The Georgia Water Coalition says it’s been another challenging year in terms of enforcement to keep the state’s waterways as clean as possible. And in a number of ways, it sounds the alarm in its 2017 Dirty Dozen Report, a chronicle of concerns about toxic sites not being cleaned as well as potential pollution issues for Georgia’s rivers and streams.

This year, the report also lists the Trump’s Administration’s efforts to roll back protections and restrictions in the Clean Water Act along with reduced funding for the state EPD (Environmental Protection Division.)

Local Issues:

1) Continuation of the concerns regarding a discharge permit for the Rayonier plant on the Altamaha River in Jesup. The Altamaha Riverkeeper is suing over a new permit issued by the Georgia EPD in 2015, saying the permit doesn’t go far enough in terms of cleaning up the color and odor from the discharge. The EPD and Rayonier have both told us in the past the company is making a lot of progress in moving forward on cleaning up the discharge.

2. Plant Vogtle and potential effects to the Savannah River. The report indicates that two new nuclear reactors being built would draw tens of thousands of gallons of water per day and “discharge hot water” back into the river.

3. Elba Island – a plan from Kinder Morgan to build a liquefied natural gas exporting facility at its location on the riverfront is drawing fire from the Coalition, which indicates that it could be a safety concern.