Tag Archives: water quality

Suwannee Riverkeeper asks Georgia EPD to require Valdosta to do better about its record sewage spill 2019-12-17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, December 19, 2019 — Compelled by the severity of Valdosta’s record raw sewage spill and the expenses and stigma incurred nearby and downstream, Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition has sent a letter requesting ten enforcment actions to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD). WWALS member Deanna Mericle of Hamilton County, Florida, summed it up: “As a person living downstream on the Withlacoochee River in Florida, I feel shat upon by Valdosta over and over. I cannot drink the water from my well. I worry about the health of the river itself and the animals that live in it and drink from it. We in Florida were patient while Valdosta was improving their wastewater plant, which apparently was not adequate since we still have spills when it rains heavily. But this time it was not a rain event. It was gross negligence. I am out of patience. I believe it is time for legal action.”

The Suwannee Riverkeeper letter notes GA-EPD already has a legal action against Valdosta, a Consent Order. WWALS asks GA-EPD to use its enforcement power to require notification, water quality testing, education, and plans and procedures not only for preventing such spills but also for tracking them as they travel down our creeks and rivers and for remediation of effects on wells and reputation.

[2019-12-17--WWALS-GA-EPD-Valdosta-sewage-0001]
2019-12-17–WWALS-GA-EPD-Valdosta-sewage-0001

“Valdosta says it does what GA-EPD tells it to do, so we’re asking GA-EPD to tell them,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Today we’re forwarding the letter to Continue reading

Mining Ruined Family Field –Charles F. Arwood, 2019-10-23

Another letter in the Charlton County Herald, October 23, 2019, same issue as the letter posted previously. You can send your own letter to the editor or comment to the Army Corps or GA-EPD.

[Lawtey, FL, Highland Mine, Chemours]
Lawtey, FL, Highland Mine, Chemours, google earth.

Mining Ruined Family Field

Dear Editor,

Let me start out by saying that I have not been a part of any protests that have been going on. I don’t think anyone can foresee if the proposed strip mining will actually harm the swamp. We probably won’t know until many years have passed. Only time will truly tell.

However, I can say that the strip mining by Dupont in Bradford County did do a lot of harm to my Grandfather’s strawberry farm! My Grandfather owned a farm that joined Dupont’s Continue reading

Twin Pines: no keys to the Okefenokee –Christian Hunt 2019-10-23

Excellent letter in the Charlton County Herald, October 23, 2019. You can send your own letter to the editor or comment to the Army Corps or GA-EPD.

Twin Pines should not be given the keys to the Okefenokee

Dear Editor,

Since announcing plans to strip mine along the Trail Ridge adjacent to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Twin Pines Minerals has held multiple hearings and meetings with political figures and the people of Charlton County to make their case and ostensibly calm fears about the miners environmental impact. Unfortunately, the company continues to display a lack of transparency and misrepresent both the nature and scale of the proposed mine, as well the costs of mining next to the swamp.

To truly understand what is at stake, here are the facts.

[Hunt]

First, Twin Pines has repeatedly claimed that operations will only Continue reading

Valdosta Water Quality Testing Data 2019-04-23

Fecal coliform in Onemile Branch was way above the Georgia state limit of 200, in Valdosta’s followup water quality monitoring after their spill of more than 100,000 gallons of raw sewage at Wainwright Drive, just downstream from Valdosta State University.

[2018-02-03 Wainwright Drive Onemile Branch]
2018-02-03 Wainwright Drive Onemile Branch

We know this because, in response to a Georgia Open Records Act request from WWALS, Alys Hannum of GA-EPD sent this data, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. She wrote: Continue reading

WWALS invites downstream counties to Valdosta City Council meeting 2019-01-16

Update 2019-01-22: Yes, that’s the same day as the 4PM meeting in Lake City, Florida of the Task Force of the downstream counties. Since each county only has one Task Force delegate, maybe they can send other people to the Valdosta City Council meeting. Or, if Valdosta is too far for you, maybe you’d like to go to Lake City Thursday.

WWALS Watershed Coalition board member Eileen Box invited downstream counties and residents to come speak to the Valdosta City Council this Thursday. Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman added, “Every Valdosta City Council agenda has Citizens to be Heard. They’re tired of hearing from me about sewage spills. Maybe if some of the affected parties downstream spoke to them directly they would notice. Come on up and give it a try!“

Eileen Box, WWALS Board Member, Suwannee Democrat
Photo: Jamie Wachter, Suwannee Democrat, Youtube video, 2019-01-14.

Jamie Wachter, Suwannee Democrat, January 16, 2019, ‘IT’S A SHAME’ Residents, officials share wastewater spill concerns with legislative delegation,

[Eileen] Box, who is a board member of the Suwannee Riverkeeper, said North Florida residents may need to expand the reach of their complaints. She said those concerns need to be directed at the people who can do something about it — the Valdosta City Council.

“If they start hearing from Suwannee County and Hamilton and Madison and all these counties that are affected, when you come and talk, it does have an effect, she said. That may be one little thing that we can do.”

The next Valdosta City Council meeting is this Thursday:

When: 5:30 PM, Thursday, January 24, 2019

Where: Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
Valdosta City Hall
216 East Central Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601

What: Agenda Item 5. Citizens to be Heard Continue reading

Troupville Boat Ramp Water Trail Signs back up 2019-01-15

Three tasks at once at Troupville Boat Ramp last Tuesday! Scotti Jay picked up trash, while Sara Jay did water quality testing (you, too can learn to do that). Then while Sara finished up Scotti and I replanted the signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

Signs and test kit, Signs
Sara Jay with water quality testing kit, Scotti Jay with trash bag, Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail signs.

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

Pretty good water quality at Troupville 2018-10-03 2018-10-03

Good news for the WWALS cleanup 8AM this morning at Troupville Boat Ramp at GA 133 on the Little River: low E. coli and fecal coliform recently at the GA 133 Little River bridge.

Context, Map

In our weekly open records requests, we have gotten from Valdosta their water quality data through Wednesday of last week, October 3, 2018. It will be even more encouraging if Continue reading

2017 Annual Progress Report and 2018 Estimates, Hamilton County Mining Ordinance 2018-05-15

Received May 27, 2018 from WWALS member Chris Mericle:

The Hamilton County BOCC finally at its last meeting (May 15) voted on the Nutrien 5 year permit renewal.

The BOCC voted to approve the permit with the modifications recommended by the environmental consultant and attorney.

[2,3,4,5 Draglines]

I consider this a win for us because it requires Nutrien to: Continue reading

GA-EPD Rule Public Hearing with written comment period 2018-05-22

Sending written comments makes more sense than four hours to Atlanta Tuesday, May 22, 2018, for this two-hour Public Hearing on water quality rules changes.


Reed Bingham State Park Lake, site of the 6th Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race, Saturday April 28, 2018.

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING AND PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO GEORGIA’S RULES FOR WATER QUALITY CONTROL

CHAPTER 391-3-6

TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS AND PARTIES:

Continue reading