GreenLaw Raises Environmental Justice Objections to Sabal Trail Pipeline

Citing objections to the disproportionate impact the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline will have on communities of color, GreenLaw filed comments on September 26, 2014 on behalf of the South Dougherty Community League, Dougherty County Commissioner John Hayes, and former Dougherty County Commissioner Gloria Gaines.

Press Release
For Immediate Release
September 26, 2014

Media Contacts:

Stephanie Stuckey Benfield                                                    MaKara Rumley
sbenfield@greenlaw.org                                                        mrumley@greenlaw.org
404-659-3122                                                                          404-659-3122

GreenLaw Raises Environmental Justice Objections to Sabal Trail Pipeline

GreenLaw files comments on behalf of current and past Dougherty County Commissioners

Albany, GA – Citing objections to the disproportionate impact the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline will have on communities of color, GreenLaw filed comments on September 26, 2014 on behalf of the South Dougherty Community League, Dougherty County Commissioner John Hayes, and former Dougherty County Commissioner Gloria Gaines.

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC (“Sabal Trail”), a joint venture of Spectra Energy Corp and NextEra Energy, Inc., is proposing an approximately 500-mile long pipeline that will run from Alabama to Florida, with 160 of those miles cutting through Georgia.  The route includes a 21-mile stretch of Doughtery County, including locating a gas compressor station that will be located near a predominately African-American community.  The compressor station will also be located close to the Resora Community, a 1600-acre former slave plantation that was converted about three years ago into a collective farming community. Expert data filed by GreenLaw shows that the compressor station will emit nitrogen oxides, volatile compounds, and methane gas – all of which contribute to unhealthy air quality for already vulnerable populations.

GreenLaw’s comments refer to a statement made by a Spectra Energy representative that the pipeline was intended to bypass the beautiful homes of Dougherty County, which regrettably routes the pipeline through low-income homes in a minority neighborhood.

“It is well-documented that low-income and people of color are routinely targeted to host facilities with negative environmental impacts, such as landfills, dirty factories, and – as in the case here – gas compressor stations,” says GreenLaw Environmental Justice Attorney, MaKara Rumley.  “It is unacceptable that this community must unfairly shoulder the burden of pollution.”

The comments were filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), the lead agency charged with reviewing and approving interstate pipelines.  FERC is currently reviewing documents filed by Sabal Trail, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies and interested individuals and organizations as part of the pre-filing process prior to formal filing.  GreenLaw’s comments are part of the pre-filing process.  “Our aim is to raise awareness of the environmental justice concerns before a formal application is filed so that these issues can hopefully be addressed and resolved,” stated Mrs. Rumley.

For citizens interested in following the progress of the pipeline, please visit greenlaw.org to sign up for newsletters and read additional information. 

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GreenLawis GreenLaw is a Georgia-based nonprofit law firm serving environmental and community organizations that have been adversely impacted by pollution.  Since 1992, GreenLaw has achieved these goals by providing free, high-quality legal and technical assistance to environmental organizations and community groups throughout Georgia. For more information, visit www.greenlaw.organd follow @greenlaw_GA on Twitter.