Toxic Dump Site Restored
On October 19, CRK reached a settlement agreement with property owner M&K Warehouses, LLC, which concludes a Clean Water Act case that began in 2013. Two years ago, CRK discovered that its tenant, American Sealcoat, was dumping asphalt sealant chemicals into a tributary less than 1,000 feet from the river.
M&K has worked diligently to reverse the environmental harm caused by American Sealcoat, spending more than $500,000 on remediation, restoration and stabilization work and will also contribute $90,000 to local environmental projects to keep the Chattahoochee River clean and safe.
“CRK is pleased with this resolution and that M&K agreed to a thorough clean-up of the affected property—we’re assured that future stormwater runoff from the site will not carry any further contaminants to our beloved Chattahoochee River,” says Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth. “This settlement agreement shows that cooperation is much more effective and successful than conflict. We think this case sends a clear message to other industrial operators and property owners that compliance with water quality laws is not optional, and hope that it encourages them to follow M&K’s example of cooperation and compliance.”
Long Awaited Corps’ Study on ACF Basin Released
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a long-awaited draft manual for management of dam operations throughout the Chattahoochee River Basin.
CRK is closely reviewing this massive document (more than 700 pages), which will determine how the system is managed for drinking water and recreational opportunities while safeguarding aquatic life and downstream communities.
The Corps is planning a series of public hearings in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, with the first one set for 4-7 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Gainesville Civic Center. Stay tuned for more news and updates on this issue.
West Point Lake Floating Classroom Officially Launched
Georgia’s second floating classroom, the Miss Sally, was officially launched at Highland Marina Resort on West Point Lake in early September. The ceremony included speeches and the traditional breaking of champagne bottles over the bow of the boat for good luck and safe travels.
Watch the video and experience it for yourself!
Named the Miss Sally to honor Sally Bethea, CRK’s retired founding director and riverkeeper, the 42-foot pontoon boat is certified to carry up to 40 passengers. In its first three months of operation, twenty-five programs have been delivered to more than 600 students and adults from schools, civic groups, businesses and local organizations.
We look forward to an exciting future aboard Ms. Sally.
Meggie proves it’s never too early to be a champion for the environment!
“I’m in second grade and I recently did a service project for my class and decided to pick up trash along the river. I was inspired by a quote from Jimmy Carter: “Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political and social boundaries.”
I made a poster about my experience, including information about how trash travels down rivers. I presented it at my school’s Exhibit Night and taught my classmates, parents, and teachers about the river. I had a great time cleaning up the Chattahoochee River and learning about the river environment.”
– Meggie Sears