Board of Natural Resources Removes River Flow Protection
On August 26, the Board of Natural Resources voted to remove the minimum flow requirement of 750 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the Chattahoochee at Peachtree Creek in Atlanta. This flow requirement, which has been in place for nearly 40 years, is essential to protect the health of the river as it receives discharges from more than a dozen sewage treatment plants in Fulton, Cobb, Douglas, and Gwinnett counties.
CRK continues to call for: (1) a comprehensive, scientific study; (2) a water quality-monitoring program to ensure that water quality and recreation will not be harmed by lower flows in the river; and (3) the adoption of a new, protective river management plan in state water quality regulations. For more information about EPD’s proposed rule change click here. For a recent news article on this issue click here.
Chattahoochee Pollutor Fined $10 Million
US District Court Judge Orinda Evans sent a strong message to polluters in Georgia when she levied a $10 million penalty on American Sealcoat Manufacturing LLC (Sealcoat) for unlawful discharge of toxic pollutants into the Chattahoochee River near Fulton Industrial Park. The Judge ruled in a Clean Water Act complaint brought by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK), which discovered and reported the dumping.
CRK filed its lawsuit against the asphalt sealant manufacturer in the summer of 2014 after discovering that it was operating without an industrial storm water permit in clear violation of the Clean Water Act, and was repeatedly and intentionally dumping toxins into a tributary that flows into the Chattahoochee River less than 1000 feet away. When CRK offered Sealcoat a settlement and assistance in remediation, the chemical manufacturer refused to cooperate, opting instead to abandon its operations and flee the state.
This court ruling requires American Sealcoat to pay $10 million in civil penalties to the U.S. Treasury and it will be up to the U.S. Department of Justice to attempt to collect the civil penalties that have been levied. Judge Evans’ action in this enforcement will serve as a clear message to other potential violators that pollution will not be tolerated. Read more in the Chattahochee Riverkeeper Press Release and watch WSB-TV’s investigative piece on American Sealcoat.
The First Ever Big Float
Come float down the river with CRK and SweetWater on August 29
Join Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, SweetWater Brewery, and our local area outfitters on August 29 to wrap up this year’s Save the Hooch Campaign and help get people out on the river in their communities to celebrate the importance of clean water.
Here’s how it works: Pick a trip on the Big Float Page and register directly with your chosen outfitter. Most trips require you to arrive by 9:00 am and will conclude by 1:00pm – but the outfitter will give you specifics. Once you arrive and check in, you’ll receive a wristband that will get you free access to the much anticipated Big Float After Party at SweetWater Brewery from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.