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Advocacy

2019 Triennial Review

The Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently conducted the opening hearing of the 2019 Triennial Review. This occurs every three years and provides an opportunity for the EPD to reevaluate the designated usage of water bodies. The designation of a body of water is based on primary usage and directly correlates to water quality standards. In other words, the designated use determines the stringent nature of permits and fines for pollution. The three most common…

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The Replacement Rule threatens Clean Water

For 50 years, the Clean Water Act has protected families and communities by preventing unchecked and unlimited pollution from contaminating our waterways and drinking water sources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now proposing a new rule, the Replacement rule that would dramatically shrink the protections of the Clean Water Act. In 2015, the Clean Water rule was added as an amendment to the 1972 Clean Water Act to extend protection to small streams, wetlands, stream headwaters, and waters that…

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Coal Ash Pond Problems at Hammond and Bowen

Coal Ash is the byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity.  It also contains several toxic, harmful substances that are known to cause cancer, impact child development, cause kidney and liver failure, and a litany of other health problems.  Traditionally, this material has been held in coal ash ponds that surround the coal-fired power plants. Unfortunately, Georgia Power’s coal ash ponds across the state are not lined and a recent report from Earthjustice, utilizing Georgia Power’s data from test wells,…

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CRBI Wins Victory For Coosa River Fish, Plant Hammond Water Intake Must Be Improved

CRBI Wins Victory For Coosa River Fish; Plant Hammond Water Intake Must Be Improved The Coosa River Basin Initiative, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, recently won a legal challenge to a Clean Water Act permit issued to one of the oldest coal-fired power plants still operating in Georgia. Based on the administrative law judge’s ruling, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division must improve permit conditions by selecting a stop-gap measure to reduce the number of fish and aquatic species…

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Will Trump Environmental Rollbacks Impact the Coosa?

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has taken aim at a host of environmental laws aimed at protecting our rivers and the public’s health. The National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act and Obama Administration rules on the handling of toxic coal ash waste have all been targeted. At this point, most of the changes are only proposed, but the climate in Washington is creating uncertainty for Georgia’s environmental police as well as those businesses, industries and others who…

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Gold Creek Foods Gets Slap on Wrist for Flat Creek Fish Kill

Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) in June fined Gold Creek Foods in Dawsonville $9,000 for a March spill of ferric chloride that resulted in a complete kill of aquatic life along a 3.7 mile stretch of Flat Creek. According to EPD documents, the spill killed an estimated 8,262 fish, including federally threatened Cherokee darters. In addition to the $9000 fine, EPD is requiring the company to clean up soil at the facility contaminated by ferric chloride, improve its stormwater pollution…

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