EPA objects to portions of Sabal Trail pipeline, calls for re-routing
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it has environmental objections to significant portions of the proposed route of the $3.2 billion natural gas pipeline slated to traverse from Alabama through Georgia and North Florida to Florida Power & Light Company’s Martin County plant.
The EPA strongly recommends an alternative route be considered and selected to avoid impacts to the Floridan Aquifer which provides drinking water to millions of people, to environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, conservation areas and sensitive geologic formations, and to certain communities as well.
The Sabal Trail Transmission Project proposes to construct 480 miles of pipeline. It is a joint venture of a subsidiary of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy Inc. and Houston-based Spectra Energy. The southern 126 miles is proposed by Florida Southeast Connection, another NextEra subsidiary. If approved, it would transport natural gas from the Central Florida Hub to FPL’s plant near Indiantown and then to its plants in Riviera Beach and Hollywood.
It would be the state’s third major natural gas pipeline. FPL uses natural gas to generate 68 percent of its electricity.