Tag Archives: Georgia

Personnel and trash at Valdosta City Council 2022-08-11

It wasn’t us this time.

Council Sandra Tooley brought up trash, Click ‘n’ Fix, and Valdosta’s favorite excuse for not doing much: “we’re short on staff“ and “A lot of people have a lot of things going on in their departments.” This was in the last five minutes of the August 11, 2022, Valdosta City Council meeting.

[Council Sandra Tooley requests Executive Session about personnel and trash]
Council Sandra Tooley requests Executive Session about personnel and trash

The Mayor said they had a request for an Executive Session, and asked for a motion. Council Tim Carroll wondered why.

Council Sandra Tooley explained, “Citizens have come to me, and they have this thing they like to say, that we do not have enough staff, that we’re short on staff, that we’re not getting things done.”

See for yourself in this excerpt of Valdosta’s own facebook live video of the meeting. Continue reading

Trash behind Family Dollar, Inner Perimeter, Valdosta, GA 2022-08-08

Bobby McKenzie wrote Monday, “I swear I’m not looking for these! I just pulled into Family Dollar by my house to get a drink….which I never do and it’s staring me in the face.

[Trash down ditch beside Family Dollar, Inner Perimeter]
Trash down ditch beside Family Dollar, Inner Perimeter

Bobby added, “Any meeting discussing ways to fix this problem MUST HAVE City Marshalls in it!”

Seems like that would be necessary, since City Marshals are supposed to enforce Valdosta’s ordinances, which include parking lot owners are supposed to have so many garbage cans per number of parking spaces, and are not supposed to let trash off their property.

This is Family Dollar #10742, at 3820 Inner Perimeter Road, Valdosta, GA 31602. That’s next just across Barack Obama Blvd. from the old Valdosta High School. That drainage ditch appears to go towards Northway Community Church, and seems to be uphill from a row of houses on Highland Heights Lane. This trash may wash down past Newbern Middle School. Continue reading

Draft GA-EPD Hazardous Waste permit to add Post-Closure Care Plan (PCCP) for Perma-Fix 2022-09-08

A draft permit is open for comment until September 8, 2022, on a modification to the GA-EPD Hazardous Waste Permit for the closed Perma-Fix site in Valdosta.

[Notice and Draft Permit]
Notice and Draft Permit

Notice

According to the notice, HW-085-D-ExcaliburRealtyValdosta.pdf “The modified permit, if approved, will incorporate the Post-Closure Care Plan (PCCP) and update the Permit content to reflect changes made by the Director to the groundwater protection standards (GWPS) applicable to the facility.” Continue reading

WWALS Accomplishments 2022-01-01

Incorporated in June 8, 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is ten years old.

Since December 2016, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER® is a project and staff position at WWALS as the Member of Waterkeeper Alliance® for the Suwannee River Basin.

Here’s what we’ve been doing all that time.

[Outings and Water Quality Testing]

Follow this link for WWALS Accomplishments:
https://wwals.net/about/wwals-accomplishments/

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Videos: Right to Clean Water, Waterkeeper Alliance Conference 2022-06-11

It was standing room only, as presenters from India, Bangladesh, Colombia, and the U.S. (me) discussed different approaches to rights to clean water and problems such rights might solve, in a panel at the Waterkeeper Alliance Global Conference 2022, Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Washington, DC.

Update 2022-06-16: Fixed typo (Colombia, not Ecuador).

[Presenters and Questions]
Presenters and Questions

Many thanks to Rodrigo de la O, Maule Itata Coastkeeper, Chile, for using my phone to video the session.

And congratulations, Rodrigo, on winning the Terry Backer award!

Below are the videos of each presenter and some questions. First a video playlist, then individual videos with a few more pictures.

Here’s a WWALS video playlist:

Continue reading

Videos: Constitutional Right to Clean Water for Georgia, WWALS Webinar 2022-04-19

The presentation was solid, and the discussion was enlightening. Please watch and send us feedback.

[Speakers, RTCW]
Speakers, RTCW

The slides are on the WWALS website.

Here is the zoom video of the WWALS webinar about Rights to Clean Water for Georgia, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

It’s back! The Tenth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race at Reed Bingham State Park 2022-04-30

Adel, Georgia, April 12, 2022 — After pandemic and bad weather the previous two years, the BIG Little Paddle Race is back this year.

You could win in any of a dozen categories, or up to $300 if you beat the previous winning record time. But you are not required to race: it’s a nice spring paddle anyway! On Saturday, April 30, 2022 24, 2021, in Reed Bingham State Park, between Adel and Moultrie, Georgia, it’s the ninth tenth annual BIG Little River Paddle Race. There will be lunch and tickets will be available for the annual kayak raffle. You can just paddle along this scenic three-mile stretch of tea-colored river on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail among cypress trees, turtles, birds, and yes, alligators. (Don’t pet the alligators and they aren’t likely to bother you.) This race also has fierce competitors, with one past winner finishing in barely more than half an hour.

After having to cancel the event last year due to severe weather, we are hoping for sunnier skies this year. This is a great opportunity to learn about the joys of paddling canoes and kayaks, to see the natural beauty of our region’s blackwater rivers, and to have fun while getting some outdoor exercise with family and friends.

[Tandem female canoe, orange (BW)]
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of 2019 First female tandem kayak: Megan Robinson & Lily Robinson, of Tifton, GA.

WWALS President Trudy Cole said, “BLRPR is a great opportunity to meet like minded folks and paddle a pristine section of the Little River, while supporting a great organization.”

There are several categories in which you could win, Continue reading

Location of Quitman sewage spill 2022-03-20

Update 2022-04-08: All rivers bad water quality 2022-04-07.

Quitman’s 48,000 gallon sewage spill on Sunday, March 20, 2022, was from the Quitman settling ponds, which are slightly uphill from Okapilco Creek. Which explains why Valdosta got too-high E. coli at US 84 on Okapilco Creek, and at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps downstream on the Withlacoochee River.

We know this location because of the response to the WWALS open records request to Quitman asking where is this “Influent Liftstation”:

GPS 30.793581, -83.544316
800 North Highland Dr

This has been going on for years. For example, the April 24, 2022 spill from the same location contaminated the Withlacoochee River and the Suwannee River probably as far as Running Springs, if not all the way to the Gulf.

The form Quitman’s contractor sent GA-EPD says the spill was not preventable. Well, according to Quitman’s permit from GA-EPD, “Power failure” is not an excuse, because the permitee is supposed to have backup power. It’s time for Quitman to find a way to prevent these spills from contaminating Okapilco Creek and the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. This is a public health hazard.

What will the Georgia Environment Protection Division (GA-EPD) do to stop these spills from Quitman, and meanwhile to get much more timely reporting by Quitman to GA-EPD and to the public?

[Map and doc: location of Quitman sewage spill]
Map and doc: location of Quitman sewage spill

It’s only 1.10 creek miles to US 84, and 5 creek miles all the way down Okapilco Creek to the Withlacoochee River. Then 3.68 river miles more to Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, for 8.68 water miles total. At even two miles per hour, that’s less than five hours for contamination to travel. Continue reading

Constitutional Right to Clean Water: RTCW for Georgia, WWALS Webinar 2022-04-19

Update 2022-04-24: Videos: Constitutional Right to Clean Water for Georgia, WWALS Webinar 2022-04-19

Hahira, Georgia, April 5, 2022 — Trying to protect clean water with current laws and regulations is like trying to defend free speech without the First Amendment. Montana, Pennsylvania, and just last year New York have enshrined Rights to Clean Water, Air, Land, and a Healthy Environment (RTCW) in their constitutions alongside free speech and other basic rights. Florida has a statewide petition signing right now for the 2024 ballot. How can Georgia get RTCW into its constitution? Why should it? And what would such an amendment consist of? This webinar explores those questions. We invite your participation and feedback.

[RTCW, Speakers]
RTCW, Speakers

The zoom meeting will be Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcldeGqqDkvHdc3RUptCbwuKzxkpmzfb4-U

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Continue reading

Last day to oppose HB 1150 Bad Neighbor Bill in Georgia legislature 2022-04-04

Please use this handy form: https://www.protectgeorgia.org/farm.html#/334.

[Hog CAFO manure lagoons. Photo: Kemp Burdette]
Hog CAFO manure lagoons. Photo: Kemp Burdette.

Jeff Amy, U.S. News & World Report via AP, April 1, 2022,

The Senate voted 31-23 for House Bill 1150, sending it back to the House for final approval of changes.

Today is Sine Die, the last day before the legislature adjourns until next year. So there’s no time for a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of HB 1150. The House can only vote to approve the Senate version, or not. Continue reading