Tag Archives: Environmental Protection Division

No Suwannee River Basin spills reported to Atlanta through 2018-10-15

Good news from GA-EPD! The forty spills reported to Atlanta since our last update included none in the Suwannee River Basin. So, according to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, no spills were reported since mid-September from Valdosta, Lowndes County, Quitman, Tifton, or anywhere else in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, not even during Hurricane Michael.

[Brown Dog out, 09:31:38, 30.8484784, -83.3482902]
Little River below Troupville Boat Ramp 30.8484784, -83.3482902

Even more surprisingly, no spills were reported from Albany or Bainbridge during this period, despite their lack of power and extensive damage.

Wouldn’t you prefer to get this information updated daily, without waiting for me to pry it loose from GA-EPD and fight with spreadsheets? Your organization can sign up to ask GA-EPD to publish spill reports online the same day they get them.

No spills also does not mean no contamination, so maybe you’d also like to help with the new WWALS water quality testing program.

The data received from GA-EPD yesterday in response to a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request is shown Continue reading

Georgia sewage spills from January 2015 through 2018-09-18

Here is every spill reported by all the large wastewater permits in the state of Georgia since the beginning of 2015 through this Tuesday, September 18, 2018. It includes spills in the Suwannee River Basin you probably didn’t know about.

If people downstream want to do something about wastewater coming from Georgia, this data suggests two things: insist Georgia publish spill reports online the same day like Florida and Alabama already do. And help fund WWALS water quality testing so we can find out what’s going on and when.

2015-2018, Valdosta
Just spills with a Valdosta address from 2015 on.

WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter extracted and sorted every spill with an address in Valdosta since the beginning of 2015: Spill-Detail-sorted_Valdosta_2015–2018-09-19. See also web version of this data.

I’ve been asking the City of Valdosta for a list of their spills and locations since at least 2015, and I’ve been collecting reports ad hoc since before then. Finally, we have this list, but not from Valdosta. We had to Continue reading

Stream Monitoring after Lowndes County Val-Tech Road Spill 2017-09-23

Here is Lowndes County’s (not Valdosta’s) stream monitoring data for a year after its September 23, 2017 raw sewage spill into a ditch that goes to the Withlacoochee River. The data show often worse water quality upstream than downstream. This is a good illustration of why WWALS is starting a water quality testing program.

Graphs, Below at GA 133

These graphs are in Water Reporter, where I put the data under the Suwannee Riverkeeper group. The first two graphs are from below the spill, downstream on the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 (St. Augustine Road).

Graphs, Below at GA 133

Fecal Coliform, Below at GA 133

The other graphs show nothing unusual for blackwater tannic acid rivers. This is the interesting graph, Continue reading

Valdosta Consent Order from GA EPD 2013-09-23

Due to tens of millions of dollars spent by Valdosta, we don’t see spills of tens of millions of gallons anymore. The most obvious Valdosta Sanitary System Improvement is the new, uphill, out of the flood plain, Withlacoochee Wasterwater Treatment Plant, pictured here on Scott Fowler’s office wall at Valdosta Utilities:

Withlacoochee WPCP 2016, Wastewater Plants
Withlacoochee WPCP 2016

The old, now-closed, Withlacoochee WTP was the plant that had the biggest problems back in 2009 and 2013. As found on the City of Valdosta website, the 23 September 2013 Valdosta Consent Order from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division is now also on WWALS website, including I made a web version, from which I extracted the paragraphs quoted below.

This was the original problem: Continue reading

Lead TMDL Evaluation for Three Segments in the Suwannee River Basin 2016-06-01

Through November 24, 2017, public comment is open about lead in our Georgia watersheds, in a new proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluation.

Map: Streams Not Supporting Designated, Lead Criteria Violation

Map: Streams Not Supporting Designated, Lead Criteria Violation

Georgia EPD, Proposed TMDLs, 29 September 2017, NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF REVISED TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS FOR WATERS AND POLLUTANTS OF CONCERN IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA, Continue reading

Sinkhole, Sabal Trail, Okapilco Creek, Brooks County, GA 2017-09-19

Update 2017-09-21: Yes, I reported it to GA-EPD, et al. (PDF), and here are facebook photos of most of the images below.

How close to exposed is Sabal Trail’s pipe? This sinkhole is at least a foot deep, maybe two or more, and Sabal Trail only buried their pipe three feet deep, despite requests by Brooks, Colquitt, and Lowndes Counties to bury it deeper.

At sinkhole, Sinkhole

N of sinkhole, Sinkhole

Is that fill material exposed Continue reading

Drilling mud oozing up into the Withlacoochee River from Sabal Trail HDD

Update 2016-11-14: GWC Dirty Dozen Press Conference at US 84 Bridge with tour of Sabal Trail HDD 2016-11-16

Update 2016-11-13:Sabal Trail still leaking drilling mud into the Withlacoochee River at US 84 in GA 2016-11-12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, November 11th 2016 — Sabal Trail leaked drilling mud up from their HDD pilot hole into the Withlacoochee River. Turbidity curtains and black pipe from the north bank They knew this before WWALS asked two weeks ago what is that yellow thing in the river? They did not tell WWALS or the public that this thing they testified could not happen did happen. The evidence is in writing from Sabal Trail’s contractor to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

This wasn’t even the actual horizontal directional drilling (HDD) borehole: it was just the smaller pilot hole. What will happen to the Withlacoochee River (or nearby water wells) with the main borehole? What will happen to the Ochlockonee River west of Moultrie, GA? What will happen to the Santa Fe River, where Sabal Trail is drilling now, or the Suwannee River, where it will drill soon, both Outstanding Waters of Florida, supposed to have extra measures of environmental protection? What about the Tallapoosa, Chattahoochee, or the other Withlacoochee (south) River?

“Why should we accept any risk to our waters, or eminent domain to take our lands, for an unnecessary pipeline, now that Continue reading

Albany Public Hearing, Sabal Trail Compressor Air Quality Permit –GA-EPD 2015-11-05

At Albany Technical College, 6:30 PM 5 November 2015. Here’s the GA-EPD Press Release, with links to the Public Notice, a Narrative, and the Draft Air Quality Permit. Continue reading

Two GA-EPD water advisories about US 84 widening project

Thirty-day comment periods closing 12 August 2015 to comment on the US 84 widening project, say 300x175 Greasy Branch, CSX Railroad, Upper Suwannee River Watershed, in Two GA-EPD water advisories about US 84 widening project, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 13 July 2015 two Public Advisories from GA-EPD Watershed Protection Branch. One is in the Satilla River watershed, about “two existing open water ponds (outflowing into jusrisdictional[sic] wetlands associated with Lees Branch)”: those ponds are next to the groundwater-contaminating CSX railyard in Waycross. One is in the Upper Suwannee River watershed, about “three existing open water ponds (outflowing into jusrisdictional[sic] waters associated with Greasy Creek and the CSX railroad)”. Maybe the Southern Environmental Law Center letter to GDOT and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers got some results, although these advisories are from a different state agency.

The Upper Suwannee one starts at Continue reading