resolution has no impact on our plans whatsoever,” said Steve Ingle, president of Twin Pines Minerals, in a statement.

Valdosta City Council voted Nov. 11 to oppose Twin Pines’ plans to start a mining project near the Okefenokee Swamp, about 75 miles from Valdosta. The vote was Continue reading

Videos: One Valdosta-Lowndes, Troupville River Camp @ LCC 2021-11-08

Featuring as their number one BIG thing was “River Camp Project”, in a presentation about One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL), which was far the longest item at 33 minutes at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session on November 8, 2021.

[One Valdosta-Lowndes, River Camp Project, Dr. Carvajal, Origins]
One Valdosta-Lowndes, River Camp Project, Dr. Carvajal, Origins

You may recognize that as Troupville River Camp, for which WWALS submitted an application to the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP) in 2019. Back then there was no cash match available. Now both Valdosta and Lowndes County have funds to purchase Land Between the Rivers from Helen Tapp, at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River. Helen sent GA-AL Land Trust to walk the land a month ago, and probably soon a conservation easement will be worked out. Meanwhile, Troupville River Camp and Troupville Nature Park are prominently featured in the WWALS Vision for Water Quality and Access in Lowndes County Georgia 2020-12-02. That Vision was input to the Master Plan Update process for Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA), and the resulting VLPRA Master Plan incorporates the River Camp and other river access and facilities as priorities.

Add the possibility of Valdosta buying for parkland the 300+ acres of the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank. And the potential for Sugar Creek downstream of Baytree as an urban recreational creek.

It’s good to see One Valdosta-Lowndes interested in river and creek access and recreation.

Below are videos by Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), which also has the rest of the meeting. Continue reading

Valdosta working to protect Okefenokee Swamp –WFXL TV 2021-11-15

Kyra Purvis, WFXL, November 15, 2021, The city of Valdosta is working together to protect Okefenokee Swamp,

The city of Valdosta is working together to protect the Okefenokee Swamp from a proposed strip mine being placed near the area.

[Reporter, Mayor, Suwannee Riverkeeper, mine in Suwannee River Basin map]
Reporter, Mayor, Suwannee Riverkeeper, mine in Suwannee River Basin map

The Okefenokee Swamp is a 438,000 acre wetland that straddles the Georgia-Florida line and is a place [where] many local residents go for nature-filled fun.

Continue reading

Clean rivers 2021-11-13

Update 2021-11-20: Clean rivers again 2021-11-18.

As far as we know from the water quality results we have, happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend!

WWALS ran a skeleton crew this week, because there’s been no rain, and we did not expect any contamination. Didn’t find any, either. Valdosta’s results through Monday also were clean.

[Chart + Folsom + Lakeland; Hagan, charts, Cleary Bluff; Map: Swim Guide]
Chart + Folsom + Lakeland; Hagan, charts, Cleary Bluff; Map: Swim Guide

Are there any database programmers in the house? We have far too many manual steps collecting the numerous sources of water quality data and rainfall into the WWALS composite spreadsheet, and also over to Swim Guide and Georgia Adopt-A-Stream. We hear Valdosta suffers from the same delay in getting data into their online table. If anybody wants to help collect these sources from various formats, record them in a database, and pull them back out into various other formats, please contact us.

Or maybe you’d like to get trained to join our testing crew?

This week, Gus Cleary tested both Sunday and Wednesday at Cleary Bluff, downstream from Allen Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, and got good results each time. (Gus would like zero every time, but that’s not likely.)

Upstream, Elizabeth Brunner got clean results for Thursday on GA 122 at Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. Continue reading

Valdosta passes resolution opposing strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2021-11-11

Yesterday the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin passed a resolution opposing the proposed Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) strip mine or any others within ten miles of the Okefenokee Swamp. The resolution further asks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reverse its abdication of oversight, asks GA-EPD for a moratorium on all mining permits until effects are settled of the recent court overruling of 2020 Clean Water Act changes, as well as to reject the TPM permits, or at least to review those applications as thoroughly as the Army Corps would, and asks the Georgia legislature to prevent such strip mines near the Swamp or any blackwater rivers in the Suwannee River Basin.

You can also ask the state to stop this mine: https://wwals.net/?p=55092

[Mayor and Riverkeeper]
Mayor and Riverkeeper

Continue reading

Pictures: WWALS Boomerang paddle race 2021-10-23

Here are some more pictures of the WWALS Boomerang paddle race 2021, winners and all.

[Collage]
Collage

See also facebook photosets by:

Preparing

Continue reading