Tag Archives: Attorney

Landowner wins over Sabal Trail in jury trial, jsq on Scott James radio 2018-06-29

The just compensation for property takings required by the Fifth Amendment is not “just” compensation, said Scott James. And a jury of peers of a landowner told Sabal Trail to pay up five times what it offered for an easement for its fracked gas pipeline.

“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
—Fifth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Scott said this jury award was big news and asked if it was just compensation. I said yes, front page in the Valdosta Daily Times.


VDT front page

And five times is more just than before. But how is a one-time payment Continue reading

Sabal Trail violations FDEP assured us would not happen are happening

Already under the Withlacoochee River in Georgia there’s been a frac-out and a sinkhole at a drilling site, upstream from the Suwannee River in Florida, under which FDEP told us it couldn’t happen:

Lisa Prather, sole FDEP witness Well, the Suwannee River crossing doesn’t, in fact, have any impacts to an outstanding Florida water….”

“Well, any work within, or could have adverse effects on OFW, is considered. In this case, we determine that there would be no impacts to the OFW.

Apparently not only FDEP’s sole witness Lisa Prather believed Sabal Trail; according to a video yesterday by Cody Suggs at the Suwannee River, Sabal Trail’s own workers seem to believe their company’s propaganda.

Much more about WWALS v Sabal Trail & FDEP is on the WWALS website, including videos and transcripts of the landowners who also tried to warn FDEP that sinkholes happen like they already have including under at least two public roads in Suwannee County, Florida. And more about what already happened is on the WWALS website, plus things you can do to stop this $3 billion dollar fracked methane boondoggle.

For example, you may want to ask the permitting agencies some of the questions WWALS asked, including this one:

Which of FERC, FDEP, GA-EPD, USACE, SRWMD are working to protect the health, welfare and safety of the communities surrounding this pipeline and how are they doing that?

Given that I asked them for a prompt answer and two weeks later have gotten no answer at all, it sure looks like we the people will have to find and report violations and use other methods to stop this pipeline.

The transcript questions quoted below are Continue reading

Videos: More WWALS witnesses, rebuttal, Spectra speaks, and WWALS counsel summation in Day 3, WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP 2015-10-21

Willard Randall, expert welder Sabal Trail didn’t want to hear that Sierra Club is funding part of WWALS’ legal expenses and they really didn’t want to hear about Spectra’s speckled history of safety and compliance. The Respondents also didn’t expect the WWALS pipeline welder expert witness in this third and last day of the final hearing.

DEP tried to argue their own key applicant process substance person couldn’t qualify as an expert witness for WWALS. A sitting Suwannee County Commissioner testified. A fireman who lives near the proposed compressor station said a few words about Sabal Trail saying one thing and doing another. A string of WWALS witnesses talked about generations of use and enjoyment, joining WWALS because WWALS took in the upper Suwannee as territory, more new WWALS members, WWALS as a Waterkeeper® Alliance Affiliate.

The Respondents rebuttal witnesses were Continue reading

Videos: WWALS witnesses in Day 2, WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP 2015-10-20

Dennis Price cross-examination DEP’s only witness yesterday, today also a witness for WWALS, couldn’t find a document she needed in the Respondents’ cartload (literally) of documents, not even with the help of five Respondent attorneys, yet everyone could find items in the two WWALS exhibit books quite readily.

We also learned that concerns were irrelevant, only actual effects on WWALS members count, which made it too difficult for Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson to get qualified as an expert witness, even though she has assisted DEP and SRWMD in environmental issues. And we couldn’t talk about air quality issues, since DEP already issued an air quality permit for the Sabal Trail Hildreth compressor station in Suwannee County, so what David Shields could talk about was very limited, even though he and his family with their organic farm live downwind of that compressor station. However, WWALS expert witness Dennis Price hit geological questions out of the ballpark. And a cow did fall into a sinkhole.

Here are WWALS videos of each witness, followed by a video playlist. See also much more about this case, including videos of the other two days, and how you can help WWALS defend our members, the Suwannee River, and the Floridan Aquifer.

Videos: Sabal Trail’s case in WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP 2015-10-19

Surprise WWALS attorneys and mounds of Sabal Trail and FDEP documents, yet missing documents, overlooked gopher tortoises, and springs that apparently none of the respondents went to see, all in these WWALS videos of the first day of the case WWALS brought to defend its members, the Suwannee River, and the Floridan Aquifer against the invading Sabal Trail pipeline and the Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) and Easement to Use Sovereign Submerged Lands (Easement) the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) intends to issue to Sabal Trail.

Petitioner WWALS presented a surprise: two attorneys. Respondents Sabal Trail and FDEP presented a mound of documents. That was all in preliminary matters.

Then Sabal Trail presented its prima facie case, through its witnesses David Shammo and David Dickson.

Per previous agreement among the parties, WWALS presented out of order two witnesses, Tom Edwards and Joe “Britt” McClung.

Then Sabal Trail continued with witness Jim Ambrosino

Towards the end of the day, FDEP’s sole witness Lisa Prather testified.

Here’s a link to much more information including vidoes of the other two days of the hearing, and how you can continue to contribute to the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign for legal expenses (there will almost certainly be an appeal) or join WWALS.

Below are WWALS videos of Day 1, followed by a video playlist.

The ant testifies against the dinosaur: WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP continues 2015-10-21

It’s hard to qualify as an expert, but WWALS members count, too, Chris Mericle testifying as we defend the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers and the Floridan Aquifer against the Sabal Trail pipeline invader. Continuing this morning at 10AM in Jasper, Florida!

When: 10 AM Wednesday 21 October 2015

Where: Hamilton County Board of Commissioners Chambers,
207 NE First Street
Jasper, Florida 32052

What: WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP
Defending the Suwannee River and our water, land, and air against the invading Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline Continue reading

The ant with two attorneys: WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP Monday 2015-10-20

The ant continues against the dinosaur this morning!

John S. Quarterman, William R. Wohlsifer, Leighanne Boone, Judge Bram D.E. Canter, court reporter, Timothy Riley (Sabal Trail), other respondent attorneys When: 10 AM Tuesday 20 October 2015

Where: Hamilton County Board of Commissioners Chambers,
207 NE First Street
Jasper, Florida 32052

What: WWALS v. Sabal Trail & FDEP
Defending the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers, the Floridan Aquifer, the Florida Springs Heartland, and our water, land, and air against the invading Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline

Remember: Continue reading

Arsenic, Outings, and Flooding: WWALS Watershed Coalition @ VLCIA 2013-04-16

Water issues strongly affect economic development, so I talked about the new WWALS Watershed Coalition at the 16 April 2013 Board Meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority.

The VDT declined to speak, so I did. After apologizing for no okra today, I commended the Authority for talking about the missing agenda items and for mentioning due diligence and flood control.

Mostly I talked about the new WWALS Watershed Coalition, www.wwals.net, incorporated in June 2012, which is about watershed issues such as flooding, water quality, and invasive species related to the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River System. I mentioned arsenic in some local well water, which the Department of Health has finally said should be tested, three years after Janet McMahan discovered it was a problem. I invited VLCIA board and staff to two upcoming WWALS events:

WWALS board meetings are every second Wednesday of the month, usually at the IHOP in Adel because it’s centrally located. WWALS is communicating with Valdosta and various organizations about flooding and other watershed-wide issues, which in my opinion have to do with things like too much clearcutting without consideration for where the water goes, too much development without consideration for what the impervious surface would do, (to my surprise, the Executive Director and several board members nodded along with that) so it was good to hear them mention flood containment.

Here’s the video:


Arsenic, Outings, and Flooding: WWALS Watershed Coalition
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Norman Bennett, Tom Call, Roy Copeland, Chairman, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett, Andrea Schruijer, Executive Director, J. Stephen Gupton, Attorney, Tom Davis, CPA, Allan Ricketts, Project Manager,S. Meghan Duke, Public Relations & Marketing Manager, Lu Williams, Operations Manager,
Video by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 16 April 2013.

-jsq