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.
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:
Yes, your organization can still sign on for further signature deliveries until we see daily spill updates on the GA-EPD website.
Update 2018-11-12: Four more Georgia groups make 24:
GA-EPD Richard E. Dunn did answer on November 2, 2018, saying they would look into telling everyone when anyone spills. Yes, your organization can still sign on for further signature deliveries until we see daily spill updates on the GA-EPD website.
Update 2018-11-01: Now plus Paddle Florida, for six Florida signers and fourteen Georgia signers. A copy with all twenty signers went today to GA-EPD Director Richard E. Dunn and Assistant Director Lauren M. Curry. Yes, your organization can still sign on for later delivery.
Three Florida groups downstream in the Suwannee River Basin ask the state of Georgia to tell everyone when somebody spills sewage (or something else) into rivers in Georgia:
Our Santa Fe River
Suwannee-St. Johns Group, Sierra Club Florida
We plan to send this resolution to GA-EPD by the first of November. To get your organization on the copy sent then, please sign on by the end of October, which is tomorrow, Halloween.
WWALS from time to time gets a spreadsheet of spills reported to Atlanta through open records request to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD). Don’t you think GA-EPD should publish it themselves, the same day they get it? Florida and Alabama already do this, with signup for email alerts. Georgia can, too.
Actually, you can sign on after that, too, but why not join us now in giving GA-EPD a Halloween present?
You can sign your organization on using this google form.
Below is the text of the resolution. See also the printable PDF.
Requesting the Georgia
Environmental Protection Division
to Timely Publish Pollution Spill Reports
WHEREAS, clean water is a basic right of all Georgia citizens and a basic mission of the Georgia Water Coalition and all its partners; and
WHEREAS, pollution spills unknown to the public could represent public health hazards; and
WHEREAS, pollution spills unknown to the public cannot trigger further water quality monitoring by entities such as Georgia Water Coalition partners to detect public health hazards and other potential effects; and
WHEREAS, there are thousands of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for entities in the state of Georgia; and
WHEREAS, that is too many permit holders for it to be practical for any private entity to poll all of them for spill reports, even weekly, much less daily, even in a single watershed; and
WHEREAS, Georgia NPDES permits require the permit holders to timely inform the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) of spills at least of certain sizes; and
WHEREAS, the GA-EPD has received more than four thousand reports of pollution spills since the beginning of the year 2015; and
WHEREAS, many of those spills are below permit thresholds requiring public notification; and
WHEREAS, many if not most of those spills have not been reported to the public; and
WHEREAS, it is in the public interest for the public to know of point sources of pollution in our waters; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) publishes spill reports on its website the same day it receives them, in a spreadsheet, with signup for email alerts, plus an online interactive map of spills for the past thirty days; see prodenv.dep.state.fl.us/DepPNP/reports/viewIncidentDetails; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) provides online signup for email alerts of spills the same day ADEM receives them; see adem.alabama.gov; and
WHEREAS, the Atlanta office of GA-EPD will return a spreadsheet of spills it has received in responseto a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request; see https://wwals.net/?p=45934; and
WHEREAS, publishing that spreadsheet or one like it daily should require little extra work or expense by GA-EPD while providing great value to the public; and
WHEREAS, adding an email notification system should be possible and not difficult, for example by slight adaptation of how either Florida or Alabama does it; and
WHEREAS, both Florida and Alabama started publishing spill reports the same day they receive them without or before any law was passed requiring such action; and
WHEREAS, nonetheless the eventual Florida Statute 403.077 could be of use as a model; see https://wwals.net/?p=37541; and
WHEREAS, customer satisfaction of GA-EPD’s most basic and populous customers, the people of Georgia, would benefit by GA-EPD deciding to publish spill reports the same day it receives them; and
WHEREAS, there is great concern downstream in Florida about Georgia spills, especially that Georgia permit holders are not informing the public of all spills; and;
WHEREAS, timely spill publication by GA-EPD would also be of great benefit to the people of the neighboring state of Florida;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the undersigned organizations request the Georgia Environmental Protection Division:
- To publish spill reports the same day it receives them, online, on its website, in a spreadsheet, and;
- To provide online email signup for receipt of alerts of spills the same day they occur, and;
- To consider, without delaying 1 and 2 above, adding an online interactive map of recent spills.
PASSED AND ADOPTED BY THE UNDERSIGNED ORGANIZATIONS, this _________ day of October 2018 or on a date as noted by an individual signature.
See also the printable PDF.
You can sign on for your organization.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!