Water contamination is an important issue in the state of Georgia. As evidence of this, the Georgia Water Coalition recently released a list identifying the 12 biggest threats to the integrity of Georgia’s water resources. The list, it has been pointed out, does not simply deal with Georgia’s most polluted waters, but rather the most significant threats to maintaining clean waters throughout the state.
The list includes things like: weakened state agency allows industries to foul the Chattahoochee River; delayed state cleanup plan allows power company to continue polluting the Coosa River; and nuclear reactors suck water and life out of the Savannah River. Many of the threats are connected to a crisis of enforcement or the need to reform existing environmental law.
Georgia has passed a couple laws aimed at keeping waterways clean. One of them is the Georgia Water Quality Control Act, which sets out the standards to follow in keeping with the federal Clean Water Act. The latter is aimed at reducing pollution and maintaining the integrity of waterways. Georgia laws establish specific water quality standards which businesses and municipalities must follow. Then there is the state Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act, which seeks to prevent soil erosion and sedimentation stemming from activities that disturb the integrity of land.
Those who have been harmed by the violation of state and federal clean water laws have the right to seek appropriate remedies in court. In pursuing these cases, it is important to work with an experienced environmental law attorney to ensure one builds the best case possible.
Source: The Douglas Enterprise, “Georgia Water Coalition Names 2014 ‘Dirty Dozen’,” October 27, 2014.