Georgia Water Coalition releases annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ list

[private]The Georgia Water Coalition has released its annual “Dirty Dozen” list, a ranking that used to refer to specific waterways with pollution problems but now covers more general water quality issues.

“The list shines a spotlight on ongoing water issues,” said Joe Cook, the Coosa Riverkeeper, during a conference call with reporters. “It’s not a list of the state’s most polluted water bodies. They are presented in no particular order and all issues on the list are important.”

Cook noted that one of the most important contributing factors to water pollution problems was the state’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD), which he described as “perpetually under-budgeted and understaffed — and their budget was cut by $1 million this year.”

The “Dirty Dozen” list of water quality issues includes —

  • Coal-fired power plants that discharge toxic materials into rivers and streams.
  • Coal ash ponds that threaten water supplies like Lake Sinclair.
  • Disposal of coal ash at a landfill in Jesup.
  • Fracking for natural gas in Northwest Georgia.
  • The Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline in Southwest Georgia.
  • Georgia Power’s proposed nuclear plant in Stewart County.
  • Oil exploration off the coast.
  • DeKalb County’s aging and antiquated sewer system.
  • The proposed spaceport rocket launching center in Camden County.
  • The removal of protective buffer areas along coastal salt marshes and other waterways by the EPD.
  • Toxins seeping into well water.
  • Legislative diversion of budget funds committed to the cleanup of tire dumps and toxic waste sites.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Dirty Dozen list , Georgia Water Coalition