By: James Buechele
October 23, 2013
Valdosta, GA - A proposed gas pipeline could wind through Lowndes County.
The Sabal Trail Transmission is a proposed gas pipeline starting in Alabama, running through Georgia and ending near Orlando. Part of that pipeline could go through portions of Lowndes County.
VSU associate professor of Geography, Michael Noll, says federal jurisdiction could be used to get the pipeline where the companies need it to go.
"[Eminent Domain] has given them basically the right to build a gas pipeline anyway they want, with or without consent of the landowners."
The project is a joint venture between Spectra Energy Corp. and NextEra Energy Inc. Construction on the proposed gas pipeline wouldn't even begin until 2016 and the companies are hoping that it will become operational by 2017.
Chairman Bill Slaughter of the Lowndes County commission says resident's concerns are being listened to locally despite the federal government's involvement.
"Bottom line is we're going to be looking out for the citizens of Lowndes County."
Andrea Grover, spokesperson for the Sabal Trail Transmission released this statement.
"Sabal Trail Transmission has chosen a proposed pipeline route that is more rural and lessens stakeholder impact. Our original routing was closer to Valdosta. In addition, the company will do extensive civil, environmental and archaeological surveys to further minimize the pipeline’s impact. We are actively meeting with property owners along the route to learn more about their property and to educate them about the pipeline proposal. This is a long cooperative process with construction expected to begin in May of 2016."