Avoid the Withlacoochee River and karst limestone –Hamilton Co. FL to FERC

After citizens familiar with the springs, shoals, and sinkholes of the Withlacoochee River and the fragile karst limestone that contains them and the Floridan Aquifer, source of drinking water for all of Florida and south Georgia, the north Florida county of Hamilton passed a resolution asking FERC to have the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline avoid those geological formations. According to a letter already forwarded to FERC by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and also quoted in part to FERC by the Suwannee River Water Management District, that would mean there’s basically nowhere that pipeline would be safe in north Florida (or south Georgia, which has the same limestone substrate).

Joyce Marie Taylor updated in the Suwannee Democrat 25 August 2014, Hamilton fights back against Sabal Trail pipeline,

A special meeting was called on Friday, Aug. 22, and the board voted to pass Resolution 14-10 that expressed their concerns about the proposed pipeline route across the Withlacoochee River that forms the western boundary of Hamilton County.

A portion of the resolution states, “This board is particularly concerned for proposed wetland and stream crossings that may impact special aquatic sites.”

The resolution also states that the board has no opposition to the installation of pipelines that support Florida’s economy, however, they recommend the pipeline route be reconsidered to avoid sensitive karst regions that can have a significant impact on the water resources in the area.

Resolution blogged today by WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc., Sabal Trail avoid sensitive karst regions —Hamilton County FL Commission to FERC. Yesterday WWALS blogged more background in Protect the Withlacoochee River from the Sabal Trail Pipeline —Chris Mericle at the Hamilton County Commission.

Hamilton County landowner Chris Mericle was the principal spokesperson of the citizens who spoke to the Hamilton County Commission 19 August 2014. He is also the local host for a WWALS canoe and kayak outing Sunday 21 September 2014 on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers past where the pipeline would cross each of them. You can paddle and see what needs to be protected from that pipeline.


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