There is no reason our only county-wide elected government should rush to take a pittance from a company from Houston, Texas for an easement through the closed landfill toxic waste site that would risk our drinking water and enable more easement takings from local landowners. On the front page of today’s VDT the County Clerk contradicted what Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter has written repeatedly to FERC, that he and the Commission represent “Citizens of Lowndes County”. She also didn’t mention the GA-EPD permit for any work within that landfill that the Chairman previously demanded from Sabal Trail, nor the multiple state other and federal permits Sabal Trail does not have. Although it’s still not on the published agenda, the Commissioners have an opportunity tonight to vote to support their own unanimous resolution of December 2014 against Sabal Trail.
The County Clerk tried to roll back the clock to when we first heard about the pipeline in June 2013, saying in today’s VDT that
“The County is just like any other property owner,” said County Clerk Paige Dukes. “(The Sabal Trail Transmission) knocked on (the County’s) door and said they needed an easement.”
Perhaps the Clerk has forgotten that Bill Slaughter wrote to FERC and everyone 10 April 2014 that
If the route for the proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline comes through any part of Lowndes County as Chairman of the Lowndes County Commission and on the behalf of the Commission and Citizens of Lowndes County…
That’s not how “any other property owner” writes.
Point #11 in that letter from Bill Slaughter is:
All work to be accomplished inside the boundary of the closed Clyattville Landfill must be permitted and approved by the Georgia EPD as a part of Lowndes County Post Closure Care Plan.
Where is that GA-EPD permit? No mention of it was made either in yesterday morning’s public Work Session nor in the VDT.
Jason Stewart, VDT, 25 January 2016, County to vote on easement for Sabal Trail,
The county owns a piece of property in Clyatteville[sic] through which the Sabal Trail’s underground natural gas pipeline will run, officials said.
The county is being paid $54,300 for the natural gas underground easement, according to Dukes.
Is that piece of property still the old closed county landfill in an aquifer recharge zone?
The one that’s listed on the GA-EPD Hazardous Site Inventory as Lowndes County-State Road 31 MSWL, “This site has a known release of Mercury in groundwater at levels exceeding the reportable quantity”? The one that also has checked under “REGULATED SUBSTANCES” 1,1-Dichloroethane, Arsenic, Benzene, Barium, Beryllium, Cis-1,2-Dichloroethene, Cis-1,2-Dichloroethene, Dichloromethane, Lead, Mercury, Tetrachloroethene, and Trichloroethene?
If so, by selling Sabal Trail an easement, the county not only would be enabling the invasion of the property of county citizens by Spectra Energy of Houston, Texas, it would be directly risking our sole source of drinking water.
The owner listed by GA-EPD is “Lowndes County Board of Commissioners”:
ACREAGE PARCEL NUMBER DATE LISTED 154.01 0098 004 3/27/1997 32.02 0098 003 3/27/1997
Here’s a map from the Lowndes County Tax Assessors of parcel 0098 004 of that hazardous waste site:
Here’s Sabal Trail’s own map of where it wants to cross Railroad Ave. south of Clyattville:
Is that not the old closed landfill?
That’s barely a mile from Clyattville Elementary School:
The same closed landfill previously mentioned by the EPA and the Ocala StarBanner as targetted by Sabal Trail? Yes, I know EPA and FERC since decided they didn’t care about that, but that’s different from Lowndes County’s own elected government choosing not to tell its newspaper of record about it.
The same closed Clyattville landfill for which the Commissioners just voted 8 Decmeber 2015 for a resolution for a Hazardous Waste Trust Fund, which handles monitoring of toxic substances at that site as required by GA-EPD.
Meanwhile, there are at least two Georgia state permits not finalized (air quality permit for Albany compressor statement and easement for drilling under rivers and creeks), plus there’s no permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Plus where is that GA-EPD permit for work “inside the boundary of the closed Clyattville Landfill” that the County Chairman demanded?
There is no reason for Lowndes County to rush to take a pittance from Sabal Trail for gouging through land that risks our drinking water and enabling Spectra Energy taking easements through local landowners’ land.
Instead it would be better for the Lowndes County Commission to stick to the resolution what it passed unanimously 9 December 2014:
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners opposes the construction of the Sabal Trail pipeline in any portion of Lowndes County. The Lowndes County Commission has concerns with fundamental property rights and does not believe that citizens with small tracts should be forced to lose the use of large portions of their property for the Sabal Trail pipeline. The Lowndes County Commission does not see any long term benefit to the citizens of Lowndes County, The Lowndes County Commission formerly asks the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC), and our state and federal legislators to support us in this effort to have Lowndes County and The State of Georgia bypassed.
The people of Lowndes County elected the County Commissioners to represent we the people. Tonight the Commissioners have another opportunity to do so, as they have done at least twice already against Sabal Trail.
There is a huge rush to complete these terminals and pipelines in anticipation of approval of the TPP and TTIP Free Trade deals. TTIP guarantees foreign investors legal access to our resources if these treaties are approved by Congress. If we are successful in stopping these pipelines and terminals, we will be overruled by investors in unaccountable corporate tribunals (ISDS) or by “harmonization” of our state laws thru what is called regulatory cooperation / coherence. We should all be protesting the signing by Congress, of the TPP, which the president is pushing at the insistence of fossil fuel and other lobbyists. Where are our rights and those of the planet? Go to flushthetpp.org to learn more.