Tag Archives: Health

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:

Monthly Florida bacterial monitoring 2019-02-21

Two weeks ago, WWALS member Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson asked the state of Florida what baseline water quality testing had been done downstream of Valdota, and:

Please begin water samplings for the isotope for sucralose, fecal coliform testing and any other water testing establishing what or who is culpable of contamination in our protected, Outstanding Florida Waterways.

Yesterday she got an answer. She agrees with my assessment of the data supplied: “Sparse locations and only monthly, but better than nothing.”

[DEAR bacterial monthly sampling stations]
DEAR bacterial monthly sampling stations

However, how can the state of Florida be “committed to monitoring and stopping this recurring problem.” when they “do not allow for enforcement actions directed at the source of sanitary sewer overflows, nor for routine water quality surveillance for sources of river water contamination”?

Now it’s true that last restriction was only cited as applying to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), not the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration (DEAR), and not to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD). But which of this alphabet soup of agencies should be doing “routine water quality surveillance for sources of river water contamination”?

The beginning of the final paragraph of the response does not indicate any intention Continue reading

EPA kicks PFAS regulation a year down the road

Yesterday’s EPA PFAS plan does nothing except to study for a year or more what has already been studied. Where are the limits on amounts of these firefighting chemicals in water that would enable EPA or GA-EPD to test private wells, for example for the PFAS that got into groundwater from Moody Air Force Base’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, causing Moody’s report to say be careful eating fish caught in Beatty Branch or Cat Creek, upstream from the Withlacoochee River? Where are the funds and methods to remediate the problem and to stop it getting worse?

[Figure 25 Waste Water Treatment Plant (AFFF Area 8) PFBS, PFOA, and PFOS in Soil and Sediment]
Figure 25 Waste Water Treatment Plant (AFFF Area 8) PFBS, PFOA, and PFOS in Soil and Sediment

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 14 February 2018, EPA’s Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan, Continue reading

Health costs of firefighting foams

It’s time for the state of Georgia and the U.S. Congress to set limits, and appropriate funds for testing and remedial actions, as the evidence and lawsuits pile up about those firefighting chemicals spilled from Moody AFB and many other places.

What is the price of fire safety? As lawsuits pile up and government pressure rises, firefighting-foam makers reconsider the environmental cost of fluorosurfactants, by Marc S. Reisch, Chemical and Engineering News (c&en), JANUARY 14, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE

Photo: Large Atmospheric Storage Tank Fires project; Firefighters spray fluorine-free foam on a hydrocarbon test fire at Dallas Fort Worth Airport.
Photo: Large Atmospheric Storage Tank Fires project
Firefighters spray fluorine-free foam on a hydrocarbon test fire at Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

Testifying to Congress in September 2018 before it passed the legislation allowing civilian airports to use fluorine-free foams, Timothy Putnam, a 24-year civilian firefighter for the navy, said he recalled using fluorine-containing foam—in the days before scientists raised safety flags—“as a substitute for vehicle soap to wash fire department vehicles. We also used [it] to clean the fire station floors.”

Now, Putnam said, he is worried about “human impacts” of the exposure. And he didn’t accept the argument that Continue reading

Public Health Assessment of Rice Rail Yard, Waycross, GA 2018-06-07

The Georgia Department of Health published many positive downwards trends in contaminants, and some big “cannot conclude”s last summer, when it released through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) a Public Health Assessment, CSX TRANSPORTATION — RAIL YARD SITE, WAYCROSS, WARE COUNTY, GEORGIA.

Cover, Pages

Most of the graphs show downward trends, like this one, of Trichloroethene (TCE), the substance whose detection seems to have kicked off all this work.

TCE Downward trend, Pages

On page 39, the report says about data collected by Silent Disaster: Continue reading

Florida Health Departments warn on Valdosta sewage in Withlacoochee River 2018-12-17

Once again, Valdosta sewage spills prompt Florida Health Department warnings for the Withlacoochee River.


Map: USGS Streamer.

There is nothing on the websites of the Health Departments of Hamilton or Madison Counties. I found this on the facebook page of the Madison County Florida Board of County Commissioners. It’s also on the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management, “Posted on behalf of the Florida Dept of Health Hamilton”.

December 17, 2018

HEALTH OFFICIALS IN HAMILTON, MADISON COUNTY ADVISE OF POSSIBLE WASTEWATER CONTAMINATION IN THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER HEALTH

Possible Impacts from Valdosta, GA Wastewater Overflow Continue reading

WCTV: Spills, Lowndes County, Valdosta, and WWALS testing and EPD ask 2018-12-06

The local TV station is keeping Lowndes County and Valdosta on their toes about sewage, while WWALS starts testing and continues urging GA-EPD to tell everybody when anybody spills.

Bacteria, WWALS: Suwannee Riverkeeper

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 6 December 2018, Heavy rain causes sewage spill in Lowndes County, Continue reading

Seven more Georgia, Three more Florida, plus slides: ask GA-EPD to tell everyone about spills in Georgia; you can, too! 2018-11-15

Update 2018-12-21: GA-EPD daily online Sewage Spill Reports!

Update 2018-12-14: Now plus a petition individuals can sign.

Update 2018-12-12: Four more Georgia groups make 31: Georgia Women (And Those Who Stand With Us), Atlanta Audubon Society, Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy, and No Ash At All—Wayne County.

[More Signatures]

Florida groups: you can sign on, too, like some already have!

Update 2018-11-15: Three more Georgia groups make 27: GARC, Ogeechee Riverkeeper, and SELC. Plus slides: Continue reading

Four weeks of fecal coliform 2018-10-09 2018-09-19 to 2018-10-09

This is why we alway say “as near as we can tell” or “according to the latest data” or words to that effect. The last data we had last week said fecal coliform at GA 133 on the Little River was below the state limit. But the actual most recent data, from last Tuesday, just received today, shows 610, which is three times the state limit of 200 cfu per 100 mililiters.

Graph, Withlacoochee Basin

Meanwhile, on the Withlacoochee River, the count went up at US 41 and down at GA 133, with both still well above the state limit. But downstream of Valdosta and its Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP), at US 84 and at Horn Bridge at the GA-FL line, counts that were already within the limit Continue reading

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