Sabal Trail pipeline construction is approved -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sabal Trail pipeline construction is approved

Jerry Funderburk, Resident Jerry Funderburk, Resident
Roger Marietta, City Commissioner Roger Marietta, City Commissioner

The Federal Government gives the greenlight to a controversial natural gas pipeline many people fought. It will go through multiple South Georgia counties and will include a compressor station in Dougherty County.

Yesterday, Sabal Trail received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct the pipeline. Residents who are against it say they aren't giving up the fight.

A compressor station will soon be built near the intersection of W Oakridge Boulevard and Lockette Station Road in Dougherty County. It’s just yards from a mobile home park where Jerry Funderburk and his family lives.

"Right now we have a petition going around to see if we can still beat this, it's not over yet, said Jerry Funderburk, Resident.

FERC issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement which says they've responded to concerns raised by stakeholders and feel the project will not have a significant effect on local communities. Albany city commissioner Roger Marietta says it's a decision he was expecting and he plans to fight it through the National Environmental Protection Agency.

"File an environmental justice issue concerns,” said Roger Marietta, City Commissioner. “We've got 25 days to file those from the decision which was January 29th.

The pipeline will go from central Alabama to central Florida and will include five compressor stations. Side taps for future gas use in Georgia will be located in Colquitt, Dougherty and Mitchell Counties.

Marietta says Congressman Sanford Bishop and other African American congressmen wrote letters raising environmental justice concerns claiming the project will negatively impact poor and minority communities.

"So we feel that this a good issue because the pipeline is cutting through a predominantly African American district,” said Marietta.

Marietta is encouraging others to keep fighting.

"Given Murphy's law I think the pipeline company's track record we can expect some negative things to happen so I don't think now is the time to give up,” said Marietta.

Sabal Trail expects construction to start in May or June. The estimated $3.2 billion dollar project is expected to be placed into service by May 1, 2017.

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