What the Frack?

First, we had areal spraying, and some that begins today- over tens of thousands of acres- here in Florida for “mosquitos“. < click to read.

And now we find out that a pipeline just got approval and will begin tomorrow!?

This new pipeline will run, “through conservation areas, under rivers, near springs, and sinkhole-vulnerable karst geological areas”, reports The Gainesville Sun. More specifically, in north central Florida, the pipeline will go under the Suwannee and Lower Santa Fe Rivers and go through dozens of springsheds, including near Rainbow Springs. It will also travel through wooded conservation lands and karst geology which is prone to sinkholes (because of the underground caverns).

In the rest of Florida, the pipeline will run through the rural and wooded areas of Hamilton, Suwannee, Gilchrist, Levy and Marion counties as well as a small piece of Alachua County. It will continue through Sumter, Lake and Orange counties to hook up to the pipeline that will run from Osceola County to the FPL natural gas power plant in Martin County. Another smaller pipeline that is part of the larger project will supply a Duke Energy natural gas plant in Citrus County.

The full Sabal Trail project will be a 3-foot-wide, 516 mile, $3.2 billion dollar pipeline. It is estimated to carry up to 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day from Alabama through south Georgia and Florida to the connector pipeline in Osceola County.

From the article:

“The hotly-debated Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline has received its final federal permits and company officials are seeking a green light to start construction by Wednesday along a 516-mile corridor that includes environmentally sensitive parts of north central Florida.”

Last Friday afternoon, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a request to start construction on a connector pipeline to carry natural gas from the station in Osceola County, where Sabal Trail will end, to a Florida Power & Light natural gas plant in Martin County.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who clearly DO NOT care what the people of Florida think about this pipeline, have given permits to Houston-based Spectra Energy, Duke Energy and FP & L parent company NextEra Energy, to discharge dredged and fill material into water bodies, such as wetlands, during construction.

Like the water situation in Florida can handle anything else. 

The permits given requires the Sabal Trail partnership, “to buy credits from several federal- and state-approved wetlands mitigation banks.” What are those banks? Glad you asked… they are wetland areas which have been preserved- or restored- on the premise that they would offset the impact to wetlands from construction projects the Army Corps has permitted.

This seems like absolute insanity to me.

More from the article:

“Last fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated some 1,200 acres would be destroyed or impacted during construction. The EPA later reduced that projection to less than 900 acres but later made a 180-degree turn and dropped significant environmental concerns over the project that included whether the potential for sinkholes and damage to the aquifer had been downplayed by Sabal Trail and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In some cases, the impacts to wetlands are considered temporary, even though areas could take up to 50 years to revegetate.”

How can we possibly think this is a good idea????????????????

Thankfully the Sierra Club has vowed to, “…use all legal means necessary to stop this fracked gas pipeline.” Even the president of Our Santa Fe River Inc, Pamela Smith wrote, “…there is no win for the citizens of Florida, only profits for the energy companies that will move compressed gas through our delicate and already overtaxed water ecosystem.”

But they aren’t the only ones who are concerned:

  • Madison County commissioners expressed concerns about potential pollution to the river, area wells, and Madison Blue Spring, either from construction or a possible pipeline leak later.
  • The Marion County Commission raised concerns about potential impact to the headspring of Rainbow Springs, impacts to the underground karst network through which groundwater flows, the potential for sinkholes, possible damage to wetlands, and harm to the threatened or endangered species living in the area of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway (where the pipeline will cross).

However, the Army Corps of Engineers has decided that concerns and requests won’t be heard because the information they have already gathered about the project was, “sufficient enough for them to make an accurate evaluation.”

The companies behind Sabal Trail hope to start construction on or before Aug. 17.

I wonder who the federal and state governments will blame when the state’s economy tanks because all the water has been tainted and people can no longer use it. My guess is they will blame AND CRUCIFY the energy companies. They will make them pay HUGE payouts and rake them over the coals in the news.

Oh well, don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Source: The Gainesville Sun