LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Lowndes County is officially in opposition to the proposed Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline.
The pipeline would run from Alabama down to Florida and would pass through the Southwestern portion of Lowndes County, as well as portions of several other South Georgia counties.
County commissioners adopted a resolution opposing the pipeline at their meeting Tuesday night.
"Primarily, the decision to move forward with the resolution had everything to do with property rights and the citizens here in Lowndes County and how they will be able to use or not use their property once the pipeline goes onto their property," said Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter.
Dougherty County and Terrell County have also adopted similar resolutions.
"The pipeline originates in the state of Alabama," Slaughter explained, "terminates in the state of Florida to serve the folks in Florida. There is an alternate route that does not bring it through the state of Georgia and that route needs to be seriously considered."
Valdosta city council is expected to discuss adopting a similar resolution at their meeting Thursday night.
Michael Noll, President of Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy, said he expected the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee's final decision about whether to approve the pipeline to take a while due to the number of concerns sent to FERC by residents in areas that would be affected by the pipeline.
"What you realize what this pipeline is about," Noll stated, "connect the dots to the fracking industry, and then understand the violation of property rights and the endangerment of the environment, the danger that exists to the ground water aquifer below all our feet...you understand clearly that this is not a good choice."
Noll said Sabal Trail's emphasis on the positive aspects of the pipeline is disingenuous.
"They tell you there are jobs in it. There may be minor jobs in it, but they usually do not go to people in the community," Noll pointed out. "They tell you that this will make us independent of foreign oil. But ultimately, it does not make us independent of fossil fuels, which is the much larger problem."
The Federal Energy Regulatory Committee was in the process of reviewing the comments and concerns sent to them by residents from all of the areas that would be affected by the pipeline and will likely make a final decision whether or not to approve the pipeline sometime in 2015.