On July 10, 2015 the Florida DEP issued a letter of intent to grant a construction permit to Sabal Trail Transmission to traverse Florida
“… to construct a new natural gas transmission pipeline that includes
232.75 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline for the Mainline Route, 13.1 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline for the Hunters Creek Line, and 21.5 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline for the Citrus County Line, and the construction and operation of three compressor stations and three meterand regulation (M&R) stations.
The activity commences at the Florida-Georgia line in Hamilton County and will traverse Suwanee, Gilchrist, Alachua, Levy, Citrus, Marion, Sumter, Lake, Polk, Orange and Osceola Counties, terminating at the interconnection with Florida Southeast Connection Pipeline at the Central Florida Hub in Osceola County, Florida.”
The authorized stormwater management systems within the geographic limits of the Suwannee River Water Management District shall be constructed in accordance with 5.9 Sensitive Karst Areas Design Criteria and Guidelines of that District’s Environmental Resource Permit Applicant’s Handbook Volume II. The systems shall be constructed to prevent direct discharge of untreated stormwater into the Floridan Aquifer System. Systems also must be constructed in a manner that avoids breaching an aquitard and such that construction excavation will not allow direct mixing of untreated water between surface waters and the Floridan Aquifer System. The systems shall also be constructed to prevent the formation of solution pipes or other types of karst features in any known sensitive karst area. Test borings located within the footprint of a proposed stormwater management pond must be plugged in a manner to prevent mixing of surface and ground waters. If during construction or operation of the stormwater management systems, a structural failure is observed that has the potential to cause the direct discharge of surface water into the Floridian Aquifer System, corrective actions designed or approved by a registered professional shall be taken as soon as practical to correct the failure. A report prepared by a registered professional must be provided as soon as practical to the District for review and approval that provides reasonable assurance that the breach will be permanently corrected.
The WWALS article goes into the dismal history of Sabal Trail’s parent company Spectra Energy which is rife with fines and failures to live up to its agreements.
Spectra Energy, with a long track record of corrosion, leaks, spills, and explosions in two countries, is the company FL DEP proposes to trust to bore through numerous wetlands and to drill under the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers in Florida, plus Florida’s other Withlacoochee (central) River. Sure, Sabal Trail moved off of WWALS’ Withlacoochee River (north) in Florida, but it still proposes to drill under our Withlacoochee in Georgia, and FL DEP to issuing a permit would assist Sabal Trail in its destructive and hazardous pipeline plan in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
The article brings up the important point that both the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers are deemed “Outstanding Florida Waters,” and as such merit special protection:
Which means DEP cannot permit any activity that will have adverse effects on ambient water quality. With Spectra’s track record, how could we not expect adverse impacts from Sabal Trail?
Also, in the Notice of Intent item “c”, Specific Proprietary Basis for Issuance states:
The Applicant has provided reasonable assurance that the activity:
(1)will clearly be in the public interest
(2)will maintain essentially natural conditions
(3)will not cause adverse impacts to fish and wildlife recourses or public recreation or navigation
(4)will not interfere with the riparian rights of adjacent property owners
Those who monitor the water districts and observe their “protection” of the Florida public’s natural water resources as the rivers’ and springs’ flow consistently diminishes, will immediately see the irony and uselessness of this permit.
Following are some links provided by WWALS to provide expression of your opinion on this shameful undertaking.
The original article dealing with this DEP permit can be seen on the WWALS website here.
OSFR is appreciative of this news item.
Gas and oil pipelines going under rivers do break. Here is a link to read about one that did that recently. Think about this happening to the Santa Fe River. Spectra Energy could not fix it and they could not restore the river to what it was before. They would pay a fine and business would resume.