Twice in five years a sinkhole big enough to risk rerouting a road appears in Lowndes County, Georgia, in the same fragile karst limestone Valdosta limesink terrain Sabal Trail proposes to gouge through What if a sinkhole drops under that pipeline, and, like FGT in 2013, Sabal Trail declares force majeure and doesn’t pay?
See On the LAKE Front, 2015-08-06, County and news media digging deeper on Shiloh sinkhole story,
But that’s not the only crack in the fragile karst limestone containing our drinking water Floridan Aquifer. VSU’s Lake Louise research station on Touchton Road just north of Lake Park is a sinkhole, not to mention probably most of the lakes around Lake Park. You only have to glance at a map to see such lakes continue westwards to the Withlacoochee River. And Spectra Energy from Houston, Texas proposes to gouge its hundred-foot right of way for its 36-inch Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline right through that area. What happens if pipeline construction causes a sinkhole?
What if it’s not immediate? What if it sinks years later in a drought after water pumping nearby?
Sabal Trail’s Andrea Grover told me that they have insurance, despite what Spectra Energy’s annual filings with the SEC say. But has the county confirmed that?
What if Sabal Trail declares a sinkhole a force majeure (act of God) event, which is insurance lingo for ain’t our problem, like Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) did for the infamous 25-acre sinkhole in Assumption Parish, Louisiana in 2013? What will Lowndes County do then?
I’ve got an idea: let’s stop this unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous pipeline!
I never heard of solar panels causing sinkholes, and Georgia is the fastest-growing solar market in the country. Florida, the Sunshine State, the purported market for Sabal Trail’s fracked methane, could easily leap past Georgia next year if the FL legislature passes a solar financing law similar to the one Georgia passed this year.
No new pipelines. Go solar!