Tag Archives: water quality

HB 59 to waive sovereign immunity in certain cases

Sue the state? You’ll lose, because of sovereign immunity, unless HB 59 passes. Then you might be able to sue GA-DNR for circumventing permiting in allowing construction on the Georgia Coast, or if it should approve a compressor station in Albany, or if it should issue any other permits for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline.

State agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR), can use “letters of permission” to do things like make alterations to Georgia’s coast, and anyone suing to stop it runs up against sovereign immunity unless the issuing agency has expressly waived it. Now that may change with HB 59, “State tort claims; waiver of sovereign immunity for declatory judgment or injunctive relief; provide”. It has six co-sponsors, including Jay Powell, District 171, Camilla, Mitchell County, GA.

Here’s the key part: Continue reading

GA EPD Hazardous site 10645: Brooks County, Piscola Creek, Withlacoochee River

Brooks County has a hazardous waste site: a closed landfill a few miles southeast of Quitman, about a mile from Piscola Creek, and less than four miles from the Withlacoochee River.

parcel 0096 0003 Brooks County Georgia

This Georgia EPD Hazardous site 10645 on Johson Short Road and SR 333 (also known as Washington Street and Madison Highway) Map: Quitman SR 333 GA EPD Landfill Hazardous Site 10645 was presumably why we find this Continue reading

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.

-gretchen

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

Spill

  • 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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Changes to Lowndes County’s Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) @ GLPC 2012-08-27

Did you know last night’s Planning Commission meeting included a public hearing about changes to the county’s Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) related to land disturbances and water quality? You wouldn’t have found out about that in the agenda, because it wasn’t posted anywhere you’d be likely to see it. (Where does GLPC post the one physical copy of the agenda required by law, anyway?) Supposedly it was advertised in the Valdosta Daily Times, but a search of Public Notices in Statewide Database of Public Notices from Georgia’s Legal Organ Newspapers for 1 June 2012 through 27 August 2012 finds nothing.

Here’s what the agenda item for the 27 August 2012 GLPC meeting (that we only know about because Gretchen went to that GLPC meeting and asked County Planner Jason Davenport) says:

From a procedural standpoint the amendment has been advertised in the Valdosta Daily Times to fulfill legal requirements. Beyond legal requirements staff has plans to post this agenda item and draft ULDC on the Lowndes County Website at http://www.lowndescounty.com/content.asp?pid=23&id=224. Regarding staff review of the amendments, the TRC recommended for their approval at their 08/16 regular meeting.

If you’d happened to look several levels deep on the Lowndes County website you would have found that undated announcement:

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