EPA considering abandoning Floridan Aquifer?

The new water rule EPA plans to propose may be much more about all our drinking water underground in Florida and south Georgia than about anybody’s private pond.

Stacey H. Mitchell, David H. Quigley and Bryan Williamson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, 11 December 2018, United States: Dipping Its Toe In The Groundwater? Supreme Court Eyes Expedited Review For Clean Water Act Case,

Specifically, the Court aims to address a circuit split among the 4th, 5th and 9th Circuits in determining whether only direct discharges to “navigable waters” (rivers, lakes and other surface waters, for example) are covered or whether groundwater that is “hydrologically connected to surface water” is subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) pollution discharge requirements.2 Groundwater—that is, water held beneath the soil or in between rock structures—does not fall under CWA jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for many years, maintained that pollutants that flow with a direct and immediate hydrologic connection through groundwater into surface waters are properly regulated under the CWA.3 Environmentalists agree with EPA’s long-standing position, while many in industry say that the agency is reaching beyond its scope.

Surface water interchanges with groundwater all the time here in the southeast coastal plain, where we all drink with straws from the groundwater.


Figure from same USGS study as below.

This SCOTUS case appears to be related to the forthcoming EPA rule change proposal that has been all over the news lately. More from the same article: Continue reading

Help stop sprawl in Marion County 2018-12-18

You can help protect the Rainbow River and the Withlacoochee (south) River this Tuesday. WWALS member Janet Barrow recommends:

Love Marion County? Want to keep what you love about it? Show up and support changes to the Comp Plan that will help curtail sprawl and add protections for our rural and conservation lands and waters, including protection from a toll road cutting through our area. Show up. Speak in support of the language to protect the Farmland Preservation Area and all areas to the south and west to the county lines (SW Marion County.)

When: 2PM, Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Where: Board of County Commissioners Auditorium
601 SE 25th Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34470

What: “The Marion County Board of County Commissioners to hold a Transmittal public hearing to consider the 2018 Evaluation and Appraisal Report based amendments to the Marion County Comprehensive Plan.”

Event: facebook

Julliette Falls Golf Club and Community to the north
Photo: Jim Tatum, on WWALS Southwings flight, pilot Roy Zimmer, navigator Andrea Rea, 2017-02-07.

Marion County denied the AZ Ocala Ranch development and is Continue reading

Bacteria levels all dropped 2018-12-12

Bacterial levels at all stations Valdosta tests dropped this week, according to the Wednesday 12 Dec 2018 test results returned for a WWALS open records request.

Graph, Withlacoochee

The only station above the 200 cfu/100 ml Fecal coliform limit was at Continue reading

Ask GA-EPD: tell everyone when anyone spills: petition

By popular demand, here is a petition to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD): Tell everyone when anyone spills.

Ask, Slides

This petition is for individuals. Organizations can still sign the Continue reading

New catch basin proposed for Valdosta’s WWTP

Items 2 (new catch basin proposed for Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, WWTP) and 3 (zero lift station spills) have not been published elsewhere. Received Thursday, December 6, 2018. -jsq

From: Tim Carroll

Hey John,

I just wanted to follow up from our conversation the other day. I had a very good conversation with [Utilities Director] Darryl Muse and [City Manager] Mark Barber Tuesday. Here are the highlights:

Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll

  1. We are still seeing way to[o] much Continue reading

Florida Water Quality Testing Training, SRSP 2019-01-21

WWALS is holding Florida water quality testing training, thanks to trainer Savanna Barry of the Nature Coast Biological Station.

When: Noon (12PM), Monday, January 21, 2019

Where: Pavillion 2, Suwannee River State Park, 3631 201st Path, Live Oak, FL 32060

Event: facebook, meetup; don’t forget to RSVP.

RSVP: If you want to be trained, please let us know in advance so we can be sure to have enough materials; please use this google form.

Fee: No fee. But SRSP does charge a $5 entrance fee. Feel free to make a donation to WWALS or to join, to support our activities and our advocacy such as our Water Quality Testing Program.

Suwannee River and pavillions, SRSP

If you have been trained in Georgia, Continue reading

And the WWALS kayak raffle winner is…. 2018-12-09

In the middle of our Okefenokee Campout and Paddle, we stopped at Griffis Fish Camp, with the Suwannee River behind us, to pick the long awaited winner of the fall 2018 WWALS kayak raffle, who is….

Calling the winner, Drawing Raffle Ticket Winner

Sebrina Mack, of Nashville, Georgia!

Sebrina Mack wins a Sundolphin Trek 10 Kayak, contributed by WWALS board member Bret Wagenhorst at the Berrien County Harvest Festival, in Nashville, Georgia.

Raffle sign, Kayak

We thank everyone who got a raffle ticket. All the proceeds go to supporting the activities and advocacy of WWALS Watershed Coalition.

Here’s the video: Continue reading

Tifton, Thomasville, Atlanta, Dekalb County, and Columbus, but no Albany spills 2018-12-09

Tifton spilled at three locations, adding up to 105,100 gallons of raw sewage into the Little River watershed from the Agrirama Lift Station and from TC Gordon Road, and into the New River watershed at 26th St. & Ridge Ave., upstream from the Withlacoochee River.

201809--recent-spills,
GA-EPD data through Sunday, 9 December 2018; see also raw data obtained by WWALS via GORA request.

Thomasville spilled 9,000 gallons into the Ochlockonee River watershed. Macon spilled 2,400 gallons into the Ocmulgee River watershed. Columbus spilled 9,260 gallons into the Chattahoochee River watershed, although exactly when seems hard to determine.

The big winners were Atlanta, still ongoing, and Dekalb County, with a total of 42,260 gallons of raw sewage.

Valdosta, Lowndes County, and Quitman reported no new spills, although many of Valdosta’s spills are still listed as ongoing.

Prominently missing is Albany, Georgia, which Continue reading

WCTV: Spills, Lowndes County, Valdosta, and WWALS testing and EPD ask 2018-12-06

The local TV station is keeping Lowndes County and Valdosta on their toes about sewage, while WWALS starts testing and continues urging GA-EPD to tell everybody when anybody spills.

Bacteria, WWALS: Suwannee Riverkeeper

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 6 December 2018, Heavy rain causes sewage spill in Lowndes County, Continue reading

Over the Fecal coliform line at the state line, Withlacoochee River 2018-12-05

Another mysterious rise of bacterial counts at Horn Bridge, at Mozell Spells, near State Line Ramp, Withlacoochee River, in the latest data from Valdosta, from Wednesday, December 5, 2018, obtained as usual through open records request.

Graph, Withlacoochee

Continue reading