FERC Speaks

Christopher Curry published the following article in the Gainesville Sun today, Dec. 19, 2015.  It speaks for itself, as does the FERC.  The people spoke, but no one listened.ScrollFederal agency again backs Sabal Trail

By Christopher Curry
Staff writer

Published: Friday, December 18, 2015 at 5:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 18, 2015 at 5:10 p.m.

Chriscurry 4.
Christopher Curry

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental assessment of the planned 515-mile Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline.

Like the draft analysis released months ago, FERC staff said the pipeline project, which is opposed by a slew of environmental groups, “would not result in a significant cumulative impact on the environment.”

The newly released analysis comes just days after the Environmental Protection Agency reversed course and dropped its substantive objections to the massive project.

John Peconom, FERC Pipeline Man

The $3.2 billion pipeline will run across conservation areas, springs protection areas, under rivers including the lower Santa Fe and the Suwannee, and across 900 acres of wetlands.

Summarizing its conclusions, FERC said impacts on wetlands “would be effectively minimized or mitigated.” The pipeline company and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still haven’t worked out what those mitigation requirements will be.

The pipeline is planned to run through parts of Alabama and Georgia and through a dozen Florida counties — including Alachua, Gilchrist, Suwannee, Levy and Marion — to a connector pipeline in Osceola County.

The pipeline will supply natural gas primarily for Florida Power & Light electric generation in South Florida and to a Duke Energy plant in Citrus County.

Houston-based Spectra Energy expects to build and operate the pipeline.

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