Tag Archives: coal

Coal Plant Public Hearing in Albany, GA 2017-05-04

Our neighbor Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers requests people to come to Albany, GA for a coal ash public hearing. If you can’t go, please send in comments.

When: 7PM, Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where: Albany Technical College
Kirkland Conference Center
1704 S. Slappey Blvd.
Albany, GA 31701

What: Public Hearing about draft
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit
for Georgia Power Company’s Plant Mitchell.

Why: It’s about coal ash.


Plant Mitchell (Georgia Power Co.) near Albany, GA 7/14/94. Photo courtesy of USGS. T.W. Hale, in Pamela P. Holliday, Sherpa Guides, unknown date, The Albany Levee: Trying to Tame the Flint.

Georgia Power proposed to convert Plant Mitchell from coal to biomass, but ended up closing it. That leaves coal ash ponds that have to be dewatered and the coal ash put somewhere for long-term storage. Power companies like to ship coal ash to local landfills; for example the landfill in Lowndes County Georgia accepted coal ash from TVA and from Florida.

There is no dewatering plan for Plant Mitchell on GA-EPD’s coal ash information page, so it will be interesting to see what is being proposed for this NPDES permit.

Here’s the GA-EPD announcement of March 31, 2017:

Public Hearing Information:

EPD will hold a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on May 4, 2017. The hearing will be held at the Albany Technical College, Kirkland Conference Center located at 1704 S. Slappey Blvd., Albany, GA 31701. The purpose of the public hearing is to receive comments on the draft NPDES permit for Georgia Power Company—Plant Mitchell.

The public hearing is a formal process to receive comments on the draft permit. Participants who wish to comment for the record are requested to sign in upon arrival. Hearing participants will not be subject to questions from the audience, but may be questioned by the Hearing Officer for clarification of technical points or to develop a better understanding of statements. Questions asked by participants making statements will be answered by EPD in writing at a later date. Lengthy statements or statements of a considerable technical or economic nature should be submitted in writing for the official record. During the hearing, oral statements shall be limited to three (3) minutes to allow everyone an opportunity to be heard. Comments should be confined to water quality issues as they relate to the draft permit.

Written comments are welcomed. To ensure their consideration, written comments should be received by close of business on May 8, 2017. Please address written comments to the address listed below, or via e-mail at EPDcomments@dnr.ga.gov . If you choose to e-mail your comments, please be sure to include the words “NPDES Permit Issuance—Georgia Power Company—Plant Mitchell” in the subject line to ensure that your comments will be forwarded to the correct staff. The permit application, draft permit, comments received, and other information are available for review at 2 MLK Jr. Drive, Suite 1152E, Atlanta, GA 30334, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please bring this notice to the attention of interested persons.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Court suggests FERC is derelict of duty about pipelines including Sabal Trail

Two judges accused FERC of not doing its duty. At stake: shutting down Sabal Trail, and maybe reforming FERC, in oral arguments today on Sierra Club, Flint Riverkeeper, and Chattachoochee Riverkeeper v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Case No. 16-1329 in the U.S. DC Court of Appeals.

Lena Moffit, Sierra Club Florida News, 18 April 2017, Sierra Club attorneys argue against Sabal Trail gas pipeline at DC Circuit Court of Appeals,

Judge [Judith W.] Rogers said at one point to the FERC lawyer, regarding their need to assess the full climate impacts of the project, “So, FERC just doesn’t have to do it’s duty because it thinks someone else will?”

Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E News, 18 April 2017, Judge slams FERC’s climate review,

[Judge Thomas B.] Griffith also appeared skeptical of FERC’s position, asking Continue reading

Videos: Coal Ash meeting in Valdosta @ WWALS 2017-03-01

The Georgia legislature did nothing but appoint a study committee, but you can see why they should do more, in these WWALS videos of the coal ash meeting in Valdosta that was organized by Rev. Deacon Leeann Culbreath of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL). Thanks to Rev. Floyd Rose for the venue at Academy of Excellence on Lee Street.

The Valdosta Daily Times covered this meeting, but did not mention the local landfill, which was a major topic of my presentation, as you can see in my slides. The Mayor of Valdosta disclaims any control over that landfill and the Lowndes County Commission expressed no interest. Nevermind both city and county governments have Continue reading

Videos: Coal ash at Valdosta City Council and Lowndes County Commission 2017-03-09-14

Continuing after the recent public meetings, WWALS and others talked about coal ash at the Valdosta City Council March 9th, with a puzzling response from the Mayor, and at the Lowndes County Commission March 14th, with an interruption by the Chairman and no other response. Both city and county have had the same members on the board of the Deep South Solid Waste Management Authority (WMA) since 2005, so presumably they have more control than they want to admit over the local privatized landfill with its coal ash, PCBs, and Superfund wastewater. Remember, that landfill is a quarter mile uphill from the Withlacoochee River and in a Floridan Aquifer recharge zone.

WWALS Executive Directory Gretchen Quarterman spoke at both meetings. WWALS member Bill Worstell spoke at the Valdosta City Council meeting, as did J.D. Rice. (Meanwhile, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman and one other spoke to the Valdosta City Council about sewage.)

Here are LAKE videos of each speaker, with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. Continue reading

Videos: Sewage at Valdosta City Council 2017-03-09

Two citizens spoke about sewage overflows at the Valdosta City Council Thursday 9 March 2017, including about the seven downstream Florida counties passing resolutions calling on the Florida governor to step in. Here are LAKE videos of what they said and the mayor’s answers. Also, George Boston Rhynes told a droll tale about a dead cat and turkeys.

Groups want coal ash regulation –VDT 2017-03-07

The VDT article never said “landfill” even though landfills were one of the main topics of the bills and of the discussion, including specifically the active landfill in Lowndes County, which has already received coal ash from Tennessee and Florida. Maybe you’d like to come mention that to Valdosta City Council Thursday evening.

Daniel DeMersseman, Valdosta Daily Times, 7 March 2017, Groups want coal ash regulation,

VALDOSTA — Georgia Interfaith Power & Light recently sponsored a presentation on the dangers of improperly stored coal ash.

Members of GIPL, No Ash at All, and Suwanee Riverkeeper joined together to discuss proper coal ash storage.

Gretchen videoing and photographing
Picture by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition, 2017-03-01.

“Coal ash contains Continue reading

Georgia legislature fails even to require notice on coal ash 2017-03-03

The coal ash bills didn’t even get out of the HNRE Committee, which instead appointed a study committee. You can ask your Georgia House members to get on that committee.

Peggy Riggins
Peggy Riggins Leslie Webb Riggins of No Ash At All in Valdosta 2017-03-01; photo by John S. Quarterman for WWALS.

Georgia Water Coalition, Press Release, 2 March 2017, Toxic Ash Dumping to remain secret; Georgia House Committee fails to vote on bills requiring community notification

Last year, Jesup residents found out that a landfill near their homes and wells leaked toxic metals found in coal ash into the soil and groundwater. The landfill company is proposing to make the landfill bigger and accept even more of the toxic waste.

“It felt like a punch in the gut,” said Peggy Riggins, Jesup resident. “We found out that toxins found in coal ash were underneath the landfill in our county. The government and the landfill knew for years before we were ever told. This is unacceptable. Our communities deserve to know about proposals to bring in toxic coal waste before its too late and has caused a problem.”

Mary Landers, SavannahNow, 2 March 2017, Lawmakers avoid public notice on coal ash dumping, Continue reading