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Informative forum against Sabal Trail in Citrus County –Harriet Heywood

WWALS member Harriet Heywood, Citrus County Chronicle, 3 December 2016, Sabal Trail forum was informative,

I was an attendee at the Public Forum on Sabal Trail on Nov. 21.

As an attendee, I found the forum at the Unitarian Universalist Church, endorsed by the League of Women Voters, to be both educational and well-presented, and the event was well-attended. To read the Sabal Trail-perspective piece, in The Chronicle almost a week post-forum, you might believe speaker and attendee fears were unfounded. However, Spectra Energy, the parent company of Sabal Trail has an extremely bad safety record, with blowouts, leaks and explosions occurring far more often than Sabal Trail’s spokesperson admitted in the Sunday article, including an explosion in Pennsylvania last April and a huge blowout in The Arkansas River in 2015, among many other accidents and safety violations. The article covering the forum colored speakers and attendees as ill-informed worrywarts. As far as I could tell, no one from Sabal Trail attended the forum.

I have since learned that sinkholes and drilling blowouts have already occurred recently, in both Georgia and North Florida, video-documented by Sierra Club’s Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and John S. Quarterman, president, WWALS Watershed Coalition. A sinkhole opened at a Sabal Trail construction site in Suwannee County, near the Santa Fe River, on C.R. 49 between Branford and Live Oak (the site of the O’Brien, Hildreth Compressor Station) damaging at least the road there.

And another well-documented Valdosta, Georgia area Withlacoochee River drilling blowout occurred as Sabal Trail was drilling under the river. Impossible events, according to Sabal Trail’s spokesperson. There are other documented incidents of wildlife and wetland destruction in the Hunter Creek region as the pipeline makes its way to South Florida for export. Forum attendees were not ill-informed worrywarts. They were well-educated concerned citizens.

There were numerous safety concerns raised about Continue reading