On July 14, 2016 at 01:42PM, Deanna Mericle at WWALS Watershed Coalition published the following article:
Attached are my comments to the SRWMD Governing Board today
(July 12th 2016)
regards to the Sabal Trail crossing site over the Falmouth Cathedral
I was the first to speak at the public comment period followed by
Jim Tatum then Merrillee. Jim and Merrillee echoed my concerns. The
three of us set the tone for the meeting! The Board was interested
and engaged asking questions to better understand what impacts Sabal
Trail poses for the cave system and the District. About Time!
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Sierra Club Florida speaking to SRWMD 2016-07-12
Our Santa Fe River
Executive Director, Noah Valenstein offered to personally call the
ACE to request
that they answer our letters asking for further
evaluation. He also will make sure the the Corps has all the
information the District has with regards to the pipeline route.
Unfortunately, after a lengthy discussion and comments from
Merrillee, myself and Sabal’s Lawyer the Board voted to settle with
Sabal on the easement.
Governing Board Member Virginia Johns made a point to come up to me
and thank me for attending and for my comments and input. She was
very interested in the Sabal Trail project and asked a lot of good
questions during the meeting. I will follow up with her to make sure
all her questions are answered.
- John S. Quarterman, President, WWALS Watershed Coalition to USACE, GA-EPD, and FERC 2016-07-08,
Two new reasons for a USACE Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and a halt to Sabal Trail permits
- John S. Quarterman, President, WWALS Watershed Coalition to SRWMD 2016-07-11,
Sabal Trail and Falmouth Cathedral Cave System
- Jim Tatum, Our Santa Fe River, 2016-07-12,
Hefty Topics Brought Out at SRWMD Meeting
Hello, my name is Chris Mericle. I am a resident of Hamilton County
and a board member of WWALS Watershed Coalition. I saw that there is
a presentation on the Falmouth cathedral cave system on the agenda
and thought this would be a good opportunity to share with you
geology reports and other information about the Falmouth Cathedral
As many of you may be aware the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline is
U.S. 90 and the CSX railroad at the same location.
I have here two geology reports, both by Florida certified Geologists
with extensive experience in Florida. Both of these reports show
that the Sabal Trail pipeline is a real threat to the Falmouth
Cathedral Cave system. The reports are written by
Southeast Environmental Geology- Dennis Price
Schreuder inc.- Peter Schreuder.
I encourage you to take the time to read these reports.
When asked what specific tests Sabal Trail performed to determine
the exact location and depth of the cave system, Sabal Trail
replied, ” a file was obtained from the FDEP’s GIS library
containing location and elevation data for the cave system.” So, no
tests were in fact performed! Sabal went on to say “… it is not
completely clear what the elevation data represents…” Sabal trail
did not even know how to interpret data from the 1file they
Additionally, Sabal trail has omitted information about Falmouth
Spring and Lime Run Spring from the record. Both of these are 1st
magnitude springs and Sabal fails to include them on their springs
table. The springs table shows that the closest 1st magnitude spring
to the proposed pipeline is Madison Blue at 1.7 miles. When in fact
both Falmouth and Lime run springs are closer, lime run is only .46
miles from the proposed pipeline.
Also, there is no mention that the cave system is the known conduit
for these two springs as well as 3 other springs in the area. Your
own dye test two years ago confirmed this. I am fairly certain that
no one in this room would stand for a 36″ gas pipeline to be
installed a few feet away from a 1st mag. Spring. But, that is
essentially what Sabal trail is proposing to do by crossing so close
to the cave system. Any impacts on the cave system/ spring conduit
will have a direct impact on the springs it feeds.
Sabal trail also omits sinkhole information in their karst features
within .25 miles of the center of the pipeline table. For example,
there is a huge active sinkhole very near the proposed pipeline
route and the Falmouth cave system that is no where to be found in
the table. This sinkhole can be seen from Hwy 90 next to Pilgrims
In light of these two reports that warn us of the negative impacts
that this pipeline will have on the cave system and the springs and
the totally inadequate survey that Sabal performed, I would like to
ask that this board join WWALS Watershed coalition, Sierra Club,
Environment Florida, Gulf Restoration Network, the Original
Seminollee Mickasucee Tribe, Hamilton co. BOCC, Suwannee co BOCC,
Marion Co BOCC and US Congressman Sanford Bishop GA and many other
organizations and citizens in asking the USACE to further evaluate
the Falmouth Cathedral Cave system proposed crossing site and
initiate a SEIS.
Thank you for your consideration
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
Read this article at WWALS Watershed Coalition at http://www.wwals.net/2016/07/14/srwmd-listens-about-sabal-trail-easements-chooses-unfortunately-yet-offers-assistance-2016-07-12/.
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