Likely loss of drilling fluid in limestone under rivers –FL DEP to FERC

Apparently the Florida Department of Environmental Protection complained to FERC that any drilling under our blackwater rivers would leak contaminants into the karst limestone that contains our drinking water Floridan Aquifer:

Update 2015-04-03: Additions now that FERC eLibrary is working, including third point below.

  • Sabal Trail underestimated karst features—additional, more recent data available from agencies including LiDAR, potentiometric surface maps, and cave maps.
  • Highest agency concern is associated with likely loss of drilling fluid associated with HDDs in limestone bedrock including at the Suwannee, Santa Fe, and Withlacoochee rivers.
  • Drilling fluid loss would have an environmental impact; risk and magnitude of impact on groundwater, wells and springs should be based on updated, site-specific information.

Filed with FERC 1 April 2015 as Accession Number: 20150401-4004, “Summary of the April 1, 2015 interagency meeting held among FERC staff, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, et al regarding the Southeast Market Pipelines Project under CP14-554 et al.”

I would quote further, but every attempt to retrieve any FERC eLibrary document gets an error message like this:

IDM exception error ‘8004fec8’

Logon failed.

/idmws/NVcommon/FNSessionStart.asp, line 42

FERC’s eLibrary is working again, so I can say the above quote is from

JANUARY 22, 2015 – FLORIDA KARST MEETING

The FERC staff met with representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Florida Geological Survey (FGS), Florida Park Service (FPS), Suwannee River State Park, Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), and Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD). The meeting was held at FGS offices in Tallahassee, Florida. Some agency personnel attended via conference call. The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss Florida geologic and hydrogeologic information presented by Sabal Trail Transmission (Sabal Trail) in its FERC application and other supplemental filings. Topics discussed included:

Another meeting is also relevant:

FEBRUARY 4, 2015 – GEORGIA KARST MEETING

The FERC staff met with Mr. Jim Kennedy, Georgia State Geologist, via conference call. The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss Georgia geologic and hydrogeologic information presented by Sabal Trail in its FERC application and other supplemental filings. Topics discussed included: …

  • One HDD would encounter limestone bedrock (Withlacoochee River).
  • Discussed sinkhole development near Albany municipal well field.

In case FERC’s eLibrary goes missing again, here are copies in Word and PDF.

-jsq

PS: Thanks to Debra Johnson.

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