Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 17, 2013

Residents opposed to natural gas pipeline

Concerns about tactics, property damage

VALDOSTA — Energy, one of Sabal Trail’s parent companies, has a link on its website titled “The Art of Transporting Natural Gas.” This link explains the pipeline components, compressor stations, metering stations, valves, and control stations. But before Sabal Trail can transport any natural gas through South Georgia as planned or anywhere else, the company must request permission from property owners to survey the property.

Sabal Trail Transmission was created by both Spectra Energy and NextEra Energy. In July, Sabal Trail was awarded a 465-mile interstate pipeline project by Florida Power & Light Company to transport more than 1 billion cubic feet per day, through a 36-inch pipeline, beginning in Tallapoosa County, Ala., extending through Georgia, and ending at FPL’s Central Florida Hub near Orlando. This pipeline runs through Colquitt, Brooks and Lowndes counties.

As of October, Sabal Trail narrowed the pipeline down to the preferred route in the proposed 600-foot corridor.

Andrea Grover, Spectra Energy public affairs representative, said, “Sabal Trail is still working with all the landowners along the study corridor for survey work. This will continue into next year. We have received nearly 90 percent survey approval to date.”

This surveying will allow the company to narrow its route further to the 100-foot construction corridor. Other natural gas lines running through the area only require a 50-foot corridor.

In a hand-out titled, “Sabal Trail Transmission: Right-of-way Easement Notifications, Negotiations and Acquisition,” the company states it will, “Meet with land owners to explain the details of the project, identify specific concerns land owners may have, and work with the landowners, project engineers, and environmental specialists to address these concerns.”

Many landowning residents along the pipeline are either feeling uninformed, or intimidated by Sabal Trail.

Larry Rodgers of Valdosta owns 900 acres in south Lowndes and he allowed Sabal Trail on his property to survey.

“I received a call from a lady, I think her name was Becky, down in Clearwater, Fla., requesting access to my property, and I allowed it,” Rodgers said. “I allowed them to, and I can’t tell you why I did. It caught me off guard. I wasn’t fully aware of all of the facts about the pipeline like I am now, and if I knew then what I know now, I certainly would not have allowed them to survey.”

Rodgers explained that he allowed Sabal Trail access to survey his property because he did not know a lot about the pipeline. But what made matters worse, once the surveying began, Rodgers found empty plastic water bottles and trash all over his property. The surveyors also put more than 100 wooden stakes on his property.

Noticing this behavior, Rodgers said he kicked the surveyors off of his property, and rescinded his approval to survey.

Rodgers opposes the pipeline because he is concerned about safety and his property value.

Lowndes County resident Carol Singletary has received several letters with “thinly veiled threats,” she said.

Singletary is adamantly opposed to allowing Sabal Trail access to her property, because of what she considers bullying tactics, Singletary said.

During an interview Thursday night, Singletary said she spoke with a Sabal Trail representative, and after a long heated discussion, she gave them permission to survey her property. But as soon as she made it home, Singletary had a letter on her door that threatened eminent domain, so she withdrew her permission to survey her property.

“The company undid all of that guy’s hard work,” Singletary said.

For Singletary, the biggest concern is safety.

“The impact area, if this pipeline were to fail, is a 600-foot radius. It would be like a nuclear bomb going off. It’s horrific. It would take my home out. It would kill my children. It would hit my grandchildren, and it would actually hit my neighbor across the street.”

The Times transposed the map provided by Sabal Trail over the map of Lowndes County and accompanying this article is a list of all the property owners and parcel numbers the pipeline may affect. Citing FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) guidelines, Sabal Trail representatives stated they could not provide a list of properties to the media.

Sabal Trail will host two open houses for Colquitt, Brooks, and Lowndes counties.

Brooks and Lowndes Counties: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, Clyattville Elementary School Cafeteria, 5386 Madison Highway.

Colquitt County: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, Moultrie Technical Facility, Building A (VPC Conference Center), 800 Veterans Parkway N., Moultrie.

Sabal Trail representatives will also be doing a presentation at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 9.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140421 - flooding Shiloh Rd B#1.jpg Road re-opens following flooding

    Lowndes County officials re-opened one road Monday while keeping an eye on the area’s waterways for potential flooding.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Justice_Scales.jpg Second ‘Quitman 11’ case mistrial

    Another week-long trial ended again in mistrial last week in the case of Lula Smart, the Brooks County woman charged in a case of unlawful possession of election ballots, according to court officials Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • graphic.jpg School systems get report cards

    South Georgia school systems received mixed results, with some showing performance increases while others suffered decreases, in the College and Career Ready Performance Index released Monday by Georgia State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • flood4c.jpg Flood warning extended

    A flood warning for the Withlacoochee River at Valdosta has been extended until Wednesday afternoon.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • doug henderson.jpg Memorial tourney returns

    The Doug Henderson III Memorial Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars for scholarship funds and to help organizations throughout the region.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914-WA-Egghunt021.jpg Park puts wild spin on Easter tradition

    Adventurous egg hunters braved overcast skies and a persistent drizzle to search for hidden prizes Saturday during Wild Adventure’s first Ostrich Egg Hunt.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenTree003.JPG More spills reported

    City of Valdosta employees have spent the weekend responding to spills caused by several inches of rain that have again drenched the city during the past few days.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Underwater Easter_Rich copy.jpg Stories behind ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’

    Christ comes from the Greek word, “Christos,” meaning “the anointed one.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418_valwood001.jpg Valwood students register to vote

    Valwood teaches its students about the importance of voting. Each year, the school has encouraged eligible seniors to register to vote and participate in local elections.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • wadebrandon14.jpg Police still seeking missing mother, son

    Though their assignments have changed during the past dozen years, Valdosta Police Capt. Bobbi McGraw and Sgt. Chris Crews continue working the case of a missing mother and her son.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results