Someone reminded her County Commission they can do something about the pipeline, only a few counties from here. At least one county commissioner there gets it that “it’s clearly not just a local issue. It’s a Southeast issue.” And the pipeline company has now promised public hearings in that county.
Dougherty County Chairman Jeff Sinyard followed up within a few days on his promise to do something. Carlton Fletcher wrote for AlbanyHerald.com 9 September 2013, County Commission hears concerns about pipeline,
Dinorah Hall told commissioners at their business session that the proposed $3 billion pipeline would pose danger to the environment and to residents in the path of the 465-mile project.
“It is within your authority to advocate citizens’ safety first by proposing an alternate site for the large, industrial compression station that will be used to push the gas through the pipeline and an alternate route away from more heavily populated areas,” Hall said. “Just imagine the catastrophic impact a pipeline disaster could have on our natural resources such as the Flint River and our underground aquifer.”
Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard encouraged Hall and other impacted landowners to attend the commission’s work session Monday to discuss their concerns with project representatives.
“It is very, very important that they meet every legal and environmental requirement on this project,” Sinyard said of Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp., which is building the pipeline to supply gas to Florida Power & Light. “We expect them to use professional, non-bullying dialogue when talking with our citizens, and we’re going to do everything we can to see that this project negatively impacts the least number of citizens.”
Local residents are still just NIMBY, but District 4 Commissioner Ewell Lyle said,
“If there’s ever been an issue this commission should endorse, this (monitoring the pipeline) is it. It’s supposed to go through a large part of our county, and with 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas going through it every day, it’s clearly not just a local issue. It’s a Southeast issue.”
Why are we wasting Georgia’s land and risking Georgia’s rivers and drinking water on a project to benefit Florida when we could be installing solar panels that would help everyone in the southeast?
Here’s something else to monitor:
Sinyard said that in addition to meeting with the County Commission next week to discuss the pipeline project, Sabal Trail officials would hold public hearings for stakeholders starting in early October.
Will those ever happen? And would they ever have even been promised without the local county commission getting involved?
Where’s the Lowndes County Commission on this? Oh, right: Chairman Bill Slaughter said the Commission takes no responsibility for the pipeline. And no letters from the county to Sabal Trail were returned in response to an open records request. Maybe our elected commissioners could at least try to represent us.