We need your help…..
One week after Rayonier Advanced Materials was listed as a top polluter in the Georgia Water Coalition’s 2017 Dirty Dozen report, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division proposed changes to clean water regulations that could allow Rayonier to continue polluting the Altamaha River. The smelly discharge from the international corporation prevents people from comfortably swimming and fishing in the area. More importantly, the proposed amendments would fundamentally change Georgia narrative water quality standards statewide. In its letter to the Board of Natural Resources, EPD requested approval for amendments that would re-write the regulation:
“All waters shall be free from material related to municipal, industrial or other discharges which produce turbidity, color, odor or other objectionable conditions which unreasonably [language added] interfere with designated [replaces “legitimate”] water uses.”
Although seemingly benign, these changes would have major ramifications. Changing “legitimate” to “designated” would reduce legal protections for activities in many of Georgia’s rivers, lakes and streams, such as boating and swimming. The insertion of “unreasonably” would give industrial polluters an additional loophole to weaken citizen enforcement suits.
Act Now – Please write or call the DNR Board
and Governor Deal
or leave a comment at EPDcomments@dnr.ga.gov
Asking that the Environmental Protection Division work to protect the environment and Georgia citizens, not a singular industrial polluter willing to put all of Georgia’s lakes, rivers and streams at risk. It’s our Water. It’s our Right.
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