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WSB-TV Investigates Chattahoochee Polluter

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When metro Atlantans tuned in to the evening news on Wednesday, February 11, WSB-TV Channel 2 told them a story we’ve been pursuing for more than a year. After a concerned citizen alerted us to polluted water entering the river in Fulton County, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper began an investigation. We discovered that American Sealcoat Manufacturing (ASM), an asphalt manufacturing and distribution facility located less than 1,000 feet from the river, was discharging polluted stormwater into a Chattahoochee tributary.

CRK learned that the facility was operating without the industrial stormwater permit required by federal and state clean water laws. Hoping they would voluntarily clean up the site, we tried to work with ASM for several months. However, a follow up site visit revealed an intentional dumping of oily sludge down a storm drain and into the stream.

“That was one of the worst things I’ve seen in seven and a half years of doing this type of work,” Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth told Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer. Former ASM employee Justin Fountain later admitted that the company knowingly dumped toxins into the tributary.

Now, more than year since the initial call, we find ourselves knee deep in litigation with ASM and land owner M&K Warehouses. We are holding those responsible accountable for their actions, and will ensure that the contamination is cleaned up.

Watch the video to learn more about this ongoing situation.

5000 Water Samples Collected By YOU, Tested By Us

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Volunteers gathered in November 2014 for a citizen science training before embarking on a large-scale sampling event on Proctor Creek.

The Neighborhood Water Watch samples keep on coming but you won’t hear us complain!  More than 5000 samples have been collected and delivered by CRK volunteers from more than 90 sites throughout the Chattahoochee Watershed. They have helped us locate and remedy over a dozen sewer spills, identify at least two cases of illegal paint dumping, and helped bridge the gap between citizens, non-profits, and government agencies. We couldn’t have done it without our partners or volunteers!

How does it work? Water samples are collected by volunteers and brought to one of our three CRK laboratories. There, our trained staff runs multiple tests, checking a number of parameters including turbidity, conductivity, and E.coli bacteria levels. These measurements can reveal the presence and extent of sewage contamination and other pollutants.

Good news: the program is working! We have seen measurable improvements in water quality as a result of your efforts! Keep ‘em coming Water Watchers, we’re well on our way to another record breaking year!

Two Day Paddle, Camp & Cleanup March 7-8

BR2AtProctorBack for the 3rd year, this 13-mile paddle cleanup is an incredible journey in a part of the river not accessible to most people. Join us March 7 and 8 for a 2-Day Paddle/Camp/Cleanup from Georgia Power’s Plant McDonough to the Highway 166 Bridge off Fulton Industrial. Last year, we removed over 2 TONS of trash! This stretch of river is suitable for all skill levels with primitive camping Saturday night. Paddlers are responsible for paddling their own camping gear.

Click here for more information and to register.





Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
Chattahoochee RiverkeeperThursday, February 26th, 2015 at 6:24pm
What do you do when you notice polluted waters in the Chattahoochee watershed? Give us a call! When toxic chemicals in Long Cane Creek near Lagrange, Georgia were linked to Pilot Flying J's property, the company began working with the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to...
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Is brining bad for our creeks and rivers? Jason Ulseth's not sure. Stay safe out there! http://t.co/5wbVAUS2H9 @wabenews #snowday

It’s water sampling day! You’d think the freezing temperatures would slow our volunteers down but NO, these... http://t.co/G03xmHRMdy

Our Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth had a GREAT interview with @WSBTVcommunity today. See it Sunday at 6:30 on Channel 2!


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