Sabal Trail gas pipeline meets more opposition

Two weeks after the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rejected a Georgia group’s petition to challenge a DEP permit for the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, the WWALS Watershed Coalition — an advocacy group focused on the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little and Upper Suwannee rivers in Georgia and Florida — has filed another petition.

The DEP general counsel will now review this petition and decide whether to allow it to proceed to the state Division of Administrative Hearings.

Florida’s DEP is backing the award of a key environmental permit for the controversial US$3 billion 267 miles long Sabal Trail pipeline to a joint venture majority-owned by Houston-based Spectra Energy.

Pipeline project details

The Sabal Trail Transmission is proposed as an interstate natural gas pipeline to run from Alabama, through Georgia south to Orange County, south of Orlando.

Spectra owns 59.5%; Florida Power & Light parent NextEra Energy owns 33%; and Duke Energy, which spun off its natural gas business to form Spectra in 2007, recently paid US$225 million for a 7.5% stake.

Those are some of the opposing viewpoints surrounding the Sabal Trail, Florida Southeast Connection and Hillabee Expansion Project. Combined, the projects involve the construction and operation of over 650 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline and related facilities such as five massive compressor stations in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: Ocala.comMiami HeraldPalm Beach Post

Published on 01/09/2015

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