​STATEMENT BY GREENLAW ON THE SABAL TRAIL PIPELINE


Media Contact: Steve Caley, (404) 659-3122; scaley@greenlaw.org

Yesterday, acting on behalf of our clients the Sierra Club, the Flint Riverkeeper, and the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN), GreenLaw filed an appeal in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its issuance of three Clean Water Act permits that would allow construction of the 685-mile Florida Southeast Market Pipelines Project, including the Sabal Trail pipeline. This project would transport fracked gas across 699 waterbodies, lakes, rivers, and streams and harm 1,958 wetland systems in three states: Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

“Behind closed doors, the Army Corps of Engineers considered a legally mandated mitigation plan for the substantial destruction that this pipeline will cause to thousands of acres of critical wetlands and forests without disclosing the plan to the public for review and comment as required by law,” said Steve Caley, Legal Director at GreenLaw, who represents the plaintiff organizations in their legal challenge. “The Corps’ disclosure of the plan after issuing the Clean Water Act permits is improper and shows that the plan has major deficiencies. Given the threats this ill-advised pipeline poses to the Floridan aquifer, one of the largest freshwater aquifers in the world which supplies drinking water to millions of people in the Southeast, the Corps’ failure to follow clearly established law by transparently evaluating and disclosing how the pipeline’s substantial negative impacts would be mitigated is particularly egregious.”

A 501(c)(3) law firm focused exclusively on the environment and environmental justice in Georgia, GreenLaw advocates to preserve Georgia’s unique natural places and enforces compliance with environmental law through the court system on behalf of all of the State’s citizens.

“The actions on the part of the Army Corps of Engineers to issue Clean Water Act permits without proper notice and public participation further underscores how little regard is being given to the rights of Georgia citizens to clean water and a safe environment,” said David M. Paule, Executive Director of GreenLaw. “This pipeline brings minimal, if any, economic benefit to the State of Georgia. Certainly, the benefit does not in any way counter the documented risks. The Corps is prioritizing corporate profits over their legal obligations to the public.”

For additional information see: http://content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2016/08/groups-file-federal-lawsuit-block-construction-massive-fracked-gas-pipeline

About GreenLaw

As a 501(c)(3) law firm, GreenLaw advocates to preserve Georgia’s unique natural places and enforces compliance with environmental law through the court system. GreenLaw was founded in 1992 by attorneys, law professors, and judges committed to providing community groups in Georgia with the legal and technical tools needed to protect their environment and public health. For more information, please visit www.greenlaw.org.