EPA urges different route for Sabal pipeline

[private]This has not been a successful year for pipelines in Georgia.

The Palmetto Pipeline that would transport petroleum products through the eastern part of the state has run into a roadblock from the Georgia Department of Transportation and is now in court as its owner tries to get the necessary permit.

The Sabal Trail pipeline, which would carry natural gas across a 160-mile stretch of southwest Georgia, is also encountering opposition from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

EPA officials said Monday the agency has environmental objections to the proposed route of Sabal Trail and is recommending that an alternative route be considered. The new route is needed to avoid adverse impacts on the Floridan Aquifer, a major source of drinking water for south Georgia residents.

EPA sent its objections to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which would have to issue a permit before construction could begin on the $3.2 billion pipeline project.

The EPA objections were disclosed shortly after Georgia’s four Democratic congressmen send a letter to FERC asking that the agency “require Sabal Trail to abandon its proposed pipeline route and compressor station location and to propose alternatives that will not adversely impact environmental justice communities in southwest Georgia.”

The letter was signed by Rep. Sanford Bishop of Albany, whose district would be most affected by the pipeline, and Reps. John Lewis, Hank Johnson and David Scott of Atlanta.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: EPA , FERC , Sabal Trail pipeline