Tag Archives: DNR

Status of (not Valdosta) Lowndes County Waste Water Spill

Mike Allen, Utilities Director, Lowndes County, Georgia After learning that Lowndes County (not Valdosta) was having a waste water spill, I called the Utilities Department and asked to speak with Director Mike Allen.

The person that answered the phone said that he was not available and perhaps she could answer my question or put me through to his voice mail. I figured that perhaps I could get some of my questions answered so I asked about the status of the current waste water spill. She said that it had been repaired as of 5am today (April 26).

I then asked if it would be possible to get a copy of the Overflow Emergency Response Program and she asked my name. When I said my name (Gretchen Quarterman) she said that I would have to talk to Paige Dukes and she would transfer me. After a long wait, she came back on the phone and said she would transfer me and I was transferred to the voice mail of Paige Dukes. I did not leave a message.


Major Spills: What to Do –GA DNR

Georgia: 14 River Basins Apparently whoever is responsible for a major spill into Georgia waters needs to immediately tell GA EPD DNR and the local health department and post a sign, and the sewage leak at GA 133 into the Withlacoochee River qualifies as a major spill. The City of Valdosta reported it as such, but it’s not clear it was their spill (update: it was Lowndes County’s spill). Excerpts below from GA DNR’s guidelines. -jsq

Water Quality: A Guide for Municipal Compliance by Mick Smith, Environmental Engineer.

Spills and Major Spills


  • Any discharge of raw sewage < 10,000 gallons to waters of the state

Major Spill

  • Any discharge of raw sewage > 10,000 gallons to waters of the state
  • BOD5 or TSS = 1.5 x weekly avg. permit limit
  • Any discharge resulting in a water quality violation
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Letting the foxes in the DNR henhouse —Katherine Helms Cummings

Guess who thinks letting regulated corporations contribute to the natural resources regulatory agency is a good idea?

Received yesterday on Stop Georgia Power from stopping you from affording solar. -jsq

And if GA Power having control over the grid here isn’t bad enough, now the General Assembly is considering letting DNR ask for donations from the corporations they issue permits to, and then enforce.

-Katherine Helms Cummings

She linked to this post on her blog, HB 887 gives corporate foxes the key to the hen house,
I have a hard time believing that the DNR is going to hold a bake sale to protect the rivers and streams of our state. Some House leaders, including Judy Manning (R-Marietta) and Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) have said they are uneasy with HB 887. Rightly so.
OK, so who thinks it’s a good idea? Continue reading

Video of Biomass Air Quality Hearing, Valdosta, 27 April 2010

A video of a hearing about the biomass plant Wiregrass Power LLC proposes to build in Lowndes County just outside of Valdosta was held in Valdosta on 27 April 2010 by the Air Protection Branch (APD) of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Eric Cornwell of APD explains location, process flow, and specific items covered by the permit (soot, SO2, NOX, CO, VOC, HCL, etc., but not CO2). He remarks that Wiregrass Power LLC is building a small plant with a “lower emission limit in order to avoid some of the red tape” by getting a minor permit instead of a major permit. The first half hour concludes with Bob Turner, the plant manager, presenting similar material, ending with:

“No new carbon is added to the atmosphere when burning woody byproducts.”
I beg to differ on that: in the time it takes trees to grow back, there is indeed new carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere. More from Dr. William Sammons on that.

Back to the video of the hearing. Questions start at 00:29:44. Here are some time markers and very brief summaries of Q and A; see the video for the full questions and answers. Continue reading

WCTV on Biomass

A couple of biomass plant stories from WCTV.

On April 28 Deneige Broom wrote, Proposed Plant Raises Air Quality Questions:

A Biomass plant could bring business and money to the area. But some want to be assured their health won’t suffer in the name of progress.
Some good quotes in there:
Dr. Brad Bergstrom attended the hearing wants concrete answers.

“There’s not going to be anything in the permit that will say, you can only burn this much sewage sludge,” said Bergstrom. “The company plans to only burn a small percentage but once they get their permit, that could change.”

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Biomass Plant Hearing Today

You can ask questions and expect answers.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Air Protection Branch issued a Press Release on April 12, 2010 announcing a meeting:

EPD will hold a question and-answer (Q&A) session and a public hearing on Tuesday, April 27, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room in the Valdosta City Hall Annex. The city hall annex is located at 300 N. Lee Street.
The subject is “on Proposed Biomass-Fired Power Plant Application Submitted by WireGrass Power, LLC”

You can also submit questions and comments in writing: Continue reading