Latest ‘Dirty Dozen’ water list cites groundwater threats, pipelines

[private]This year’s report on Georgia’s “Dirty Dozen” water quality threats focuses on the threats to groundwater supplies and a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross several waterways in the state’s southwest quadrant.

The list compiled by the Georgia Water Coalition also includes a positive note: it lauds as a “Clean 13” the opposition by Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Department of Transportation to the proposed Palmetto Pipeline in the eastern part of the state.

Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers described the list as “a call to action for our state and federal leaders and our fellow citizens to come together to correct pollution problems, eliminate the wasteful use of our tax dollars and restore our streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waters.”

“We also give credit for doing the right thing where credit is due,” Roger added.

“Over the past decade, the health of Georgia’s creeks, rivers, streams, lakes and coastal waters, and the safety of Georgia citizens has been compromised as funding for Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division has not kept pace with population and economic growth,” said Juliet Cohen, the executive director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

The report said these are some of the major problem areas:

  • The lack of adequate protection for groundwater when 20 percent of the water used in homes and businesses is pumped from wells connected to underground aquifers.
  • The proposed Sabal Pipeline that would extend through a large area of southwest Georgia.
  • State spending on dams and reservoirs, many of which the report said were “of questionable need,” that store and divert water away from downstream users.
  • A decision by the Georgia Supreme Court that limited the methods used by EPD to determine streamside protection zones and “leaves many of the state’s streams without protection.”
  • Proposals for offshore oil and gas drilling along the coast that could pose a threat to tourism and fisheries.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Dirty Dozen list , Georgia Water Coalition , threatened waterways , water pollution