Tag Archives: violation

Pipelines companies don’t detect corrosion or stop explosions

A reminder of why to stop pipeline companies from burying investors’ money in the ground and get on with solar power: the pipeline that exploded in Texas last week was half owned by Spectra Energy, the pipeline company behind Sabal Trail, AIM, Penneast, and numerous other fracked methane invasions and behind thirty years of undetected corrosion resulting in leaks, explosions, property damage, and deaths. The pipeline company didn’t detect it and couldn’t even turn it off quickly. Want to bet that it, like Spectra’s Pennsylvania explosion last spring, was corrosion?

A very Texas report said “no people or cattle were injured” and also notice: “The fire is under control and will burn itself out.” Continue reading

Spectra Energy fined $15 million for PCB spills at 89 pipeline sites –EPA

Those PHMSA fines weren’t the half of Spectra Energy’s leaks and environmental violations. Do we want a record-EPA-fined pipeline company running PCBs through our counties? Don’t we have enough PCBs in the ADS landfill in Lowndes County that’s in a recharge zone for the aquifer we all drink out of? Haven’t we already imported enough hazardous wastes from the Seven Out Superfund site in Waycross? Maybe the Lowndes County Commission should hear about these things tonight.

L.A. Times, 21 October 1989, Pipeline Firm to Pay Record EPA Fine, Continue reading

Spectra never bothered to check pipeline for corrosion –Spectra employee

So “the pipe will be monitored 24/7”? That’s not Spectra’s actual practice, according to an employee and according to a federal fine.

By fjgallagher for Natural Gas Watch 19 June 2013, Spectra Energy Employee: We Never Bothered to Check Natural Gas Pipeline for Corrosion,

A Spectra Energy employee acknowledged to federal inspectors that the company never conducted key tests for corrosion on a natural gas pipeline that was already operating at excess capacity, according to documents recently obtained by NaturalGasWatch.org.

There’s much more in the article, including this:

Additionally, according to another May 2, 2013 letter sent under separate cover from (PHMSA) to Holeman, Spectra failed to install equipment to monitor whether or not the natural gas pipeline in question was being affected by corrosion and could not produce any records indicating that the pipeline had, in fact, ever been tested for corrosion or that the pipeline was even structurally sound.

So that’s what “the pipe will be monitored 24/7” means. Good to know.

See Item 2 in that Final Order with fines from the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to Spectra Energy CEO Gregory L. Ebel: Continue reading

Spectra backtracks about pipeline incident

Spectra flip-flops on major safety events as well as on whose houses are beautiful and whether Georgia cities can use gas from its pipeline from PCB-polluted Anniston, Alabama to Orlando, Florida. And Spectra was fined recently for violating both federal safety requirements and its own operating procedures, including for pipeline monitoring. Oh, and its natural gas comes from fracking.

Remember Spectra rep Andrea Grover, quoted by the VDT? Well, she’s been quoted elsewhere, too. Mike Benard wrote for CSRHUB 5 April 2013, Spectra Energy ‘Backtracks’ on Methane Incident: First: “Nothing Released …. No Smoke …. No Incident”; Then Admits: Methane & Hydrocarbons Released,

Spectra Energy Corporation (SE, NYSE) was forced to backtrack on dismissive assertions it made about a nighttime incident at its huge natural gas compressor station in Bedford County, PA, after persistent neighbors and a reporter kept pressing the company and state regulators for facts.

A natural gas compressor station, like the ones Spectra says will be along its proposed AL-GA-FL pipeline, maybe in Dougherty County, maybe in Lowndes County; we don’t know.

Now Spectra could say this was a different kind of compressor because it’s a different kind of operation in Pennsylvania. What kind? Fracking: Continue reading

Violations at Alapaha Water Plant in Lowndes County –EPA @ LCC 2013-07-23

Did Demarcus Marshall know when he asked, “The water is good now, right?” about the 15 “Health Based Violations” and the 4 “Complete Failure to Report” plus the 1 “Monitoring, Routine Major (TCR)”, all in the last ten years? Maybe some of those have to do with why Lowndes County is doing major upgrades to the Alapaha Water System by the end of March 2015. However, given all those “Complete Failure to Report”, how will we know when or if it’s fixed? These reports found by Chris Graham. -jsq

U.S. EPA SWDIS Violation Report:

VALDOSTA, GA 31601-1349

Primary Water Source Type Population Served
Groundwater 205

This report was created on AUG-22-2013
Results are based on data extracted on JUL-30-2013

NOTICE: EPA is aware of inaccuracies and underreporting of some data in the Safe Drinking Water Information System. We are working with the states to improve the quality of the data.

The tables below list all violations that the state reported to EPA for this water system. Health-based violations are listed first, followed by monitoring, reporting, and other violations.

Health Based Violations: amount of contaminant exceeded safety standard (MCL) or water was not treated properly.
Type of Violation Compliance Period Begin Date Compliance Period End Date Drinking Water Rule or Contaminant Analytical Result Violation ID
MCL, Average JUL-01-2012
TTHM .166 11422

Follow-up Action Date of Response
St Public Notif requested
St Violation/Reminder Notice

Continue reading

7.b. Lovell Eng. letter to EPD for Lowndes County @ LCC 2013-07-23

in the 22 July 2013 Work Session Here is the letter discussed (“So at this point, in order to comply with the deadline submitted by EPD, it was necessary to go ahead and work with Lovell on this.”) and approved (“The water is good, right?”) at the 23 July Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission, obtained through an Open Records Request by April Huntley, plus a transcription. You may wonder, as I do, why the county didn’t just put it online along with the agenda, like so many other county commissions and city councils do. Continue reading

The water is good now, right? –Demarcus Marshall about Alapaha Water Treatment @ LCC 2013-07-23

A County Commissioner wanted the Utilities Director to confirm that the water was already good before the county fixes the treatment plant at Alapaha Plantation, at the 23 July Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

7.b. Letter to Environmental Protection Division concerning Alapaha Water Treatment Plant Upgrade

The water is good now, right? --Demarcus Marshall Regarding the letter written by Lovell Engineering to GA EPD on behalf of the county, discussed in the previous morning’s 22 July 2013 Work Session, Commissioner Demarcus Marshall asked:

I just had a question regarding the timing of the letter. I know it says eight month pilot study. And I just wanted to know for the record, that the water is good now, right? It’s drinkable, and so forth, just for the public to be aware that it’s not some public health risk out there.

Answer from Utilities Director Mike Allen: Continue reading

Wastewater violation on the Alapaha River @ LCC 2013-07-22

The County has another wastewater violation, this time at the Alapaha River, and is late in doing something about it. Don’t be surprised if we see an emergency change order in a future session. This was at the Monday 22 July 2013 Lowndes County Commission Work Session; they vote tonight.

Mike Allen, Utilities Director 7.b. Letter to Environmental Protection Division concerning Alapaha Water Treatment Plant Upgrade

It’s because of a notice of violation from GA EPD, said Utilities Director Mike Allen, and he’d been working with Lovell Engineering on a letter to say the problem of disinfection byproducts would be fixed by the end of March 2015.

on our behalf, or would we be submitting it? --Demarcus Marshall Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted to know Continue reading

Lakeland environmental violations

Demolition debris buried without a permit? That happened in Lakeland, and it’s causing a heap of trouble for the City Council. Could such a thing also have happened in a nearby county?

Andy Alcock reported yesterday for WCTV, Lakeland Hires Firm to Check Environmental Issues

There’s a new push to find out about dozens of potential environmental violations in the South Georgia city of Lakeland.

As we first reported last week, Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division issued a notice of violation for the city of Lakeland.

That notice lists twenty-three properties where demolition debris may be buried without a permit.

The city council has now unanimously approved the hiring of an engineering firm to assess those sites.

Stevenson & Palmer Engineering will be paid an hourly rate plus expenses not to exceed $15,000 without approval by the city.

There are claims of improperly demolishing, burning and burying dozens of homes.

According to whom?

Continue reading

The Comprehensive Plan updates Lowndes County refused to provide

LAKE has obtained the planning revision documents Lowndes County refused, in violation of the law, to return in response to an open records request. Here they are for all to see.

The Standards and Procedures for Local Comprehensive Planning, established by the Georgia Planning Act of 1989, require updates to the Short Term Work Projects (STWP) list and the Report of Accomplishments (ROA) every 5 years. Lowndes County and the cities in Lowndes County have submitted the documents to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA)

An open records request to Lowndes County for the documents was not satisfied. However other government agencies were willing to abide by the Georgia Open Records Law ocga 50-18-70.

The documents are available for review on the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange website for Valdosta, Lake Park, Remerton, Hahira and Lowndes County.

I encourage you to read carefully what our elected officials see as the future of our community.