Florida newspaper reporters are not buying the pipeline company’s spin. Instead they write about the fragile limestone that holds our drinking water in the Floridan Aquifer, damage to which can easily turn a spring into a sinkhole. Wednesday, the Orlando Sentinel about Spectra’s safety record, and today Morgan Watkins wrote for the Gainesville Sun, Expert: Pipeline would cross Santa Fe at the worst spot,
Standing along the bank of the Santa Fe River near the riverside house in southern Suwannee County his family has owned since 1967, Kevin Brown pointed to the spot where a natural gas pipeline is expected to cross underneath the ground.
But Brown’s brother David, a geologist, and other concerned folks hope to persuade the company leading the project to select what they consider a safer crossing point….
The river and the surrounding area is pockmarked with springs and sinkholes. Exposed limestone — a crumbly, fractured rock — borders the river and is visible within the springs and sinkholes, although recent rains have filled those depressions with water and obscured much of the rock.
“The ground here almost breathes,” Kevin Brown said….
It’s the “absolute worst” place to drill beneath the riverbed and put in a pipeline, David Brown told The Sun. Historically, the spot has been and continues to be an active area of collapse, he said.
“You have to avoid those places like the plague,” Brown said. “It’s Mother Nature telling you, ‘Don’t go here.’”
How about we avoid all of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama?
There’s much more in the Gainesville Sun article, about the Ocala Uplift, stress fractures, potential explosions, drilling disturbing wetlands, possible effects on drinking water wells, and property rights, including this gem:
“But what brings it into question to me is if they’re crazy enough to propose this location, are there other sites along the pathway route that are equally sensitive or susceptible to collapse?” he asked.
The primary route is more direct, whereas the westerly route would require the pipeline to be longer and to double-back a little to connect with a later point on the pathway, she said. As a general rule of thumb, the longer the distance the pipeline covers, the greater the impact to the environment and stakeholders.
Translation: longer costs the pipeline company’s real stakeholders more, namely its executives and shareholders. If they were seriously concerned about the local environment and the local landownders Spectra calls “stakeholders”, they wouldn’t be proposing to take their land through eminent domain.