Georgia's beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker
Lovely birds like the woodpecker above will be affected by the environmental intrusion of Spectra Energy's Sabal Trail Transmisson.
Another bird that will be negatively affected by the pipeline is Georgia's Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
Photography and Article by Curtis and Norma Beaird
The proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline is continuing to plague the citizens of Southwest Georgia. This pipeline will affect the following Georgia counties:
Stewart, Webster, Terrell, Lee, Doughtery, Mitchell, Colquitt, Brooks, Lowndes
It will also affect the states of Florida and Alabama.
From the Sabal Trail Transmission website, here is a description of the project:
(Click to read a larger size print)
We had originally written an article entitled, Spectra Energy, Like a Bull in a China Shop. We had written about how Spectra Energy is suing family landowners in Georgia, to include farm families. Spectra will stop at nothing to get land for their pipeline while the landowners of Georgia receive another environmental hazard in their backyard.
It's bad enough that Spectra feels the need to claim eminent domain to take what they want. It's even worse that they are willing to either move, displace or relocate numerous families to build a dangerous gas pipeline. And yes, gas pipelines are dangerous. Just Google "Natural Gas Pipeline Accidents" and get a cup of coffee.
Former County Commissioner of Doughtery County, Georgia, Ms. Gloria Gaines, has been actively fighting for her community to stop the plans of Spectra Energy. Ms. Gaines has delivered passionate and eloquent pleas to halt the environmental pollution of a compressor station and pipeline. If you wonder why Ms. Gaines has a right to be upset over this, just read the problems with this pipeline and why people are asking citizens all over the state of Georgia to sign this petition. The following list of Sabal Trail issues were gathered from the petition page.
.....or exported for profit.
Former County Commissioner Ms. Gloria Gaines made a plea during a recent silent protest in Doughtery County. She does not agree with the building of the pipeline or the building of the compressor station near a populated area.
The following is Spectra Energy's current front page of their website. One of their claims is rather confusing. Just keep reading.
(Click to read larger size print)
According to Spectra Energy's website:
We thrive by achieving the right balance among economic, environmental and social considerations critical to stakeholders like you.
The right balance among environmental and social considerations?
Really? Have we missed something?
How is it balanced to run a pipeline beneath four rivers in Georgia?
The Sabal Trail pipeline’s path across southwest Georgia would require boring underground pipelines beneath the Withlacoochee, Flint and Chattahoochee rivers as well as numerous smaller streams, and will course underground above the Floridan aquifer.
The Floridan aquifer is the region’s most important water source, providing more than 600 million gallons a day to irrigate crops, run industries and supply homes and businesses with drinking water.
The currently proposed pipeline route runs through Stewart, Webster, Terrell, Lee, Dougherty, Mitchell, Colquitt, Lowndes and Brooks counties—a swath of land that is home to rare wildlife including the Georgia state reptile—the federally endangered gopher tortoise—along with the federally protected indigo snake and Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Other communities in the region may be impacted depending on the final route chosen.
Also, according to the Georgia Water Coalition...
Given the karst geology of southwest Georgia, the dangers of an underground pipeline are especially profound. Sinkholes are increasingly common in the region and may cause pipeline leaks that could easily contaminate the underground aquifers that serve as the drinking water source for many rural residents.
Meanwhile residents of Albany are particularly alarmed because a compressor station would be located near homes, churches and parks. Pipeline compression stations are a major source of noise pollution and also emit nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory problems.
One of the concerns of a natural gas pipeline is nitrogen oxides. According to the Tox Town website (U.S. National Library of Medicine):
Nitrogen oxides are a group of gases that are composed of nitrogen and oxygen. Two of the most common nitrogen oxides are nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. The chemical formula for nitric oxide is NO; for nitrogen dioxide, it is NO2. Nitrous oxide, N2O, is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Nitric oxide is a gas with a sharp, sweet smell; it is colorless to brown at room temperature. Nitrogen dioxide is a colorless to brown liquid at room temperature, with a strong, harsh odor. It becomes a reddish-brown gas at temperatures above 70 degrees F.
Nitrogen oxides are released into the air from motor vehicle exhaust or the burning of coal, oil, diesel fuel, and natural gas, especially from electric power plants. They are also released during industrial processes such as welding, electroplating, engraving, and dynamite blasting. Nitrogen oxides are also produced by cigarette smoking.
Nitrogen oxides, when combined with volatile organic compounds, form ground-level ozone, or smog. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react with precipitation, oxygen, and other substances in the atmosphere to form acid rain.
Nitric oxide is used to bleach rayon and produce nitric acid. Nitrogen dioxide is used to produce rocket fuels, explosives, and other chemicals. Nitrogen dioxide is sometimes used to bleach flour.
According to the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club website:
The Sabal Trail Compressor Station will displace 50 families in Doughtery County.
Additonally, another 500+ homes are located within a mile and a half of the proposed location. Sabal has misled FERC about the noise level of these Compressor Stations, which homeowners will experience at all hours of the day and night. The Sabal noise study was done in a humid month when the wind was blowing from the North. In the drier, colder winter months, sounds travel further, especially at night. These other homeowners have not been notified by Sabal, and if this permit is approved, will be subjected to a constant "conversation-level" noise in the middle of the night.
Finally, concerns have been expressed that this a new technology that has not been properly noise tested; there are inadequate protections for soft terrorism targets per Homeland Security; and cancer rates are high in the vicinity of existing gas pipelines and compressor stations.
Of course, who is worried about pipeline accidents and environmental hazards when the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Spectra Energy Corporation was compensated $10,265,055.00 as of Fiscal Year 2014.
If you were a Las Vegas gambler, would you bet on CEO Gregory Ebel having a natural gas compressor station such as in the following You Tube video near his property? According to the Switchboard website, compressor station concerns are not groundless worries. Just listen to these melodious sounds and tell me how much your family would enjoy a backyard barbecue next to this.
If a compressor station comes to Doughtery County, Georgia, this is what they have to look forward to. However, Spectra Energy CEO Gregory Ebel probably doesn't experience this at the old homeplace.
One of the most shocking accounts about living near a compressor station comes from this website. A man raised registered Limousin Cattle for 15 years. Then, a natural gas compressor station was built approx. 0.9 miles from his home. After 15 years of raising cattle, he had his first sterile prize bull. The story is frightening. Click on the following letter to read the rest of the story. It's mind-boggling to think that there are not state laws across the board to prevent Low Frequency Noise (LFN) such as this.
The following video showcases the type of compressor station that Spectra Energy plans to build in Albany, Georgia (Doughtery County).
From the Sabal Trail Transmission website:
Albany Compressor Station (approximate MP 159.3) – In service 2020. Construction of a new compressor station near Albany in Dougherty County, Georgia after the initial Project in-service date. The compressor station will include one Solar Titan 130 compressor unit. An additional Solar Titan 130 compressor unit will be constructed in a later phase of the Project with an in-service date of 2021.
Does this compressor station look like something that belongs near a populated area?
The possible health issues near a natural gas compressor station are scary, to say the least. The potential for a gas pipeline leak and subsequent explosion is astounding. And, corporations like Spectra Energy continue to believe that the citizens are just fine and dandy with 24/7 risk.
They want us to believe that Low Frequency Noise (LFN) will not interfere with breeding birds or bird populations. They want us to believe that the emissions from a compressor station will not cause trees to die or flowers to wilt. They want us to believe that breathing the fumes from a leaking natural gas pipeline or a noisy compressor station will not cause a multitude of health problems.
According to Current Results:
Industrial Noise Interferes with Breeding Birds
The incessant din from compressor stations located along energy pipelines in Alberta's boreal forest makes it difficult for male ovenbirds to find a mate.
Scientists believe that compressor station noise drowns out the song that male ovenbirds sing to attract females. The machinery's racket could also distort birdsong, rendering males as less attractive suitors. Loud compressor stations might interfere as well with the warblers' other vocal communications and with detecting predators. Many other bird species nesting in the forests could also be affected in these ways by the constant blare.
What can we do?
First of all, laws need to be passed in every state to stop corporations from attempting eminent domain on a landowner's property. If a landowner is unwilling to have a pipeline (gas or oil) built on their property, they should have the right to decline without the fear of being sued by a large corporation.
Secondly, laws need to be passed in every state regarding Low Frequency Noise (LFN) which obviously contributes to health and environmental problems.
Our taxes pay our politicians' salaries. We vote these people into office. Their job is to serve the people, not themselves. Their job is to legislate in the best interest of the citizens of their state, not in the best interest of a corporation who is donating to their campaign.
Right now, time is of the essence. It is critical. Today, we need your help in the following ways.
1. Call Governor Nathan Deal's office and tell him that you oppose the Sabal Trail Pipeline. His number is (404) 656-1776. This will only take a few minutes. The governor's office needs to hear from you.
2. Send a letter to FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission). The Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club has made this process very easy. Click here to send a letter by Monday evening on July 20, 2015.
For more information on the continuing story of the Sabal Trail Transmission, please go to Spectrabusters. They have amassed an amazing amount of information and have documented the issue with Spectra Energy's Sabal Trail Pipeline from day one.
We may think that it's okay to plow through rivers with pipelines or to dig through wetlands and wildlife management areas; however, we must not forget...
When the birds and wildlife began to disappear,
When the trees and flowers begin to die,
When the rivers are no longer safe to fish in,
When the water is no longer fit to drink,
Guess who's next.
Copyright 2015, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.