Enviros release latest ‘dirty dozen’ list of water projects

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The Georgia Water Coalition released its second annual “Dirty Dozen” list of environmentally harmful waterways and water projects Wednesday, and once again the list is headed by the Ogeechee River, site of a massive fish kill last year.

“The sites on this list are examples of Georgia’s failures to protect our water, our fish and wildlife and our communities,” said April Ingle of the Georgia River Network.

The Ogeechee in southeast Georgia has been a contentious issue between state regulators at the Environmental Protection Division and environmental activists for the last year and a half.

After more than 38,000 fish were killed in the Ogeechee in May 2011, EPD discovered that a textile plant had been discharging chemicals into the river for several years. King America Finishing Co. agreed to pay a $1 million settlement to EPD, but that agreement has been challenged in court by environmentalists.

In the latest legal development, the Ogeechee Riverkeeper has asked the Superior Court of Screven County to issue an order that would require EPD to stop the discharges into the river.

Other water projects on the list include:

  • The proposed Glades Reservoir in Hall County, which the Water Coalition contends will divert water from the Lake Lanier reservoir.
  • The development of a well for the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority, a private resort and water park
  • The proposed Richland Creek reservoir in Paulding County.
  • Pollution of the Altamaha River by discharges from the Rayonier pulp mill.
  • The lack of timely flow and water quality monitoring on the Chattahoochee River north of Morgan Falls Dam.
  • The need to close Noyes Cut, an obsolete channel in the Satilla River.
  • A Hall County landfill that threatens the water quality of Allen Creek and the Oconee River.
  • A proposal to develop an unnecessary fishing lake on Tired Creek near Cairo.
  • The diversion of water from the Savannah River to power generation plants located along the river.

© 2012 by The Georgia Report

Tags: Dirty Dozen list , EPD , Georgia Water Coalition , water pollution