Spectra stands down on drilling core samples at the Santa Fe River, Florida

Mighty Spectra stopped from drilling for now by local opposition in Suwannee and Gilchrist Counties, Florida! Why were they preparing to drill anyway, when they don’t have a permit, and haven’t even started the formal permitting process with FERC to get it? Why have they also been reported going on property without permission this week in Georgia?

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, president of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), reports:

Sabal has started to stake the ground as to where to put what is called a drilling station. There are plans to put one station in Gilchrist and one in Suwannee. They intend to dig a tunnel under the river bed by directional bore drilling to connect the 2 sites. There have been NO permits issued for any of this; experts have not had time to review all the pertinent information on historical resources, biology, geology, etc… Residents in Gilchrist have not even signed papers allowing them access to their land for surveying purposes and now they are staking for core drilling samples!

Sabal is presently staking Gilchrist Cypress Shores property and plans to drill for core material so that they understand what is under the ground when they plan to bring in the heavy drilling equipment (years from now). Cart before the horse. The FERC has not even decided this is the route. We have important information that shows this is a Springs system and should not be put here and will present at scoping meetings.

Deborah Hogan called me last night to tell me Sabal will “stand down” till they have more information in the Suwannee County side. Sabal believes they are in the clear to do bore hole samples for directional drilling to put a drilling platform that will go under the River and connect to other side.

Sabal has no need to do these core samples now. to find their site location. There has been no approval of this route. The Environmental Impact Study EIS, has not been completed. The scoping meetings have not been done.

OSFR has also contacted Suwannee River Water Management District and Gilchrist County Administrator, Bobby Crosby, to stop the Gilchrist core sampling.

OSFR has called the following people for more info and to get them to stop.

Deborah Hogan, Sabal survey representative, 1-305-433-1700


John Peconom, FERC, 1-202-502-6352

Merrillee adds:

Environmental lawyer that represents IREPA, Christopher Byrd, also takes credit for stopping Sabal for the moment.

Maybe people would like to mention this at the Suwannee County Commission meeting 6PM Tuesday 18 March 2014. The FERC Scoping Meetings go to Florida that same day, starting in Lake Wales and heading up to north Florida the following week. And you can file ecomments with FERC at any time.


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