Tag Archives: William R. Wohlsifer

Sabal Trail violations FDEP assured us would not happen are happening

Already under the Withlacoochee River in Georgia there’s been a frac-out and a sinkhole at a drilling site, upstream from the Suwannee River in Florida, under which FDEP told us it couldn’t happen:

Lisa Prather, sole FDEP witness Well, the Suwannee River crossing doesn’t, in fact, have any impacts to an outstanding Florida water….”

“Well, any work within, or could have adverse effects on OFW, is considered. In this case, we determine that there would be no impacts to the OFW.

Apparently not only FDEP’s sole witness Lisa Prather believed Sabal Trail; according to a video yesterday by Cody Suggs at the Suwannee River, Sabal Trail’s own workers seem to believe their company’s propaganda.

Much more about WWALS v Sabal Trail & FDEP is on the WWALS website, including videos and transcripts of the landowners who also tried to warn FDEP that sinkholes happen like they already have including under at least two public roads in Suwannee County, Florida. And more about what already happened is on the WWALS website, plus things you can do to stop this $3 billion dollar fracked methane boondoggle.

For example, you may want to ask the permitting agencies some of the questions WWALS asked, including this one:

Which of FERC, FDEP, GA-EPD, USACE, SRWMD are working to protect the health, welfare and safety of the communities surrounding this pipeline and how are they doing that?

Given that I asked them for a prompt answer and two weeks later have gotten no answer at all, it sure looks like we the people will have to find and report violations and use other methods to stop this pipeline.

The transcript questions quoted below are Continue reading

WWALS exceptions to judge’s recommended order in WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP

Who could achieve standing or win a case with these criteria?

The judge’s Recommended Order applied the wrong standard as to whether the pipeline is in the public interest (Exception 25), applied an incorrect standard of proof (Exception 16), ignored the additional protections due the Outstanding Florida Waters of the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers (Exception 17), and ignored evidence that the granting of a Sovereign Submerged Lands Easement would adversely affect the lands under those rivers (Exception 19), not to mention the Floridan Aquifer.

In alleging WWALS does not have standing, the judge ignored a case previously cited by FDEP (Exception 23), and added an unprecedented factor of “potential injury” that would prevent associations from ever achieving standing unless they could prove the ultimate facts of the case (Exception 14).

Did the judge really mean to imply FDEP’s and Sabal Trail’s own witnesses were not competent when they upon questioning provided testimony that FDEP failed to acquire reasonable assurances that the issuance of an environmental resource permit and easement on sovereign submerged lands would not be contrary to the “public interest” (Exception 15)? If those public servants’ testimony wasn’t competent, how can those same personnel be competent to evaluate permit applications?

These are just a few of the 25 exceptions filed Monday 28 December 2015 by WWALS Counsel William R. Wohlsifer and Leighanne C. Boone. See also the WWALS video of Attorney Wohlsifer’s concluding statement in the hearing.

Here is PDF of the judge’s Recommended Order and PDF of the WWALS Exceptions. Below is the text of those exceptions. Continue reading

WWALS moves to enter EPA letter to FERC into evidence in Florida case

Everyone from the Atlanta Journal-Constition to the Palm Beach Post to the Ocala StarBanner Comes now, Petitioner... and moves.... considers the EPA letter to FERC to be of great significance. WWALS agrees, and has filed a motion to ask the judge to take notice in WWALS v. Sabal Trail & DEP.

§ 373.414 Florida Statutes, begins:

(1) As part of an applicant’s demonstration that an activity regulated under this part will not be harmful to the water resources or will not be inconsistent with the overall objectives of the district, the governing board or the department shall require the applicant to provide reasonable assurance that state water quality standards applicable to waters as defined in s. 403.031(13) will not be violated and reasonable assurance that such activity in, on, or over surface waters or wetlands, as delineated in s. 373.421(1), is not contrary to the public interest. However, if such an activity significantly degrades or is within an Outstanding Florida Water, as provided by department rule, the applicant must provide reasonable assurance that the proposed activity will be clearly in the public interest.

Not just “not contrary to the public interest”. For an Outstanding Florida Water applicant (Sabal Trail) “must provide reasonable assurance that the proposed activity will be clearly in the public interest.” The Suwannee River is an Outstanding Florida Water. And the EPA letter is pretty good evidence that Sabal Trail did not provide such reasonable assurance.

Filed October 30, 2015 4:43 PM Division of Administrative Hearings (also PDF on WWALS website): Continue reading

Videos: More WWALS witnesses, rebuttal, Spectra speaks, and WWALS counsel summation in Day 3, WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP 2015-10-21

Willard Randall, expert welder Sabal Trail didn’t want to hear that Sierra Club is funding part of WWALS’ legal expenses and they really didn’t want to hear about Spectra’s speckled history of safety and compliance. The Respondents also didn’t expect the WWALS pipeline welder expert witness in this third and last day of the final hearing.

DEP tried to argue their own key applicant process substance person couldn’t qualify as an expert witness for WWALS. A sitting Suwannee County Commissioner testified. A fireman who lives near the proposed compressor station said a few words about Sabal Trail saying one thing and doing another. A string of WWALS witnesses talked about generations of use and enjoyment, joining WWALS because WWALS took in the upper Suwannee as territory, more new WWALS members, WWALS as a Waterkeeper® Alliance Affiliate.

The Respondents rebuttal witnesses were Continue reading

Videos: Sabal Trail’s case in WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP 2015-10-19

Surprise WWALS attorneys and mounds of Sabal Trail and FDEP documents, yet missing documents, overlooked gopher tortoises, and springs that apparently none of the respondents went to see, all in these WWALS videos of the first day of the case WWALS brought to defend its members, the Suwannee River, and the Floridan Aquifer against the invading Sabal Trail pipeline and the Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) and Easement to Use Sovereign Submerged Lands (Easement) the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) intends to issue to Sabal Trail.

Petitioner WWALS presented a surprise: two attorneys. Respondents Sabal Trail and FDEP presented a mound of documents. That was all in preliminary matters.

Then Sabal Trail presented its prima facie case, through its witnesses David Shammo and David Dickson.

Per previous agreement among the parties, WWALS presented out of order two witnesses, Tom Edwards and Joe “Britt” McClung.

Then Sabal Trail continued with witness Jim Ambrosino

Towards the end of the day, FDEP’s sole witness Lisa Prather testified.

Here’s a link to much more information including vidoes of the other two days of the hearing, and how you can continue to contribute to the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign for legal expenses (there will almost certainly be an appeal) or join WWALS.

Below are WWALS videos of Day 1, followed by a video playlist.

The ant testifies against the dinosaur: WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP continues 2015-10-21

It’s hard to qualify as an expert, but WWALS members count, too, Chris Mericle testifying as we defend the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers and the Floridan Aquifer against the Sabal Trail pipeline invader. Continuing this morning at 10AM in Jasper, Florida!

When: 10 AM Wednesday 21 October 2015

Where: Hamilton County Board of Commissioners Chambers,
207 NE First Street
Jasper, Florida 32052

What: WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP
Defending the Suwannee River and our water, land, and air against the invading Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline Continue reading

The ant with two attorneys: WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP Monday 2015-10-20

The ant continues against the dinosaur this morning!

John S. Quarterman, William R. Wohlsifer, Leighanne Boone, Judge Bram D.E. Canter, court reporter, Timothy Riley (Sabal Trail), other respondent attorneys When: 10 AM Tuesday 20 October 2015

Where: Hamilton County Board of Commissioners Chambers,
207 NE First Street
Jasper, Florida 32052

What: WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP
Defending the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers, the Floridan Aquifer, the Florida Springs Heartland, and our water, land, and air against the invading Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline

Remember: Continue reading