The biggest fire in the country, that started April 6, 2017 in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, has been out for about a month now, put out by rains, after massive containment efforts by fire crews from many counties and states. Apparently Lowndes County, Georgia, sent some assistance, since they have a special presentation about that fire on their agenda for this week. Their agendas never say whether such presentations are in the Work Session, which was this morning at 8:30 AM (it wasn’t) or in the Regular Session, Tuesday evening at 5:30 PM (must be then). Gretchen Quarterman was there this morning, and says they said the presenter will be someone unnamed from Charlton County. Gretchen will video the presentation for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).
We got smoked here in western Lowndes County yesterday and this morning 60 miles from the West Mims fire as it went up to 107,846 acres in and around the Okefenokee NWR. Many of the fire-fighting numbers went down since last post: remember, the goal is not to put the fire out, rather to contain it. As I write, a big storm just went over here heading that way, so maybe mother nature will take a hand today.
The Valdosta Daily Times has been covering this fire right along, most recently by Terry Richards, VDT, 2 May 2017, Rain barely felt at massive swamp fire,
FARGO — A mild rainfall Monday had little to no impact on the West Mims Fire burning through the Okefenokee Swamp, according to a firefighter.
The blaze, which had burned more than 100,000 acres by Tuesday afternoon, received about a tenth of an inch of rain from a weak cold front that moved through South Georgia Monday.
“It didn’t help,” said Leland Bass, a firefighter and public information officer for the Georgia Forestry Commission.
Maybe they’ll get more rain in the swamp today. Continue reading
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.
- 7. CTBH – Eric Howard on Stormwater and Wastewater
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
What: Continue reading
At least the Waycross cancer problem is finally getting some news media attention. Brenda Goodman and Andy Miller, Georgia Health News, October 20, 2016, Why are kids in Waycross getting cancer? (Part One of Special Report),
Fourteen-year-old Lexi Crawford was attacked by lower back pain so sharp that she couldn’t even sit up to eat. Her mother had to bring her food while she was lying flat on her back. Doctors in Waycross, GA, the town where she lives, thought it was a kidney infection. But after months of antibiotics didn’t clear it up, a visiting doctor in the local ER suggested an X-ray.
What he saw on the scan was terrifying.Continue reading
Thirty-day comment periods closing 12 August 2015 to comment on the US 84 widening project, say 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.
This paragraph sums it up:
The project’s stated purpose in the EA is “economic development,” as part of the Governor’s Road Improvement Program created in the 1980s. See EA at 4. The NEPA regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) require agencies to examine the indirect impacts of projects — those growth-inducing impacts caused by a project, such as changes in land use and development patterns. 40 C.F.R. Â§ 1508.8(b). Yet over and over, when purporting to examine the project’s potential for indirect impacts on various natural resources, the EA repeats, “The proposed project is not expected to precipitate substantial development along the corridor.”
Other questions include, why not use a narrower median? Why not leave trees on the median?
Below is the full text of the letter Continue reading
GDOT and the Army Corps want to widen U.S. 84 from Homerville to Waycross. Since it appears that US 84 is already four lane from Thomasville through Quitman and Valdosta to Homerville, and from Waycross onwards northeast, this would be the remaining gap. The public notice says little or nothing about why this road work might be needed.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Public Notice, 28 April 2015, SAS-2014-00862 (SP-WMR), Widening and Reconstruction of U.S. Highway 84, with PDF. Since that notice says it expires in a month, there’s also a copy of the PDF on the WWALS website, including this location information: Continue reading
6-8PM Thursday 17 July 2014
Memorial Stadium, 715 Dewey St., Waycross, GA 31501
The Environmental Protection Agency, GA Environmental Protection Division, and Georgia Department of Public Health will be present to discuss sample collection and results from the Seven Out Tank site in downtown Waycross.
EPD will also be available to address issues and answer questions regarding CSX.