Category Archives: Politics

Right to Clean Water policy by Georgia Water Coalition 2022-11-09

At its annual Fall meeting, the Georgia Water Coalition members unanimously adopted this Right to Clean Water (RTCW) policy:

Georgia should adopt a constitutional amendment to the state Bill of Rights establishing that each person has an inherent and inalienable constitutional right to clean and healthy air, soil, and surface and underground water, to support substantial interests, including human health, safety and welfare, native fish and wildlife, conservation of natural resources, outdoor recreation, and aesthetic values throughout the State.

[Georgia RTCW Logo]
Georgia RTCW Logo

This new policy will be visible online among some other new ones when the 2023 GWC Report appears among the earlier policy documents.

What does this mean? Continue reading

Florida Right to Clean Water: get petition signatures for court review 2022-11-10

Floridians, now’s the time to get the petition through the first hurdle: Florida Supreme Court review by March 1, 2023. 223,000 signatures is doable if enough people help.

If you’re a registered Florida voter, go here and sign the petition:
https://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org/

[Unite for Clean Water flyer]

And join the campaign:
https://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org/uniteforcleanwater

Individuals, groups, businesses, or non-profits: all can help get constitutional protection for our rivers, creeks, springs, sinks and swamps, not to mention drinking water.

More about Right to Clean Water in Florida and Georgia here:
https://wwals.net/issues/right-to-clean-water/

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Video: Summary of water quality testing at Lowndes County Commission 2022-10-11

Most of the Lowndes County Commissioners were not familiar with the water quality testing WWALS is doing, and now they are.

[Summary of WWALS water quality testing @ LCC 2022-10-11]
Summary of WWALS water quality testing @ LCC 2022-10-11

Here’s the video:


Video: Summary of water quality testing at Lowndes County Commission 2022-10-11
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman at Lowndes County Commission, Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE)

For more detail about WWALS water quality testing, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/testing/

I was there to suggest that Lowndes County might want to participate in a grant application. The county later declined to participate, as did the City of Valdosta. So Valdosta State University (VSU) and WWALS applied anyway. We shall see.

FYI, the Graphical Information System (GIS) I refered to is https://www.knowyourriver.com/, which was started by Savannah Riverkeeper using the same GA-EPD Seed Grant funds we have applied for this year.

The Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council (SSRWPC) is meeting tomorrow morning in Tifton, Wednesday, November 2, 2022. If you are an outfitter or have something to say about river water levels, you are invited to inform the Council on that subject.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

GA-DNR Board does not discuss mining near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-27

Nobody said anything new about the titanium strip mine proposed near the Okefenokee Swamp, when the Board of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources met at the Stephen C. Foster State Park Eco-Lodge, just outside the Okefenokee Swamp, in Fargo, Georgia.

But you can tell Georgia legislators and candidates in the election that a majority of Georgians say the state should immediately protect the Swamp from mining, according to a recent poll.
www.protectgeorgia.org/okefenokee

[DNR Board and Twin Pines dragline]
DNR Board and Twin Pines dragline

Citizens were not allowed to speak to the Board. But you can send them a message:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/#howtocomment

Floridians, you can write to GA-DNR, too, telling them part of the Okefenokee Swamp is in Florida, and anything that affects it will affect the Suwannee River of the Florida State Song.
TwinPines.Comment@dnr.ga.gov

Former Valdosta City Council member John Eunice, now Assistand Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, basically recited Continue reading

Valdosta added net to trash trap, Lee St. Detention Pond 2022-09-28

Good news! Valdosta Engineering has added a net to the home-made Valdosta City trash trap in the Lee Street detention pond on One Mile Branch, upstream of Ashley Street, Drexel Park, VSU, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River.

[Before and after]
Before and after

Bobby McKenzie opened an issue in Valdosta’s Click ‘n’ Fix smartphone app on September 11, 2022. Valdosta officials closeed it twice, but he persisted, reminding them that a year ago in July 2021, at the invitation of WWALS, trash trap company Osprey met with WWALS and Valdosta Stormwater Manager Angela Bray and then-City Engineer Pat Collins, presenting their Litter Gitter, which has a net in addition to a boom. Bobby also sketched the idea on an image of the current Lee St. trap.

Apparently current City Engineer Benjamin O’Dowd got the picture, because yesterday Bobby sent a picture of that trash trap with a net on top of it.

Valdosta so far has not said in the Click ‘n’ Fix thread that they have done that, but I’m going ahead and announcing this good news.

Thank you, City Engineer Benjamin O’Dowd, for the net on Valdosta’s Lee Street detention pond trash trap!

And thanks to Bobby McKenzie for his persistence.

Yes, I know Continue reading

Okefenokee poll and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland 2022-09-16

Update 2022-10-06: GA-DNR Board does not discuss mining near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-27.

Last Friday Interior Secretary Deb Haaland toured to Okefenokee Swamp, along with Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff.

[Deb Haaland at ONWR]
Deb Haaland at ONWR

I was there Continue reading

Titanium strip mine permitting tossed back to GA-EPD 2022-08-23

In case anybody has not heard this bad news: the Army Corps has reverted to its abdication of oversight of the proposed mine sight, throwing the permitting hot potato back to GA-EPD.

Further bad news in Twin Pines’ own press release is that former EPD director Harold Reheis is now advising Twin Pines.

Please continue to ask Georgia officals to stop this strip mine far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers.

And there’s an election going on. Ask each candidate their position on protecting the Okefenokee Swamp, and vote accordingly.

[GA-EPD Permitting Update, aerials of the proposed mine site]
GA-EPD Permitting Update, aerials of the proposed mine site

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION

Twin Pine Minerals, LLC
Second Permitting Update

Continue reading

Add Santa Fe River to Suwannee Riverkeeper territory 2019-07-17

Back in 2019, after one final calibration with Our Santa Fe River, WWALS asked WATERKEEPR® Alliance to add the Santa Fe River Basin to the territory of Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®. They approved that request on September 26, 2019. Since then, Suwannee Riverkeeper territory has included the entire Suwannee River Basin and Estuary.

[Request letter and expanded territory approved 2019-09-26]
Request letter and expanded territory approved 2019-09-26

Apparently we never published this addition, and lately we’ve needed to refer to it. So here is the request that WKA approved. Plus a current map of the entire Basin and Estuary. Continue reading

Georgia National Hunting and Fishing Day at Paradise PFA 2022-09-24

This is not a WWALS event, but it sounds fun and we support it. Of the many specific events by GA-DNR Wildlife Resources Division, one is at Paradise Public Fishing Area in our Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. That’s east of Tifton on US 82, near Enigma, in Berrien County, Georgia.

[Logo, Map]
Logo, Map

Since the voters approved it in 2006, Georgia has a right of hunting and fishing, in the state Bill of Rights, up there with freedom of speech:

Georgia Constitution, Article I, Section 1, Paragraph XXVIII, The tradition of fishing and hunting and the taking of fish and wildlife shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good.

Now we can add a Right to Clean Water so fish and wildlife (and people) will have a healthy environment in which to live.


NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY IN GEORGIA
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2022
Continue reading

FERC must close regulatory gaps in small-scale inland LNG export facilities –Cecile Scofield 2022-08-11

Update 2022-09-19: Comment on FERC LNG Export Rulemaking with Florida Physicians for Social Responsibility 2022-09-20.

Update 2022-09-13: One week left to comment on FERC LNG Rulemaking, deadline 2022-09-20.

Should citizens be expected to pay $33,690 to file a Petition for Declaratory Order just to get FERC to oversee LNG facilities like the law says they should?

Cecile Scofield details many other problems FERC created back in 2014 and 2015 when it abdicated oversight of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export facilities that do not load directly onto onceangoing tanker ships.

[Flaws in FERC's reasoning; citizens cannot be expected to police LNG]
Flaws in FERC’s reasoning; citizens cannot be expected to police LNG

You can also file comments on FERC Rulemakeing for small inland LNG export facilities, started at the request of WWALS et. al. Your comments do not have to be as elaborate as Cecile’s, and you have until September 20, 2022.

Your organization could also intervene on FERC Docket RM22-21, as two organizations have done: Public Citizen and Food and Water Watch.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/


FERC Accession Number 20220811-5068 in FERC Docket RM22-21, SMALL-SCALE INLAND LNG EXPORT FACILITIES: FERC MUST CLOSE REGULATORY GAPS (see also PDF)

Purpose of Petition for Rulemaking:

The proposed Rulemaking is needed to clear up ambiguity as to Continue reading