Tag Archives: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and soon in Columbia County? 2018-07-11

Thanks to Jim Tatum of OSFR for spotting this op-ed in the Lake City Reporter yesterday by WWALS member and Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida about Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and likely planning to expand to Columbia County.

Dennis Price explains, Down to a sunless sea
Photo by John S. Quarterman of Dennis J. Price at the Dead River of the Alapaha River, 2018-01-27.

To the Editor:

Much has been written in the last year about Sam Oosterhoudt’s mitigation bank. I was involved in permitting the bank through the Army Corps (ACOE) and The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. It took about 5 years to get all the permits. Now, 9 years after work began on the project, the phosphate company (then PCS now Nutrien) petitioned the state to shut down the mitigation bank.

I do not know for sure, but, Nutrien may tell you that during the recent sale of PCS and the review of mineral interests owned, they discovered that the mitigation bank had snuck in there and set up shop over their minerals. This probably has some truth to it but I think there is a much more involved reason.

In Hamilton County, Nurtrien/PCS is planning to run out of phosphate to mine in about 10 years, give or take a few years either way. I do not believe they are planning on shutting the doors and leaving. Occidental Chemical Company started mining in Hamilton County Continue reading

Hotchkiss Road Landing, Old State Road, and Naylor Boat Ramp

Common question: isn’t Hotchkiss closed? Answer: the old Hotchkiss Landing in Lowndes County is closed, private, and don’t go there! Caution! But Hotchkiss Road Landing in Lanier County is open as always, do go there to get to the Alapaha River. Boat landing And there’s a new park at US 84, with a Naylor Boat Ramp being built by Lowndes County, as urged by WWALS.

600x450 Bret Wagenhorst, Dave Hetzel, Gretchen Quarterman, at Hotchkiss Road, in Alapaha River Outing, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 24 August 2014
Bret Wagenhorst, Dave Hetzel, Gretchen Quarterman, at Hotchkiss Road (open, do go there Boat landing), in Alapaha River Outing, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 24 August 2014.

Previously there was some discussion of using a different name for Hotchkiss Road Landing in the Alapaha River Water Trail, but then nobody would know what we were referring to, since that’s what it’s always been called, down at the end of Hotchkiss Road off of US 84.

For those relatively new to WWALS, WWALS was heavily involved in Continue reading

Gornto Road, Valdosta, access to Withlacoochee River 2018-01-24

It could use some markers to keep people on it and off private property, and maybe some loaner kayak wheels, but there is public access to the Withlacoochee River off of Gornto Road in Valdosta.

Tea-colored water, 16:22:37,, Withlacoochee River
Tea-colored water, 16:22:37,, Withlacoochee River 30.8623900, -83.3224600

And a very nice blackwater river it is. Continue reading

A Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida –Florida Waterkeepers 2017-12-18

Update 2018-08-18: Calusa Waterkeeper has also signed, bringing it to 11 of the 14 Waterkeepers in Florida. (See also PDF.)

Update 2018-08-01: Five additional signers: Suncoast Waterkeeper, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, Indian Riverkeeper, St. Marys Riverkeeper, and Collier County Waterkeeper. Seven of us delivered this resolution in person to FDEP Secretary Noah Valenstein.

Delivered via email as PDF to the Union BOCC before their phosphate mine workshop of Monday, December 18, 2017.


A Resolution
Against Phosphate Mines in Florida

WHEREAS, Waterkeeper Alliance Members are obligated and dedicated to protect the water resources, citizens’ interests, and related benefits in their jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, Resolution WHEREAS, phosphate mines have been shown to threaten and cause actual harm to these resources, interest, and related benefits; and

WHEREAS, there are several phosphate mine projects in various stages of permitting in local, state, and federal agencies including county and city governments, Water Management Districts (WMDs), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); and

WHEREAS, there seems to be no public list of current phosphate mines and related facitlities, which include at least

Continue reading

Cherry Creek & Stillhouse Branch, Lift Station, Sinks, Withlacoochee River

Why should anyone downstream care about an obscure creek north of Valdosta? Because it runs past sinkholes that leak into the Floridan Aquifer, into the Withlacoochee River, then into the Suwannee River, then into the Gulf of Mexico, going by all seven of the downstream Florida counties that passed resolutions asking the state of Florida to do something about Valdosta wastewater, not to mention neighborhoods and wetlands closer to the recent Cherry Creek Lift Station sewage leak, which was at least smaller than previous spills.

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

The orange red-circled disk shows Continue reading

State and local responses to Dunnellon Sabal Trail stink

Sabal Trail did not notify state or local officials about their “odorant” leak at the Dunnellon Compressor Station site, and Sabal Trail’s response to WWALS failed to mention local people called the same stink in to 911 two days in a row. FDEP said there’s no need so long as Sabal Trail follows various permits, but gave no indication of who is checking to see if Sabal Trail does that. Apparently we the people have to keep doing what the state and federal agencies still aren’t doing: watch Sabal Trail like a hawk.

Via FL 200
Google map of locations of Dunnellon High School and Sabal Trail Dunnellon Compressor Station. You can see most of the 100-foot Sabal Trail right of way.

Below are responses from FDEP and more details from Marion County Public Relations and Fire and Rescue, and from Dunnellon Fire and Rescue: none of them were notified by Sabal Trail, and FDEP seems OK with that. For the rest, an emergency plan would be prudent: “Run like hell” as in Spectra compressor station incidents elsewhere, is probably not adequate. Continue reading

Wide-ranging Sabal Trail opposition article by Molly Minta in The Fine Print

Molly Minta, The Fine Print, 5 February 2017, Rise Against the Machine: In 2013, Marion County residents began to receive letters from Sabal Trail Transmission. Now, they’ve made it their mission to save their land, and stop Sabal Trail.


Photo: Molly Minta.
An oak tree is felled by Sabal Trail construction workers.

Months before the town considered bankruptcy in 2013, residents of Dunnellon began to receive letters from a company called Sabal Trail Transmission. The letters were an introduction and explained why the company was coming to the area: to build a natural gas pipeline and compressor station. The letters were part of the first step in the process of getting a pipeline approved.

Only landowners within 600 feet of the pipeline received a letter, so not many people in Dunnellon are aware of it. But the ones who are fear it could completely disrupt their way of life.

The pipeline will pass within a mile of the Rainbow River; residents fear Continue reading

Stop Sabal Trail pipeline –Harriet Heywood, Citrus County Chronicle 2017-02-03

Harriet Heywood, Op-ed, Citrus County Chronicle, 2017-02-03, Stop Sabal Trail pipeline

Harriet Heywood Today Sabal Trail Inc. is pounding a 36-inch pipe under the Withlacoochee River to force-feed us Marcellus Shale fracked gas. The powers who own decision-makers have made sure laws and regulations designed to protect the planet don’t apply to themselves. Twentieth century mindset — 21st century reality notwithstanding, they’ll offer a few hundred temporary jobs, conduct corporate social responsibility PR programs before moving on to other ventures, enabled by government agencies and politicians eager to board the fracked-gas crony capitalist bullet train, while the people, our waters and health are classified acceptable risks.

Mission accomplished while taking land through eminent domain with an unknown (by the public) quantity for export — unsurprising since there are Continue reading

Solar power versus Sabal Trail –Suwannee Riverkeeper in VDT 2017-01-08

Op-ed, Valdosta Daily Times, today, January 8th 2017:

John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper Sabal Trail and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection assured us there would be no problems drilling a 36-inch natural gas pipeline through the fragile karst limestone under the Suwannee River in Florida, yet already Sabal Trail’s pilot hole under the Withlacoochee River in Georgia caused a frac-out of drilling mud into the river and a sinkhole.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should halt construction and do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

When I happened to fly over the Withlacoochee River frac-out, I also saw Continue reading

Stop Sabal Trail fracked gas pipeline; invest in solar –John S. Quarterman in Citrus County Chronicle 2016-12-25

Here’s a Christmas present for pipeline opponents and solar power proponents.

John S. Quarterman John S. Quarterman, Citrus County Chronicle, other voices, 25 December 2016, Stop gas pipeline; invest in solar,

Sabal Trail and FDEP assured us there would be no problems drilling a 36-inch natural gas pipeline through the fragile karst limestone under the Suwannee River and the Withlacoochee (south) River in Florida, yet already Sabal Trail’s pilot hole under the Withlacoochee (north) River in Georgia caused a frac-out of drilling mud into the river and a sinkhole. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should halt construction and do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

When I happened to fly over the Withlacoochee (north) River frac-out, I also saw Continue reading