Urge your Georgia state legislators to stop coal ash pollution: HB 93, 94 and SB 123

Crossover day is this Thursday, by which bills have to pass one part of the Georgia legislature to be considered in the other. Please contact your state legislators today to stop coal ash pollution!

Coal ash from the infamous Kingston, Tennessee coal ash pond dam break in 2008 was shipped to at least five landfills in south Georgia, including the old landfill in Lowndes County, which is in an aquifer recharge zone and a quarter mile uphill from the Withlacoochee River. That landfill also has coal ash from Jacksonville, Florida. We don’t need any more coal ash in any landfills in Georgia. The power companies that produced it need to store it safely on their own land.

TVA aerial image of Kingston Ash Slide 2008-12-23
TVA aerial image of Kingston Ash Slide 2008-12-23.

Please call your Georgia state legislators today, to support:

Two of its co-sponsors’ districts are at least partly in the Suwannee River Basin: Sen. William Ligon (District 3 containing the Chesser Island Landfill on the other side of the Okefenokee Swamp) and Greg Kirk (13th, including half of Tift and Turner, Worth, Crisp, Wilcox, and Dooly Counties).

Right now dumping coal ash in a landfill actually costs less than for household garbage, making Georgia an attractive dump for coal ash from everywhere. Let’s change that!

SB 123 could also use support from Senators Ellis Black (8th, including Lowndes, Brooks, Echols, Clinch, Lanier, Cook, and half of Thomas Counties), Dean Burke (11th, including Colquitt and part of Thomas Counties), and Tyler Harper (7th, including half of Tift, and Ben Hill with the Fitzgerald landfill, Irwin, Berrien, Coffee, Atkinson with the Willacoochee landfill, Bacon, and Ware Counties and half of Charlton, so the west or Suwannee half of the Okefenokee Swamp). Sen. Harper is also Chair of the Georgia Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment, which is the most likely committee to hear SB 123.

Plus, unlike the “dismal lack of public notice” back in 2008, let’s at least require power companies to tell us when they’re dewatering a coal ash pond, and landfills to tell us when they plan to take coal ash. Jeff Jones has once again proposed two bills:

Here’s a handy Protect Georgia form to find your state legislators.

Or here are lists of the Georgia House and Senate members in the Suwannee River Basin.

Remember that:

Almost every coal-fired power plant in the US is contaminating groundwater with unsafe levels of toxic pollution, according to the first comprehensive analysis of the consequences of coal ash waste disposal.

We don’t want that stuff in our landfills.

It took ten years until finally in November 2018:

A jury in U.S. District Court spent five hours deliberating before returning a verdict Wednesday in favor of the hundreds of blue-collar laborers who say they were sickened during the clean-up of the nation’s largest coal ash spill.

We don’t want that kind of health risk in our landfills. Please contact your Georgia state legistors today.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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