There will be another public comment period and a public hearing on Sabal Trail’s latest air quality permit application, said Eric Cornwell of GA-EPD just now by telephone. He also said:
“So far, nobody seems to want this thing. Usually somebody is for jobs or taxes, but not this time. One of the first times I’ve run into a situation where neither the residents nor the county officials want it.”
I mentioned that more than a year ago in Gilchrist County, Florida, Sabal Trail had admitted they had already hired contractors from some other state to do the actual pipeline installation (Sabal Trail interrogated in Gilchrist County, Florida @ GCC 2014-02-20). And that people who have seen such pipelines put in say the contractors usually arrive in their own RVs, so there aren’t even many local hotel stays, much less jobs. We discussed many other reasons people don’t want it, ranging from the most obvious (eminent domain), to noise, environmental destruction, and hazards including proximity to schools and sinkholes in the fragile karst limestone containing our Floridan Aquifer drinking water. The bottom line is Sabal Trail just wants to use Georgia as a passthrough with no benefits and lots of downside.
Sabal Trail did have to refile for a new air quality permit because they moved the proposed compressor site and changed some equipment. But they did that back in July. The current application is the same number 23350 that’s online on the SpectraBusters website. Minor source applications are not online at GA-EPD. You can file an open records request and come see a paper copy in the GA-EPD office in Atlanta. You can copy it, which Steve Caley of Greenlaw did, which is why SB ended up with a copy.
Eric Cornwell says GA-EPD will be starting a new online document system probably early next year. We shall see.
Meanwhile, as we know, the public comment period for this application ended August 7th. Cornwell says those comments are being reviewed by permitting engineer Bradley Bellflower. Bellflower and his manager and Eric Cornwell will consult.
A third public comment period will open about a month from now, continuing until about a week after a public hearing.
The public hearing will be some time soon, probably in October. GA-EPD always holds them on either Tuesdays or Thursdays, usually starting at 6:30 PM with a Q&A session. They continue with public hearing portion, where people speak and DNR transcribes and tape records. They try to end at 8:30 PM, although that may be difficult this time.
Eric Cornwell is looking for a large venue for this one, expecting several hundred people, preferably somewhere in downtown Albany.
Per telephone discussion, I am sending him a link to the SB list of resolutions and letters from elected officials, including the Sanford Bishop letter and all the county and city resolutions of which I am aware. Please send any not listed there to email@example.com.
Now if some county or city would get on with an ordinance rooted in its Comprehensive Plan, or just apply existing zoning ordinances….