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Georgia’s Dirty Dozen for 2013

November 18, 2013

The Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) released the 2013 Dirty Dozen on November 13.  Georgia River Network is one of the GWC’s more than 200 partners, which represent a total of 300,000 Georgians.

The Dirty Dozen exposes the links between agency underfunding, legislative schemes, and political cronyism to offenses against Georgia’s waterways.  You can read the press release here.  You can find the full report (and links to the individual issues) on the GWC’s website. (If you are using Google Chrome, you may need to access your browsing data “History” and “empty the cache” to view the 2013 report).

The Dirty Dozen include examples of unacceptable industrial pollution of groundwater (Satilla River/Seven Out) and industrial stormwater that pollutes a stream flowing into Lake Lanier (Flat Creek/Pilgrim’s Pride).

A host of unnecessary reservoirs (Etowah/Richland Creek and Chattahoochee/Glades) funded by the Governor’s Water Supply Program make the list again.  More than $160 million – out of more than $180 million – has been earmarked during the past two years to pay for expensive, unnecessary and environmentally damaging dam and reservoir projects.

The list also includes other water quality issues from last year that have not been resolved.  While pulp fiber product giant Rayonier enjoyed profits of $411 million in 2012, its pulp plant in Jesup continues to foul the Altamaha.

Other items on the Dirty Dozen include a risky aquifer and recovery experiment that threatens the Floridan aquifer; local and state abdication of responsibility to halt water pollution caused by ATVs (Hurricane Creek); the orchestrated dewatering of the Flint River; ill-conceived changes to shoreline protection; and an underfunded state Safe Dams program (Lake Alice).

A number of issues also highlight the energy and water connection, including coal ash contamination (Ocmulgee/Plant Scherer), too much water withdrawn from the Savannah River for Plants Vogtle and McIntosh, and the potential for increased mercury pollution in conjunction with the struggling Plant Washington project (Oconee/Ogeechee).

The 2013 Dirty Dozen also provides success stories and updates for items that made the 2012 list.

In less than one week, the Dirty Dozen generated the following eighteen stories in newspaper, radio, television and online media markets all around the state:

  1. November 13, 2013, Gainesville Times, “Chattahoochee, Flat Creek make group’s ‘dirty dozen’ list,” by Sarah Mueller.
  2. November 13, 2013,, “Ga. Water Coalition ‘Dirty Dozen’ list includes 4 in N. Ga.,” by staff.
  3. November 13, 2013, WFXL/FOX 31 Albany, “Georgia Water Coalition names its 2013 Dirty Dozen,” by Franklin White.  Click here for video
  4. November 13, 2013, WYAY All News 106.7 – radio, interview with April Ingle.
  5. November 13, 2013,, “‘Dirty Dozen’ GA Waterways Announced,” by staff.  
  6. November 13, 2013, Macon Telegraph, “Midstate waterways make Dirty Dozen list,” by Maggie Lee.
  7. November 13, 2013, Albany Herald, “Flint River Makes the Georgia Water Coalition Dirty Dozen List Again,” by Terry Lewis.
  8. November 13, 2013, Savannah Morning News, “‘Dirty Dozen’ includes proposed new changes to beach, marsh laws,” by Mary Landers.  
  9. November 13, 2013, GPB, “Dirty Dozen mapping Georgia’s water problems,” by Orlando Montoya. 
  10. November 13, 2013, The Florida Current, “Georgia’s group ‘Dirty Dozen’ list includes three issues affecting Florida,” by Bruce Ritchie.
  11. November 13, 2013, WSAV, “Three Area Rivers Remain on ‘Dirty Dozen List,’” by JoAnn Merrigan.
  12. November 13, 2013,, “‘Dirty Dozen’ Report on GA’s Waters,” by Robert Sutherland.
  13. November 14, 2013, WALB/ABC 10 Albany, “Flint River named among Georgia’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ water offences,” by Jim Wallace.
  14. November 14, 2013, WFXG/Fox 54 Augusta, “Flint River named among Georgia’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ water offences,” by Jim Wallace.
  15. November 14, 2013, Rome News-Tribune, “Etowah River makes ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of worst offenses against Georgia’s water,” by Alan Riquelmy.
  16. November 14, 2013, 1340 WGAU, April Ingle interview on Newsmakers with Tim Bryant.
  17. November 15, 2013, Brunswick News, “List brings attention to local waterways,” by Editors.
  18. November 16, 2012, LaGrange Daily News, “Chattahoochee again on ‘Dirty Dozen’ list,” by staff. 

-Chris Manganiello

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