Thanks to Julie Bowland for the picture of my VDT op-ed today. -jsq
The same day the Sabal Trail was quoted in the VDT August 5th as saying it had done enough subsurface analysis on our fragile karst limestone topography, a sinkhole opened up next to Shiloh Road. Sabal Trail already had to move its Albany compressor station because arrowheads had been found there. The pipeline itself is a much bigger mistake: let’s stop it before it damages our property values, forests, rivers, or our people.
Spectra Energy’s paid staff are continue to assert that Sabal Trail’s proposed gouge through our fields, farms, and under our rivers will proceed according their plan to profit executives and investors in Houston, Texas.
Actually, because Sabal Trail moved its proposed compressor station site, it had to file another request for an air quality permit. GA-EPD’s Eric Cornwell says there will be another public comment period and a public hearing in Albany. Cornwell told me he had been unable to find anyone who wanted that compressor station. And without it, there will be no pipeline.
Meanwhile in Florida, FL-DEP’s notice of intent to issue a permit for Sabal Trail to drill under the Suwannee River is being contested by WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. WWALS sent an amended petition to DEP this Friday, August 28th.
Regardless of what the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) does or what Spectra says, work can’t start on the Albany compressor station or on drilling under rivers in Georgia or Florida without these state permits.
That Shiloh Road sinkhole is much like the one that ate Snake Nation Road a few years ago, or the one that opened next to the Withlacoochee River across from Cherry Creek a few years ago, all in the same kind of karst topography where Sabal Trail proposes to cross our Withlacoochee River. Yet VDT quoted Spectra’s Andrea Grover saying:
Rather than find out the hard way what else Sabal Trail got wrong, let’s stop this pipeline before it can destroy anything around here.
John S. Quarterman is President of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc., a WATERKEEPER® Affiliate representing the watersheds of the Withlacoochee and upper Suwannee Rivers.