Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Georgia Water Coalition named its “Dirty Dozen” for 2013, highlighting 12 of the year’s worst offenses to Georgia’s waters.
The annual Dirty Dozen report "shines a spotlight on state policies and failures that ultimately harm Georgia property owners, taxpayers, downstream communities, fish and wildlife, hunters and anglers, and boaters and swimmers," a spokesperson says.
“The Dirty Dozen is not a list of the most polluted water bodies in Georgia, nor are they ranked in any particular order,” said April Ingle, Executive Director of the Georgia River Network. "It’s a list of problems that exemplify the results of inadequate funding for environmental protections, lack of political will to enforce environmental laws and ultimately misguided water planning and spending priorities that flow from the very top of Georgia’s leadership.”
The Coalition’s full report is available online here.
This is the first year that a coal ash waste impoundment site made the Dirty Dozen list — Plant Scherer on the Ocmulgee River.
Just a few of the problems highlighted in today’s report include:
Existing and proposed coal-fired and nuclear power plants (items 6, 8 and 12—representing four different plants) that harm water quality and quantity in Georgia’s rivers by withdrawing massive amounts of water, disharging heated water back to the waterways, and generating toxic pollution from coal ash dumps and airborn pollution.
Aging dams in danger of failing are going without inspection (Item 9); these ticking time bombs threaten life, property and the health of our rivers.
Governor Nathan Deal’s administration continues a pattern of misguided funding priorities that invariably benefit the administration’s political cronies. While EPD’s budget is starved, creating multiple negative impacts on Georgia’s citizens, Governor Deal has directed more than $160 million during the past two years to expensive, unnecessary and environmentally damaging dam and reservoir projects (Item 2). These projects serve only to prolong Georgia’s ongoing water conflicts with Alabama and Florida.
2013 Dirty Dozen
Floridan Aquifer: Water Injection Schemes Gamble with South Georgia’s Pristine Underground “Lake”
Chattahoochee and Etowah Rivers: Governor’s Water Supply Program Wastes Tax Dollars & Incites More Water Conflicts with Neighbors
Flint River: Pumps, Dams, Diversions & State Water Policy Create Man-Made Drought
Altamaha River: Pulp Mill in Jesup Continues to Foul Georgia’s Largest River
Flat Creek: Polluted Runoff in Chicken Capital Sends Bacteria to Stream Feeding Lake Lanier
Ocmulgee River: Coal Ash Threatens Waterways and Communities In the Home of Fried Green Tomatoes
Satilla River: Toxic Legacy in Waycross Needs Further Investigations, Cleanups
Savannah River: Massive Water Withdrawals for Nuclear, Coal-Fired Power Plants Threaten River’s Health, Drinking Water
Lake Alice: Dam Breach Disaster in Cumming Highlights Need for Better Dam Safety
Georgia Coast: Proposed Changes to Coastline Laws Roll Back Long-Standing Protections
Hurricane Creek: Illegal Playground for Off-Road Vehicles Sends Mountains of Sediment to Trout Stream
Oconee and Ogeechee Rivers: Dirty Coal-Fired Power Plant to Spew Mercury and Deplete South Georgia Rivers