Tag Archives: landfill

GA HB 879 coal ash dewatering up for full Senate vote 2018-03-15

A Georgia Senate Committee Chair from the Suwannee River Basin, Tyler Harper of Ocilla, got HB 879 out of his committee and onto the full Senate floor for a vote soon. Please remind your Georgia state Senator to vote for it so we’ll get to know more about when Georgia Power (or anybody else) is dewatering a coal ash pond, planning to shop it to local landfills.

Wes Wolfe, Brunswick News, 15 March 2018, Coal ash notification bill heads to full Senate,

coal ash ponds and coal ash in landfills in Georgia

The coal ash pond dewatering bill authored by state Rep. Jeff Jones received unanimous committee approval Tuesday afternoon, moving the public notification legislation one step closer to law. By making it through the state House of Representatives before the crossover deadline, and now ready for a vote by the full Senate, puts it in a rare group of bills to be so successful this session.

Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee Chairman Tyler Harper, Continue reading

Coal ash dewatering bill HB 879 passed 169:3 on crossover day 2018-02-28

On the very last possible day, the Georgia House passed the coal ash dewatering bill, HB 879, 169:3 (with 2 not voting and 6 excused), yesterday, on crossover day (after which bills cannot move from the Georgia House to the Senate).

Thanks to every Georgia House member from the Suwannee River Basin for voting for GA 879: Patty Bentley (District 139), Buddy Harden (148), Ed Rynders (152), Clay Pirkle (155), Dominic LaRiccia (169), Penny Houston (170), Jay Powell (171), Sam Watson (172), John Corbett (174), John LaHood (175), Jason Shaw (176), Dexter Sharper (177), and Jason Spencer (180). Thanks to all the WWALS members who contacted any of them.

Plant-bowen-ash-pond,
Georgia Power Plant Bowen Ash Pond Dewatering Plan, found on GA-EPD Coal Ash Pond Dewatering Plans.

Despite the hard work of the Georgia Water Coalition, HB 880, “Solid waste management; safe disposal of coal ash in municipal and commercial solid waste landfills”, never made it out of Continue reading

No coal ash in our rivers or landfills: GA Coal Ash bills introduced 2018-02-08

For property rights and clean water, you don’t want coal ash seeping through groundwater, so please contact your state legislator to support the two coal ash bills now in the Georgia House of Representatives:

HB 879, “Water resources; notice to local governing authorities prior to the dewatering of coal combustion residual surface impoundments; provide”
Georgia Power is retiring many coal plants (good, although they’re mmostly replacing them with natural gas plants; not so good), and this involves dewatering coal ash ponds near those plants;

HB 880, “Solid waste management; safe disposal of coal ash in municipal and commercial solid waste landfills; provisions”
Georgia Power wants to ship that coal ash to local landfills. Georgia Water Coalition’s policy on that I think is OK with appropriate regulation. WWALS goes beyond that and says no coal ash in landfills in the Suwannee River Basin.

coal plant and ash ponts

Please call or write: your Georgia state representative.
Thanks to the six bill sponsors, but none are in the Suwannee River Basin. Let’s see if we can fix that. Continue reading

GA coal ash committee might consider more safeguards

Georgia Power (and Florida Power & Light and Jacksonville Electric Authority) created the coal ash; they can find ways to dispose of it safely on their own land. And if FPL is shutting down coal plants, how about shutting down its Unit 4 at Plant Scherer, which sends mercury into our Alapaha River. FPL bought into that unit decades ago with the same excuses it’s using for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline now: shutting down a different generating plant, and alleged (now admitted false) need for more electricity.

Georgia Power coal ash pond at Plant Scherer
The Georgia Power coal ash pond at Plant Scherer, seen here in this undated company photo, will be closed over the next three years. Fabian, Liz – Macon Special to The [Macon] Telegraph

Kristina Torres, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, More safeguards could be considered for coal ash ponds in Georgia, Continue reading

Video: Will you lead to sun and wind power? —John S. Quarterman to Tom Fanning, CEO, at Southern Company stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Update 2017-07-28: See also VDT op-ed and letter to GA-PSC.

Five years ago I asked Southern Company (SO) CEO Tom Fanning what was his exit plan when the Big Bets on Kemper Coal in Mississippi and the two new Plant Vogtle nuclear units on the Savannah River go bad. This Wednesday SO stopped using coal at Kemper Coal after the MS PSC refused to authorize further cost overruns. Thursday GA PSC staff said Plant Vogtle is no longer economical. It is time for GA PSC to do for Plant Vogtle what MS PSC did for Kemper Coal.

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

As Suwannee Riverkeeper at this year’s meeting in May, I told Fanning we don’t want SO’s coal ash in any landfill on any river in the Suwannee River Basin; I asked him for solar panels at Moody Air Force Base to shut down a natural gas pipeline; and I questioned SO’s acquisition of Pivotal LNG with its deal to ship liquid natural gas in bomb trucks down I-75 and I-10 to Jacksonville, Florida.

I reminded our genial host of my question five years ago, with the handwriting already on the wall since the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had then just referred to Plant Vogtle as a financial quagmire. This time I asked Fanning to lead us all to sun and wind power.

In SO’s own video you can see them Continue reading

Videos: Coal ash at Valdosta City Council and Lowndes County Commission 2017-03-09-14

Continuing after the recent public meetings, WWALS and others talked about coal ash at the Valdosta City Council March 9th, with a puzzling response from the Mayor, and at the Lowndes County Commission March 14th, with an interruption by the Chairman and no other response. Both city and county have had the same members on the board of the Deep South Solid Waste Management Authority (WMA) since 2005, so presumably they have more control than they want to admit over the local privatized landfill with its coal ash, PCBs, and Superfund wastewater. Remember, that landfill is a quarter mile uphill from the Withlacoochee River and in a Floridan Aquifer recharge zone.

WWALS Executive Directory Gretchen Quarterman spoke at both meetings. WWALS member Bill Worstell spoke at the Valdosta City Council meeting, as did J.D. Rice. (Meanwhile, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman and one other spoke to the Valdosta City Council about sewage.)

Here are LAKE videos of each speaker, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. Continue reading

Videos: Sewage at Valdosta City Council 2017-03-09

Two citizens spoke about sewage overflows at the Valdosta City Council Thursday 9 March 2017, including about the seven downstream Florida counties passing resolutions calling on the Florida governor to step in. Here are LAKE videos of what they said and the mayor’s answers. Also, George Boston Rhynes told a droll tale about a dead cat and turkeys.

Groups want coal ash regulation –VDT 2017-03-07

The VDT article never said “landfill” even though landfills were one of the main topics of the bills and of the discussion, including specifically the active landfill in Lowndes County, which has already received coal ash from Tennessee and Florida. Maybe you’d like to come mention that to Valdosta City Council Thursday evening.

Daniel DeMersseman, Valdosta Daily Times, 7 March 2017, Groups want coal ash regulation,

VALDOSTA — Georgia Interfaith Power & Light recently sponsored a presentation on the dangers of improperly stored coal ash.

Members of GIPL, No Ash at All, and Suwanee Riverkeeper joined together to discuss proper coal ash storage.

Gretchen videoing and photographing
Picture by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition, 2017-03-01.

“Coal ash contains Continue reading

Water issues at Valdosta City Council 2017-03-09

A rare agenda with nothing about water on it does have this, “6. Citizens to be Heard”, which people from anywhere can use to talk about water issues such as sewage and its effects on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee Rivers all the way to the Gulf, coal ash from TVA and Florida, PCBs, and Superfund wastewater in the landfill in Lowndes County, which is a quarter mile upstream from the Withlacoochee River and in a recharge zone for the Floridan Aquifer.

When: 5:30 PM, Thursday, March 9, 2017

Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 216 E Central Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601, 30.832961, -83.277471
Too far? Call them up or send them email.

Event: facebook


Photo: Michael Rivera Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

What: Continue reading

Coal ash protection legislation pending in Georgia legislature

The Georgia Water Coalition (of which WWALS is a partner) notes the city of Brunswick, Georgia passed a resolution agaionst coal ash 21 September 2016, and legislation is about to appear in the Georgia House of Representatives. There is already TVA and JEA coal ash in the Pecan Row Landfill in Lowndes County, just outside Valdosta, and in WWALS watersheds other landfills likely to be targetted are in Cook, Tift, Atkinson, Ben Hill, and Crisp Counties (see GWC map), all upstream of the Withlacoochee or Alapaha Rivers, and all upstream of the Suwannee River, all above the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink. We don’t want the utility company coal ash problem exported to our landfills. The companies that produced this toxic pollutant should be responsible for disposing of it safely at their expense without foisting it on the rest of us.

Landfills Map
Coal Ash in Your District — Ash Ponds & Municipal Solid Waste, Published by the GA Water Coalition
See also the GWC position on coal ash.

WWALS recommends all Georgia legislators, especially those in WWALS watersheds, join in to prevent further coal ash contamination. See as an example the PR below by Rep. Jeff Jones of Brunswick, which concludes: Continue reading