Florida Southeast Connection Pipeline: Limerock Sand Mine (Polk County, FL)
The Sabal Trail Natural Gas Pipeline (“Sabal Trail”) is a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, NextEra Energy, Inc. and Duke Energy, which has now constructed an interstate pipeline of some 515 miles to service Florida Power and Light (“FPL”) and Duke Energy of Florida (“DEF”). The 494-mile project originates in Alabama, stretches through Georgia, and terminates in Florida. Roughly 268 miles, 247 miles of 36-inch diameter and 21 miles of 24-inch diameter pipe, are located in Florida. The project traverses 12 Florida counties, including Hamilton, Suwannee, Gilchrist, Levy, Alachua, Marion, Sumter, Lake, Polk, Osceola, Citrus, and Orange Counties. Its northern portion is referred to as the Sabal Trail Natural Gas Pipeline while its southern portion is referred to as the Florida Southeast Connection Natural Gas Pipeline System (“FSC”). FSC is owned by NextEra Energy which, in turn, is a wholly owned subsidiary of FPL.
In 2017, FSC condemned both temporary and permanent natural gas pipeline easements through property put to the use of a limestone sand mine in Polk County, FL. FSC made its initial offer before filing a lawsuit in the amount of $375,000. The owners of the property claimed severance damages based upon a loss of utility with respect to their mining use. Following discovery and mediation, Brigham Property Rights Law Firm negotiated a settlement for a net award of $1,530,000 to the owners.