Tag Archives: Georgia Environmental Protection Division

WCTV at Hagan Bridge on Withlacoochee sewage spills downstream into Florida 2018-10-02

WCTV came to Hagan Bridge Landing at GA 122 on the Withlacoochee River to interview Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman about what Madison County and 10 more Florida counties are doing about Valdosta sewage spills into local rivers. Don’t forget the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 9:30 AM this morning, Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Enough is enough when it comes to sewage spills in local rivers, Hagan Bridge

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 2 October 2018, North Florida communities look to solve sewage spills in Valdosta, Continue reading

Request GA-EPD to timely publish spill reports 2018-10-02

Update 2018-10-18: Two Florida signers makes sixteen so far. You can still sign here to ask GA-EPD to tell us so we’ll know when they happen.

Update 2018-10-17: Fourteen signers so far. And here are the forty spills since last time. You can still sign here to ask GA-EPD to tell us so we’ll know when they happen.

Update 2018-09-03: The WCTV report and the text of the letter establishing the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force.

On WCTV tonight, Emma Wheeler will report about wastewater, Valdosta, and how at least eight downstream counties in Florida are organizing about it. She asked me for suggestions. My suggestions start with: sign a resolution asking GA-EPD to timely publish spill reports, and help WWALS with its new water quality testing program. And the Florida Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) could have more effect on the Suwannee River Basin than sewage.

Plus let’s not forget the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 9AM tomorrow morning, October 3, the WWALS Troupville Boat Ramp Cleanup October 13, the WWALS Boomerang paddle race November 3 from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and back, and 300 of our closest friends coming to the Withlacoochee River mid-June 2019 in Paddle Georgia.

printed, Resolution

The resolution asks the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) to do what Florida and Alabama already do: publish pollution spill reports online the same day they receive them, with signup for email notices. The first step in fixing pollution is Continue reading

FDEP now maps last 30 days of spills

Pollution spill maps online, up to date, with interactive links to details: Florida is doing it, and so can Georgia.

Florida, Maps

For more than a year FDEP has been posting spill reports online in a spreadsheet the same day it gets them, with email notice signup (Alabama also does that). FDEP has added a Public Notice of Pollution (PNP) Finder: Last 30 Days, which helps a lot in finding spills in our watersheds.

Did you know there was a Phosphoric Acid spill at White Springs last week, on Continue reading

Alabama sends email for sewage spills 2017-09-01

Florida does it. Alabama does it. Maybe Georgia should do it: post pollution notices online as they are received, and send out email notices to those who have signed up. That way cities and counties would not have to notify anybody but the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD), and Riverkeepers wouldn’t have to poll each and every city and county to find out what is going on.

Sewage spills in Alabama in 2016
See below for the interactive map of sewage spills in Alabama in 2016 by Alabama Riverkeepers, and see also the Florida map I drew from Florida’s Pollution Notices.

Alabama also requires reporters to include latitude and longitude in their reports, and to use an electronic reporting system. Both are great improvements on Georgia’s current methods of telephoning in a number and responding to open records requests with records that do not have GPS coordinates.

Dennis Pillion, AL.com, 1 September 2017, ADEM rolls out email notifications for sewage spills, Continue reading

VDT corrects Valdosta drinking water story 2017-05-17

Congratulations City of Valdosta! You got the VDT to issue a correction for that one sentence a week ago, even though the VDT blamed it on “a source cited in the article”, and came up with yet another number of violations that doesn’t match what NRDC says nor what Valdosta says, with still no specific comparisons to other local governments. So it’s a correction that doesn’t resolve anything. And you’re not helping your credibility problem, Valdosta, by quibbling over a single digit while neglecting to mention an entire year in which you did have drinking water violations that match what’s in NRDC’s map.

Correction, red faced non-admission
Valdosta Daily Times, page 3A, 17 May 2017

CORRECTION

An article headlined “Report. Georgia 5th in drinking water violations,” published 1n the May 10 edition of The Valdosta Daily Times contained an error that originated from a source cited in the article.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division said in an email, “Valdosta had six violations: two total coliform violations (one monitoring violation and one MCL exceedance) and four haloacetic acid violations (four consecutive quarters of a running annual average MCL exceedance from one sample location). These violations have all been resolved in an old database that preceded our current database. This actual violation was resolved in 1998.”

This correction is on page 3A, below the Crime Report. It does have a big red CORRECTION header, but Continue reading

Requesting protection of Suwannee River from Valdosta wastewater –Levy BOCC 2017-03-07

Levy BOCC passed a resolution Tuesday much like the Suwannee BOCC resolution, but adding instructions to transmit it to a wide range of Florida and U.S. elected officials and agencies.

If you’re in Valdosta today, the City Council meets at 5:30 PM; you can join us in talking to them about this, or send them email.

Thanks to Jessica Berryhill, Administrative Assistant I, Board Administration, Levy Board of County Commissioners, for the PDF.

RESOLUTION 2017-008

A RESOLUTION BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LEVY COUNTY, FLORIDA REQUESTING THE PROTECTION OF THE HISTORIC SUWANNEE RIVER IN NORTH FLORIDA.

WHEREAS, Levy County is located in North Central Florida and is bordered by the Historic Suwannee River on its western side; and

WHEREAS. the Historic Suwannee River is one of the most widely known and recognized river system in the world; and Continue reading

Ensure that Valdosta, Georgia eliminates the dumping of raw sewage into our rivers –Madison BOCC 2017-02-08

Apparently Madison County was the first in Florida to call for state help to resolve the Valdosta sewage situation, back on February 8, 2017.

Followed by Hamilton and Suwannee Counties, both on February 21, 2017, and the other three four downstream Florida counties seem to have it on their agendas. After all, people downstream have been complaining about this since at least 2013, and the 2009 old Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) overflow was one of the reasons for the founding of WWALS in 2012.

In the BOCC packet for the Wednesday March 8, 2017 Regular Meeting of the Madison County, Florida Board of County Commissioners, and see also PDF of just those two pages.

RESOLUTION 2017-02-08

A RESOLUTION BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MADISON COUNTY, FLORIDA ASKING FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HISTORIC SUWANNEE RIVER AND THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER IN NORTH FLORIDA.

WHEREAS, Madison County is located in North Central Florida and is bordered by the State of Georgia to the North and the Withlacoochee River and Historic Suwannee River to the East; and

WHEREAS, the Withlacoochee River starts its journey in Valdosta, Continue reading

Ask Florida governor to intervene about Valdosta wastewater –Suwannee BOCC 2017-02-21

The Suwannee County BOCC resolution is even more explicit than the Hamilton County one.

Thanks to Eric Musgrove, Clerk, Suwannee BOCC, for the PDF.

RESOLUTION 2017-26

A RESOLUTION BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF SUWANNEE COUNTY, FLORIDA REQUESTING THE PROTECTION OF THE HISTORIC SUWANNEE RIVER IN NORTH FLORIDA.

REQUESTING THE PROTECTION OF THE HISTORIC SUWANNEE RIVER IN NORTH FLORIDA WHEREAS, Suwannee County is located in North Central Florida and is bordered for 100 miles by the Historic Suwannee River on its north, west and south sides; and

WHEREAS. the Historic Suwannee River is one of the most widely known and recognized river system in the world; and

WHEREAS, the Withlacoochee River (North) begins at its headwaters in South Georgia, and flows into the Historic Suwannee River at Suwannee County’s northwestern border area; and

WHEREAS, Suwannee County and each Continue reading

Only Valdosta and Tifton spilled sewage in Georgia in Suwannee River Basin in January 2017

GA-EPD’s Atlanta office sent their entire sewage spill database for January 2017 in response to an open records request from WWALS. For the Suwannee River Basin, I see only the known ones by Valdosta, plus a spill from Moultrie’s Carlton Woods Lift Station into the Ocholockonee River, with 36000 gallons, which matches the amount we got directly from Moultrie. That Ochlockonee spill is still not in the Suwannee River Basin.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) Southwest office in Albany handles the other sewage treatment operations in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, and that Albany office already told us by telephone that they had no reported spills other than the Tifton spill into the New River which I had gotten directly from Tifton. So I think we can conclude there were no other sewage spills into the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia in January 2017 other than the ones from Valdosta and Tifton.

Interestingly, Valdosta with its 2.2 million gallon Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) leak (and three manhole spills) was not the winner. Continue reading

Two new reasons for a SEIS: WWALS to USACE, GA-EPD, and FERC 2016-07-08

LiDar Filed Friday as FERC accession number 20160708-5096, http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?document_id=14476452, “Two new reasons for a USACE Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and a halt to Sabal Trail permits; see also accession numbers 20160708-5089 and 20160708-5088, by WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. under CP15-17.” (PDF) Continue reading