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MFL update…

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MFL update…

Photos from Robert Karl Hutchinson’s post in Ichetucknee Alliance
A few weeks ago, the Alachua County Commission authorized $100,000 to be spent on legal proceedings pertaining to the "Minimum Flows and Levels" rule proposed for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers. Our assumption was that the Water Management District would submit their proposed rule, and that it would be challenged by North Florida water utilities and agricultural interests. Alachua County would then intervene on the side of the SRWMD to support the rule, and more importantly, the "recovery plan." While we recognize that the rule is based on imperfect science, the recovery plan did have merit, such as a limiting consumptive use permits to five years in length. However, the utilities, behind closed doors , prevailed on the Florida "Department of Environmental Protection" to gut the MFL rule and recovery plan; for instance utilities can now get 20-year CUPs.

The dilemma the County faces is that we could mount an administrative challenge, but regardless of whether we win or lose, the end result will be the same: "Wait five years for a new groundwater model." During the time of the challenge, any benefits the MFL Rule might convey would be stayed.

I have suggested two other ways to spend the remaining funds (about $80K). The first is for Alachua County to get into the business of challenging many or all Consumptive Use Permits (both new applications and some existing permits). Being an official pest, especially a principled one, could have a significant impact on the size and speed of permits issued.

The second way we could use these funds is to become involved in the development of the "Georgia/North Florida Groundwater Model" which will become the basis for the next set of MFL rules. This is highly technical work and would require outside expertise if we wish to be effective. The interests who would over-exploit our groundwater will certainly be participating during this five-year process and they are likely to suggest more reasons to kick the can another five years into the future.

I'm interested to hear your suggestions about other ways Alachua County can spend the $80K to protect the public trust of our aquifer, springs, and rivers.

Thanks for reading, and for your suggestions.


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Gas Pipeline Alert: Core drill sampling: What happened and what DID NOT happen…

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Gas Pipeline Alert:
Core drill sampling: What happened and what DID NOT happen…
Last week, OSFR, residents and Christopher Byrd (IREPHA lawyer) stopped Sabal Trails from drilling for core samples for the purpose of building a drilling platform on both sides of the Santa Fe River.

OSFR began receiving phone calls and emails last week about this drilling procedure. We were absolutely certain that this was a “cart before the horse” problem. There have been no completed Environmental Impacts Studies/Surveys (EIS). FERC told us they could take up to 2 years to complete (technically they began at the end of 2013).

As for the SFR, 33rd Road on the Suwannee County side and NW 130th Street on the Gilchrist County side are the immediate neighborhoods most in peril.
Sabal spoke to residents by phone about sending survey people out to these areas to begin staking and taking core drilling samples to find out the nature of the ground material for the intention of building a drilling platform that is designed to put a horizontal directional bore drilled hole to snake a “36” inch gas pipeline under the Santa Fe River. How far under the bottom of the River? Sabal representatives have said they try to find at least 20′ below the bottom of the river bed and then the platform is to be constructed out of the wetland delineation (at the Gilchrist meeting they told the audience that they find the center of the waterway and measure 1000′ on each side, roughly 2000′ feet and dig an underground channel that connects to both sides of the waterway). This pat answer leaves me wondering, how are they to do that with flood stages as they are today (March 20, 2014)?

OSFR and most of us in this region, know and understand our karstic terrain and the Aquifer water that runs underground in natural conduits and channels. The very idea about this type of drilling makes many of us question if this company is experienced with Florida geology?

A bigger question mark is directed toward how this company expects to dig through our Florida Springs Heartland with similar conditions from Georgia to Orlando. This pipeline is crossing countless Rivers and waterways, and known precarious sinkhole terrain.
I will do my best to compile a list of waterways in another posting; since Sabal has been tweaking the projected path since last year it may be difficult to get all of them listed, but certainly the major ones will be noted to you.

So as for the core drill sampling, we stopped them proceeding with this invasive exploration with no permits or approval from the FERC, or any local/state authorities.

There is still a long list of State and Federal agencies that must review Sabal’s proposed route, again, I reiterate, the proposed route has NOT been decided. Sabal has at least 5 routes in our own area of the Santa Fe River that are in review. OSFR will have more on this in another posting…
There is no need to be core drill sampling for drilling platforms at any of the potential routes!
This photo was taken on the Suwannee County side in the community property holdings of TREPO (off of 33rd Road). It is a deep hand augured core drill sample. Not allowed!!! Sabal did this prior to us raising questions.

If any of you see or have contact with the gas pipeline company and you have questions private or public message us here.

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Gas Pipeline Alert: OSFR attended the Suwannee County BOCC meeting on Tuesday….

Gas Pipeline Alert:
OSFR attended the Suwannee County BOCC meeting on Tuesday. Dave Hanna, representing the Ichetucknee River Estates Property Homeowner’s Association IREPHA, did an excellent job discussing the problems with trenching for a 36″ gas transmission pipeline in the forested neighborhood next to the Santa Fe River. After listening to Mr. Hanna, the Commission asked their Attorney, Jimmy Prevatt, to draft a letter to Sabal and FERC to ask them to remove it from the 33rd Road corridor route, a springshed, and find an alternate route. Dave Hanna and OSFR has given Mr. Prevatt information to support this move.

An independent professional geologist, who just so happens to have grown up in this neighborhood and understands the complexity of this hydro-geological phenomenon, is nearly complete with a peer reviewed technical survey of the tenuous karstic conditions of the Santa Fe River and this location as compared to other similar locations on the River itself.
When we receive the copy, we will post it here. It is intended for the scoping meetings that will begin next week for our area.

The Suwannee County BOCC was poorly attended, but effective nonetheless.

The Gilchrist County meeting several weeks ago was very good with attendance and comments. Gilchrist is nearly done with their letter to the FERC; when we get it, we will share it here.

Please consider sending your own letter into the FERC portal search for PF-14-1 and make an ecomment.

FERC has told me that the Santa Fe River area has been the most resistant to the proposed route. With good reason, I say. It is a terrible location.
In fact, the entire proposed pipeline through the State of Florida is ripe with problems, this is our Springs Heartland they are trying to dig into it. We are learning, Sabal Trails is merely an LLC designed to protect itself from future litigation, the real company building the trail is Spectra Energy, and they have numerous violations and fines imposed upon them for pipeline problems, such as explosions and lack of oversight after the pipe is installed into the ground. Please see for more information.

When the Gilchrist County BOCC and Levy County representatives asked Sabal representatives about violations and their safety record, the representatives said ‘I don’t know and if the BOCC need more explanation to visit their company’s website!’
Beware, friendly evasive tactics have been Sabal’s character.

Please attend one or more of these scoping meetings:
Monday, March 24, 2014
6:00 PM
Live Oak City Hall
101 White Avenue Southeast
Live Oak, FL 32064
(386) 362-2276

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
6:00 PM
Bell High School
930 South Main Street
Bell, FL 32619
(352) 463-3232

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
6:00 PM
Rainbow Springs Country Club
19330 Southwest 83rd Place Road
Dunnellon, FL 34432
(352) 489-3348

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FERC regulates, monitors and investigates electricity, natural gas, hydropower, oil matters, natural gas pipelines, LNG terminals, hydroelectric dams, electric transmission, energy markets and pricing.

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Gas Pipeline Alert: participate in one or more of the following meetings, there…

9b5205cc002005295c2d9e2cb1266137 In: Gas Pipeline Alert: participate in one or more of the following meetings, there... | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

Gas Pipeline Alert: participate in one or more of the following meetings, there is a local government meeting in Suwannee County, Live Oak, TONITE!!! 6 PM.
Please share…important gas pipeline meeting updates:


Valdosta, 16 March 2014 — Florida forms the field for the
pipeline fight this week, at a Suwannee County Commissioners
meeting and three FERC Scoping Meetings. Plus later a
SpectraBusters panel on the issues.



FERC Scoping Meetings*:

5PM Sabal Trail discussion
Pipeline representatives will be

6PM FERC presentation
about the process
and the pipelines
Docket number PF14-6: Hillabee
Expansion Project
Docket number PF14-1: Sabal Trail
Docket number PF14-2: Florida
Southeast Connection

Then citizens can speak
at the podium
Have what you say transcribed by a
court recorder
for the Commission’s administrative

This week’s calendar:

6PM Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Suwannee County
“14. Discuss Sabal Trail gas line.
(David Hanna) 5 minutes”
Fill out a card to speak for 3 minutes
Suwannee County Board of County
Judicial Annex Building
218 Parshley Street Southwest
Live Oak, Florida 32064
(386) 364-3400

*Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Polk County
PF14-2 Florida Southeast Connection
Lake Wales Art Center
1099 East Florida 60
Lake Wales, FL 33853
(863) 676-8426

*Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Okeechobee County
PF14-2 Florida Southeast Connection
Okeechobee High School
2800 Highway 441 North
Okeechobee, FL 34972
(863) 462-5025

*Thursday, March 20, 2014
Osceola County
PF14-1 Reunion Compressor Station
Hunters Creek Pipeline
PF14-2 Florida Southeast Connection
Kissimmee Civic Center
201 East Dakin Avenue
Kissimmee, FL 34741
(407) 935-1412

Or e-mail to or file online with FERC:
Or call 202-502-8258, or mail written comments to:
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary;
Federal Regulatory Commission;
888 First St. N.E. Room 1A;
Washington, D.C. 20426.
Use Docket number PF14-1 for Sabal Trail Transmission, or
PF14-2 for Florida Southeast Connection.

Calendar for more Florida next week:

SpectraBusters Panel:

There’s more to be done so there’s another meeting later

3PM Saturday 29 March 2014
Lowndes County, GA
SpectraBusters Panel
Pipeline? No!

Elected officials and candidates for public office, are
invited to a SpectraBusters panel discussion in Lowndes
County, Georgia. Topics will include potential pipeline
routes, property rights (eminent domain, property values),
water issues (aquifer, sinkholes, springs), whether Florida
even needs more power, better power sources (solar, wind,
conservation, and efficiency), noise, health, and hazards.
A representative from the pipeline company is invited to be
on the panel to present their perspective. SpectraBusters
and allies from all states are invited to attend, and are
encouraged to hold panels elsewhere.

Why: Spectra Energy, which had compressor station leaks in
Maine in January and in Pennsylvania last year, plus
multiple fines by Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration (PHMSA) for corrosion and leaks, and a record
$15 million EPA fine for PCB contamination, proposes a
hundred-foot-wide gash through our lands for their huge
36 inch Sabal Trail gas pipeline from Alabama through
Georgia to feed Florida Power and Light (FPL) and Duke
Energy for no benefit to local citizens and rate hikes for
FPL customers. A one-time payment is not enough for
decreased property values, permanent destruction, and
hazards of leaks and explosions, when FPL and Spectra and
Duke would profit forever. The gas comes from fracking in
Pennsylvania and Texas, destroying watersheds, farmlands,
and drinking water. Conservation, efficiency, and solar
power are cheaper and bring jobs and energy here where we
need them.

In Conjunction with:

Environmental Awareness Organization of Auburn University

Greenlaw protects clean air and water.

New York Climate Action Group (NYCAG) the Spectra struggle
(and Williams Transco Rockaway Lateral Pipeline in the
Rockaways of Queens, NY and the LNG port resistance in Long
Beach, NY).

Occupy the Pipeline, who fought the NYC extension on the
Spectra Pipeline.

Our Santa Fe River, protecting our most vital and vulnerable
natural resource…water.

Sane Energy Project: to fight fossil fuel and nuclear
infrastructure, and encourage renewable infrastructure.

Shale Property Rights, formerly Spectra Energy Watch.

Sierra Club, America’s largest and oldest grassroots
environmental group, exploring, enjoying, and protecting the
environment since 1892.

Stop the Pipeline: No eminent domain, preserve local
character and environment, and pipelines == fracking.

Students Against Violating the Environment (S.A.V.E.)
Valdosta State U.

Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy (WACE): clean and
sustainable energy sources.

WWALS Watershed Coalition, Willacoochee, Withlacoochee,
Alapaha, and Little River Systems in south Georgia and north

SpectraBusters: We ain’t afraid a no pipeline!
Landowners and others opposed to the Sabal Trail gas
pipeline through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Garrett Kizer
Lee County, AL
Danielle Jordan
Lowndes Co., GA
Beth Gordon
Levy Co., FL

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Love the Springs? Please sign this Today. Help us reach our goal. :)

Love the Springs? Please sign this Today. Help us reach our goal. 🙂

Protect and restore north central Florida’s natural springs
Per the most recent FDEP Integrated Water Quality Assessment, Florida has over 2,700 water bodies or water body segments listed as impaired waters. If this trend continues without intervention by the state, our economic future will be bleak indeed. The Senate bill may not be perfect, but it is a gia…

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Gas Pipeline Alert: North Central Florida, here is the next public meeting abou…

Gas Pipeline Alert: North Central Florida, here is the next public meeting about Sabal’s gas highway in Suwannee County, cutting under a Springshed in the Santa Fe River, about 1/2 mile from the confluence of the Ichetucknee River. If you come, please fill out a card to speak for 3 minutes.

Suwannee County Commission meeting agenda for March 18, 2014

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