Democrats of Indian River Adopt Sabal Trail Pipeline Resolution

by Heather Mitts

On Thursday evening, Patrick Zagorski and I presented a resolution about the Sabal Trail pipeline to the Democratic Executive Committee of Indian River on behalf of the Young Democrats of Indian River County. The reason for drafting and presenting this resolution was to take a stance against the construction of the pipeline and the transportation of fracked gas through our backyards in Florida. Since 2015, 10 Democratic Executive Committees across Florida have passed similar resolutions against the pipeline.  While the Democrats of Indian River County are a little late in taking a stance, we feel it is important to share our voice on the matter and support our neighboring counties that are being directly affected by this environmental nightmare.

If you are unfamiliar with the project owned by Spectra Energy, Duke, and FPL’s parent company, NextEra, it is a 515-mile-long pipeline that will transport natural gas (Fracked Methane) from Alabama, through Georgia, and ultimately end in Florida. The path of this energy snake runs through fragile Karst geology in North and Central Florida, also known as sinkhole country. Because of the route of this pipeline, should anything go wrong with its infrastructure, it has the potential to affect our wetlands, springs, rivers, caverns and the Florida Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to over 10 million people in the Southeast United States.

And, we know that with construction can come disruption. A disruption could release hazardous materials and drilling mud into the aquifer. This could result in the pollution of our fresh water and drinking water, in addition to rapid displacement of drilling mud throughout the aquifer. Once the project is completed, which is estimated to be May or June of 2017, Florida citizens could be at risk for a pipeline collapse from sinkholes, explosion, fire, and contamination of our water resources. Records show that Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC has had over 123 incidents (spills, leaks, fires, explosions and negligence) with their pipelines during 2010-2013.

There is no going back. If they destroy our aquifer, they destroy our water. Then, we are slated to become the next Flint with no potable water. We hope by passing this resolution more residents of Indian River County will become aware of what is quietly going on with the pipeline and help us to protect our environment. After all, water is life.