FERC rubberstamped Suwannee M&R Station and Sabal Trail already built it 2019-02-11

FERC took less than a week to rubberstamp Sabal Trail’s first of February request, and Sabal Trail took less than a week after that to put the Metering and Regulation Station in service, connecting to Florida Gas Transmission in Suwannee County, Florida, onwards under the proposed phosphate mine site in Union and Bradford Counties, to Jacksonville, where Eagle LNG and Crowley Maritime’s Carib Energy are already sending LNG at least as far as Puerto Rico. Do the “applicable remaining terms and conditions of the Orders” include not leaking, like Sabal Trail already did at its nearby compressor station?

[3.4 miles, Hildreth Compressor Station to Suwannee M&R]
3.4 miles, Hildreth Compressor Station to Suwannee M&R; see also Google map.

Monthly Valdosta WQ Data 2019-02-07

Valdosta has fallen down to only monthly water quality testing, instead of their former weekly schedule.

Graph, Withlacoochee River Basin, Withlacoochee

They’ve also dropped their two state line stations, so the GA-FL Line trace on this graph ends in December 2018.

Wide Map, Stations

Readings have risen since their January sampling, with Valdosta’s US 84 sampling station above the Georgia state limit at 265 cfu/100 ml of E. coli. Continue reading

The rest of the Valdosta wastewater story at SRWMD 2019-02-12

Valdosta Utilities naturally painted as rosy a picture as possible, and newspapers have limited space, so here is the rest of the story about Valdosta wastewater at the Suwannee River Water Management District board meeting last Tuesday. SRWMD Chair Virginia H. Johns understands the stigma, and Board Member Virginia Sanchez spelled it out:

SRWMD Chair Virginia H. Johns

“You don’t want to swim in a little sewage versus a lot of sewage either. Both of them are bad. A spill is bad.”

Featured in this post, drawing from the WWALS videos of all the relevant speakers, are Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse, who talked about the catch basin Valdosta is digging, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, who filled in many pieces omitted by Valdosta and FDEP, and Hamilton County resident Jim McBrayer, who got the attention of the SRWMD board by saying there was E. coli in his well and SRWMD should know where it came from, plus especially the very participatory SRWMD board, who made it pretty clear to FDEP they wanted data by their next meeting, and they wanted Valdosta to move along in fixing their problems in less than a hundred years.

Let’s not forget Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, who pointed out something Valdosta doesn’t want to hear: it’s the stigma of sewage spills that is the big problem they are causing. For sure we need to find out what the specific health and other effects are of Valdosta sewage and other contamination on river water and nearby wells. But the stigma of Valdosta sewage goes far beyond that.

Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta

In the WWALS video, Continue reading

All Sewage Spills GA EPD 2015-2018

Who in Georgia spilled how much sewage where and when? For example, SRWMD board members wanted to know how does Valdosta compare to the rest of Georgia? So that everyone can see, here are all the sewage spills reported to GA-EPD for the calendar years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Atlanta, Valdosta, Thomasville, Macon, Excerpt
Atlanta, Valdosta, Thomasville, Macon, Thunderbolt, and others spilled in late April and early May, 2015.

Depicted here is an excerpt, since all 4,577 rows would be a bit much to show. Follow the link for the entire HTML table.

Valdosta happens to show only a small spill in this excerpt. Or does it? Since when is Valdosta Continue reading

EPA kicks PFAS regulation a year down the road

Yesterday’s EPA PFAS plan does nothing except to study for a year or more what has already been studied. Where are the limits on amounts of these firefighting chemicals in water that would enable EPA or GA-EPD to test private wells, for example for the PFAS that got into groundwater from Moody Air Force Base’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, causing Moody’s report to say be careful eating fish caught in Beatty Branch or Cat Creek, upstream from the Withlacoochee River? Where are the funds and methods to remediate the problem and to stop it getting worse?

[Figure 25 Waste Water Treatment Plant (AFFF Area 8) PFBS, PFOA, and PFOS in Soil and Sediment]
Figure 25 Waste Water Treatment Plant (AFFF Area 8) PFBS, PFOA, and PFOS in Soil and Sediment

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 14 February 2018, EPA’s Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan, Continue reading

Paddle Race, Paddle Georgia, and Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 8:00AM 2019-02-15 2019-02-22

Update 2019-02-15: Actually, Friday, February 22, 2019. Also, we’ll be broadcasting from Valdosta Airport.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman will be on the radio 8:00 AM this Friday, February 15, 22, 2019, with Scott James on his Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show, out of Valdosta, Georgia, talking about WWALS paddle outings and events, including the BIG Little River Paddle Race Saturday, April 27, 2019, Paddle Georgia, June 15-21, 2019, and the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Saturday, August 24, 2019.

Scott James Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show

When: 8:00 AM, Friday, February 22, 2019

Where: You can listen on the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through several online listening services.

Event: facebook.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Coal Ash, Trust Funds, and Water Quality Testing at Lowndes County Bird Supper in Atlanta 2019-02-13

Last night Georgia legislators from all over the state, including numerous committee chairs, feasted on quail supplied by Lowndes County and Valdosta in the annual Bird Supper, a six-decade tradition of local lobbying in the Georgia state capitol.

Packed house, Inside

I thanked Jeff Jones (District 167) for his new coal ash bills, and reminded other legislators to vote for them this year, like they did his earlier ones last year: Continue reading

Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest Committee Meeting 2019-02-17

Our First Prize winner from the First Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Laura D’Alisera, has agreed to play at Paddle Georgia in June 2019, which will be good publicity for the Second Annual Contest in August 2019.

Laura D'Alisera
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of Laura D’Alisera performing at the First Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest at the Salty Snapper, Valdosta, GA, June 23, 2018.

Two weeks ago Laura drove an hour and a half from Jacksonville, Florida to Live Oak for a very productive Committee meeting, which also included Tom H. Johnson who came four hours from Pine Mountain, Georgia. Laura liked it so much she volunteered to join the Committee, and the WWALS board later unanimously approved that.

Come on over to Live Oak this Sunday to help organize the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest!

When: 6PM, Sunday, February 17, 2019

Where: China Town Chinese Restaurant, 1546 Ohio Ave South, Live Oak, FL 32064-4514

Event: facebook, meetup

Last time, the Committee decided Continue reading

Paddle Georgia, Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, into Florida 2019-06-15-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, February 13, 2019 — From next to the largest Suwannee River Basin city, Valdosta, to between some of the smallest, Mayo and Luraville, Paddle Georgia brings 300 people this summer to venture for the first time across the state line from Georgia to Florida, on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Suwannee Rivers, June 15 through 21, 2019.

Banners picture,
WWALS Withlacoochee River outing 2017-06-24

“Five years ago I suggested our Withlacoochee River to Joe Cook for Paddle Georgia, and he went one better, adding the Suwannee River, past two of the few second-magnitude springs in Georgia, McIntyre and Arnold, and two of the famous first-magnitude Florida Springs: Madison Blue and Lafayette,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Plus Spook Bridge and the orphaned railroad trestle near Madison, with many shoals and rapids at the GA-FL line! Special thanks to The Langdale Company for permission to take out just below Spook Bridge. Personally, I like that this paddle starts at my birthplace in Valdosta, Georgia and ends at my grandmother’s birthplace at the ferry site for Luraville, Florida.”

This event is organized by Paddle Georgia, with catered dinners and buses to and from the rivers. WWALS is assisting, for example by organizing the Spook Bridge takeout, and by pointing out many sites that non-locals might miss, ranging from springs, and Withlacoochee River agates, and the halberd-leaf rosemallow, whose blooms last only one day, to perpetual bothers such as Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Continue reading

Videos: Valdosta Wastewater at SRWMD Board 2019-02-12

Update 2019-02-18: The rest of the Valdosta wastewater story at SRWMD 2019-02-12.

The most direct interaction by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board that I’ve ever seen, yesterday, when Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse came to explain what Valdosta has done and is doing to stop its sewage spills. Neither the board nor the audience seemed satisfied.

[Movie: Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta (1458M)]
Movie: Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta (1458M)

Stay tuned for another post about some of what was said. Meanwhile, below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker or agenda item, with a few notes. These WWALS videos are under a Creative Commons Attribution license, which means you can use them, provide you cite the source, which is WWALS. There are a few more pictures on the WWALS website. See also the agenda. For background and data, see: Continue reading