A new report ranks the Savannah River third in the country for the amount of toxic discharge released into its water. More than 5 million pounds of waste were discharged into the river in 2010, according to the report from Environment Georgia. Tonya Bonitatibus of Savannah Riverkeeper says officials have been working on a pollution reduction plan for several years. But she says little has changed in the meantime. “What we’ve got on this river is we’ve still got a large amount of pollution going in, we’ve got permits that expired five, six years ago, and it’s the status quo.”
Unspecified future renovations to Savannah’s Wilshire and President Street Water Pollution Control Plants will cost millions of dollars, according to Public Works and Water Resources Director John Sawyer. Sawyer spoke to reporters Thursday after briefing city council on upcoming changes to pollution requirements. On an average day, Sawyer says Savannah’s plants fall well below the pollution limits set by their state permits. But those limits are set to change to bring plants into compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards revised in 2010. At the time, the new regulations represented a 76 percent reduction in daily pollution along the length of the Savannah river.
The Georgia Water Coalition has released its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of water quality issues. The list highlights what environmental groups consider to be the issues most urgently demanding action. This is the third annual list. There are some new and some old issues on it.
Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia will host South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Wednesday in Hartwell, Ga., near the South Carolina border. The governors and lawmakers from South Carolina and Georgia are meeting on water management issues in the Savannah River basin.
The U.S. Coast Guard is alerting mariners in the Savannah area to expect significantly higher and faster-moving water on the Savannah River. Coast Guard officials say the conditions are expected to begin around Thursday and will likely peak with a 10-foot high tide late Monday.
An upcoming dragboat racing event in Augusta has been canceled because of rising floodwaters along the Savannah River. The Augusta Southern Nationals dragboat races were canceled. The races were scheduled to be held July 19-21.
Georgia and South Carolina will spend $748,000 in the coming year to move forward with a proposed joint shipping terminal on the Savannah River, but local officials hungry for the jobs a new port would create complain the neighboring states are dragging their feet.
An unusual financial deal could clean up the toxic site of a bankrupt sulfuric acid plant in Savannah. When the Tronox facility emerged from bankruptcy two years ago, it was put in a trust. The trust's manager wants to sell the property for at least $30 million.
Lawmakers from Georgia and South Carolina are pledging to hold additional meetings to discuss water issues along the Savannah River. Georgia lawmakers spent several hours visiting to the Statehouse in Columbia yesterday.