Tag Archives: Jasper

Sabal Trail, WWALS, OSFR’s Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, and FERC’s John Peconom in Jasper, FL 2014-10-21

Four years ago Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson set the festive tone outside a special Sabal Trail Open House:

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and family, Open House
Photo: John S. Quarterman, the family that demonstrates together stays together: “No pipeline in springs heartland” and “No pipeline in my future” and “Stop fossil fuel production”.

Merrillee has been in the thick of opposing fossil fuel boondoggles and promoting clean solar power since at least 2013.

Why was this one of only two Sabal Trail Open Houses in fall 2014, way back when FERC’s John Peconom actually answered when any of us called? Continue reading

Burt Kornegay on the Little River 2018-03-24

Very experienced retired outfitter Burt Kornegay from western north Carolina paddled the Little River from just below its one dam to the Withlacoochee and on to the Suwannee a week ago, and liked it a lot.

If you want a really good four-day canoe trip, put in right near Reed Bingham State Park at the highway 37 bridge. There’s an excellent put in right there. And spend four days canoeing down this river. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

That’s from somebody who has led expeditions all over the U.S., from the Grand Canyon to the Smokey Mountains, interviewed Saturday a week ago at Troupville Boat Ramp.

A happy paddler, Arriving

A happy paddler, Arriving

Continue reading

Nutrien (PCS Phosphate mine) 5-year permit renewal 2018-03-16

Hamilton County citizen and WWALS member Chris Mericle sent this Friday, with permission to post.


Hey John,

I just wanted to relate to you the status of the 5 year mining permit renewal for Nutrien (formerly PCS).

I was in a long teleconference yesterday afternoon where we were trying to negotiate for several modifications to the mining permit.

Figure 4. Location of existing and proposed Phosphogypsum Stack Systems (PGSS), Map
Figure 4. Location of existing and proposed Phosphogypsum Stack Systems (PGSS), in FINAL REPORT: Review of PCS Phosphate — White Springs; Activities and Operations Related to Five-Year Renewal of Special Permit 03-1. Review Period: January 2013 through December 2017 Prepared tor: Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners. February 23, 2018. Prepared by: Lampl-Herbert

In attendance: Continue reading

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west. You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee. Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer.


Irwin County, 1885a, GeorgiaInfo, Rand McNally Map of Georgia, 1885

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12., quoted in Ray City History Blog, 18 October 2010, More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River,

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.

VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges Continue reading

Pictures: PCS Phosphate mine permit Public Hearings, Jasper, FL 2018-01-23

Update 2018-01-25: Fixed Attorney Scott Shirley’s attribution.

Hamilton County did due diligence by hiring a consultant to review the PCS phosphate mine’s record and permit applications. The Mericles and me were the only non-county non-PCS people who spoke, but the Planning and Zoning Board interacted quite a bit last night at the public hearings. Both the motions they passed recommended approval of the permits, but the second motion included taking into account the points raised by the public, such as better public access to permit materials and review of the mining company’s water quality data.

Some of the cast; Cliff Adams took notes throughout, Public Comment
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Left to right: Deanna Mericle, Consultant Gregory M. Hitz, County Attorney Cliff Adams, Planning and Zoning Board: A.L. Milner(?), Eddie Wynn, Megan Carter, Jim Tompkins, Harrell Tyree, Riley L. Anderson, for PCS: Attorney Scott Shirley, Danny Johnson.

County Attorney Cliff Adams took notes throughout, and there was a sound recording.

The public consisted of Continue reading

PCS Phosphate Mine Special and Renewal Permits, Jasper, FL 2018-01-23

While residents of Union and Bradford Counties, Florida try to fight off the proposed HPS II phosphate mine on the New and Santa Fe Rivers, Hamilton County faces renewal and modification of permits for the PCS Phosphate mine, near White Springs and the Suwannee River.

When: 6PM, Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Where: County Commission Meeting Room, County Courthouse,
207 Northeast First Street, Jasper, Florida

What: North Florida Public Notices, search for PCS Phosphate finds notices for two public hearings the same evening:

Closeup, PCS Plant,
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS on Southwings flight 2016-10-22.

1. 1/11/2018

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CONCERNING APPLICATION FOR MODIFICATION TO MASTER MINING PLAN AND SPECIAL PERMIT BY THE PLANNING AND ZONING BOARD OF HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA, NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, Continue reading

Hamilton Solar Farm by Duke Energy at Sabal Trail pipeline

Irony: Duke Energy is building a 75 megawatt solar farm right next to the Sabal Trail pipeline, of which Duke is a 7.5% owner.

Dust no more! The same place Chris Mericle reported having a dust storm little more than a week ago, last week he discovered Duke Energy is replacing the center pivots with solar panels.

SW 69th Drive and SW 40th Avenue, At Sabal Trail pipeline
SW 69th Drive and SW 40th Avenue, in Sabal Trail path digitized by WWALS.

The little red dot near the center of the above map is where Duke Energy says this solar farm will go. The red line is the Sabal Trail pipeline, next to the power line Duke will be using for the solar electricity. How about turn off the pipeline, Duke, and put solar panels along its right of way? As I computed using Sabal Trail’s own figures three and a half years ago, half that RoW acreage could generate just as much electricity from the sun as that pipeline would ever produce, and solar panel prices have gone down since then.

Duke Energy Florida, unknown date, Hamilton Solar Plant, Continue reading

Gibson Park to CR 141, Suwannee River, 2017-08-13

A pleasant just over five mile Sunday paddle on the Suwannee River as we take a short upstream paddle to the Alapaha River Rise. Then enjoy the river’s current downstream past the Alapaha River Confluence (there may be water in the Alapaha) to County Road 141 Ramp. There are a couple of springs along the way. Those still feeling energetic can paddle a few more thousand feet down to the Sabal Trail crossing and back to CR 141.


Suwannee River beach, 2015-08-15, 30.4193954, -83.1344223

Bring the usual personal flotation device, water, snacks, first aid kit, and gloves, trash bag, and gripper because every WWALS outing is also a cleanup. If you do not have a boat, ask us, or contact one of the many outfitters.

When: 9AM, Sunday, August 13, 2017

Put-In: Gibson Park Ramp, SRWT MILE 135.4, 6844 SW CR 751, Jasper, FL 32052, From Jasper, travel southwest on SW CR 249 to SW CR 751; turn left and boat ramp is on the right in Gibson Park.

GPS: Continue reading

PCS Phosphate Mine 2016-10-22

W across PCS Phosphate Mine, 30.4429360, -82.7851800 Is this what you want Bradford, Union, and other counties in Florida to look like? I wonder what effect this phosphate mine had on the much lowered water level of White Springs, or the Suwannee River?

The PCS Phosphate mine in Hamilton County near White Springs and Jasper spread under our Southwings plane while surveying the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline 22 October 2016. On board were Southwings pilot Roy Zimmer, photographer Dominick Gheesling, Jim Tatum of Our Santa Fe River, and John S. Quarterman of WWALS. Here are pictures by Jim Tatum, a few videos by John S. Quarterman, and a Google map showing the locations. 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