Author Archives: jsq

Sign up for Water Quality Testing Training

You can help find out what is getting into our rivers, springs, and wells beyond sewage spills: fertilizer nitrates, livestock, wildlife, septic tanks, other. We also want to follow up after sewage spills, because the limited testing required by states doesn’t tell us how far the spill went.

Please sign up to volunteer to do Water Quality Testing, in either Florida or Georgia, using this google form.

If you can come to Live Oak in late January 2019 for Florida water quality testing training, please also fill out this doodle poll.

For collecting water, Whirl-Pak

If you can do regular testing in Georgia, stay tuned Continue reading

November Full Beaver Moon Paddle, Banks Lake, 2018-11-23

Join us for a leisurely sunset paddle to watch the Hunter’s Moon rise over the lake.

Plan to arrive early enough to prep your boat so that we can launch by 5:30p.m. That will allow time to paddle around most of the lake before dark while we look for birds, gators and bats. Sunset on the lake is usually spectacular. If the sky is clear we will see the nearly full moon rise at 6:10p.m.

This is a leg of the Alapaha Quest, since Banks Lake is in the Alapaha River Water Trail.

When: 5:15 PM, September 11, 2018; be on the water by 5:30 PM

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: Bring a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow stick, head lamp, or flashlight), and bring a rope for your boat. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitos can be bad at the marina but bugs are usually not a problem on the water. Don’t forget boat, paddles, anacks, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Paddling out, Lake
A previous Banks Lake paddle, 2018-07-27.

Continue reading

Fine Craft and Arts Festival by Jefferson Arts Gallery, Monticello, FL 2018-11-17

Venturing outside our watersheds, but still inside the territory of the Suwannee River Water Management District, the WWALS booth goes to Monticello, Florida, this Saturday. Come on over!

When: 10AM-4PM, Saturday, November 17, 2018

Where: Jefferson Arts Gallery, 575 W. Washington Street, Monticello, FL

Event: facebook, meetup

Listing in the Tallahassee Democrat: Continue reading

WWALS to PHMSA about Sabal Trail Hildreth Compressor Station Leak 2018-09-29

Sent today, as PDF. -jsq

Questions, Letter


November 13, 2018

To: Director James Urisko <James.Urisko@dot.gov>, 404-832-1150
Southern Region Office
PHMSA Office of Pipeline Safety
233 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30303

Cc: Community Liaisons:
James Kelly <James.Kelly@dot.gov>, 404-990-1848
Arthur Buff <Arthur.Buff@dot.gov>, 404-226-6153

Re: Sabal Trail Hildreth Compressor Station Leak 2018-09-29

Dear Director Urisko,

For more than 20 hours starting Saturday, September 29, 2018, the Sabal Trail interstate natural gas pipeline leaked “26.40516 MMscf” of “Non-odorized natural gas“ and “10,405.5 lbs” of “VOC” (presumably Volatile Organic Compounds) at its Hildreth Compressor Station in Suwannee County, Florida. A week later Sabal Trail filed a report with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the text of which is appended to this letter.

I have several questions:

  1. Why did Sabal Trail take more than a week to report this incident to FDEP?
  2. Did Sabal Trail report this incident to PHMSA? If so, please send a copy of that report, or how to get it.
  3. Has PHMSA filed a report about this incident? If so, please send a copy or how to get it.
  4. Is PHMSA investigating this incident? If so, when will the investigation be complete? Are there any interim results or opportunities for public comment into the process?
  5. Since Sabal Trail wrote “nothing in the yard caused alarms” and “Site is unmanned,” how did Sabal Trail discover this leak?
  6. What changes has Sabal Trail put in place Continue reading

Jury awards 33 times what Sabal Trail offered to Levy Co., FL landowner 2018-11-09

If this isn’t what Sabal Trail was scared of back in September when they settled three jury trials in Valdosta, Georgia, it should have been.

Sabal Trail path digitized by WWALS, Maps

Andrew Caplan, Gainesville Sun, 12 November 2018, Sabal Trail must pay Levy landowners $1.3M

A 12-member jury in Gainesville awarded Levy County residents Lee Thomas and his son, Ryan, more than $1.3 million for land that Sabal Trail built its pipeline on.

Sabal Trail Transmission was back in federal court in Friday to defend its controversial $3 billion project and the offers it made to a pair of landowners for uprooting and burying a natural gas pipeline on their property.

That didn’t go over so well.

Continue reading

Four more make 24 asking GA-EPD to tell everyone when anyone spills 2018-11-12

Yes, your organization can still sign on!

[More Signatures]

GA-EPD Richard E. Dunn did answer on November 2, 2018, saying they would look into telling everyone when anyone spills. We will keep collecting signatures and delivering them until we see daily spill updates on the GA-EPD website.

Follow this link for the whole resolution.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Alapaha Station Celebration 2018-11-10

Join us at the WWALS booth for fun, food, and a parade at the Alapaha Station Celebration, this Saturday, November 10, 2018, for the firth year running.

When: 9AM – 5PM, Saturday, November 10, 2017

Where: Alapaha Station, 245 NE Railroad St, Alapaha, Georgia

Event: facebook

[Dave Hetzel and people]
Dave Hetzel and people; pictures by Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS at Alapaha Station Celebration 2017-11-11.

The station is only a few miles from Continue reading

Pictures: Alapaha Station Celebration 2017-11-11

Fun last year at the Alapaha Station Celebration, coming up again tomorrow.

[Shirley Kokidko]
Shirley Kokidko; pictures by Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS.

There are many more pictures on the WWALS website.

More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see Continue reading

PBS airs part of Alan Toth’s Phosphate Mining Movie 2018-10-31

Some national news about the proposed phosphate mine in Union and Bradford Counties.

If the phosphate would not be processed in Union or Bradford Counties, as Jack Hazen says, the closest place with processing capability is the Nutrien (PCS) phosphate mine in Hamilton County, on the Suwannee River.

Judy Woodruff, 31 October 2018, PBS News Hour, Battle over phosphate mining roils small Florida town,

No-phosphate-mining, Union County

Laura Newberry:

Union County commissioners recently passed a one-year moratorium on mining permits, but Bradford County commissioners are still considering the mine.

Carol Mosley:

Continue reading

Water amendments passed 2018-11-06

The obvious water constitutional amendments passed resoundingly in both Florida and Georgia.

FL 9 and GA 1, Water Amendments

By well more than the required 60%, Continue reading