Posts Tagged ‘EPA’

U.S. House of Representatives Delays Expansion Of Clean Water Act

Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-Minnesota) shelved for 2009 legislation expanding the Clean Water Act to allow the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to protect all of the nation’s waterways.  The expansion would allow government regulation of 20 million acres of the nation’s so-called isolated wetlands and the 59 percent of the nation’s streams that do not flow year-round.  Currently, these two types of water are largely exempt from federal oversight.

Rep. Oberstar intends to introduce the legislation again in January, 2010.

This proposed expansion of the Clean Water Act would substantially alter use, development and occupancy of property throughout Georgia.

h/t Laurel David.


EPA Will Regulate Carbon Dioxide

The Environmental Protection Agency now concludes that greenhouse gases pose a danger to human health and the environment, paving the way for regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, power plants, factories refineries and other major sources.

The move gives President Obama a significant tool to combat the gases blamed for the heating of the planet even while Congress remains stalled on economy-wide global warming legislation.

The Obama administration has signaled its intent to issue a so-called endangerment finding for carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases since taking office in January.

Two years ago, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore controversially concluded the same thing Friends of the Chattachooche, Inc. and Sierra Club v. Dr. Carol Couch, Director Environmental Protection Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Longleaf Energy Associates, LLC, Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, Civil Action File No. 2008CV146398 in a challenge to a coal-fired power plant to be built in Early County, Georgia on the banks of the Chattahoochee River south of Columbus. 

The proposed coal plant was abandoned in early 2009.

Stimulus Money To Clean Up Fort Valley Superfund Site

There are sixteen contaminated sites in Georgia on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priority List.  The site of the former Woolfork Chemical Plant outside Fort Valley will receive $5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to complete  its clean-up.

Fort Valley Mayor Dr. John Stumbo:

The Woolfolk Chemical Plant started operations there in about 1924. They made agricultural pesticides that were arsenic lace. In those days, of course, there was no air conditioning and because of the heat, most of the mixing of this dry material was done in sheds that simply had a roof and no side walls. So, as the winds blew through there, it would carry this contaminated dust all over the area. The second company came in there in the 1970s, they were called Canada in Georgia, and they were doing the same thing.

The 31-acre Woolfork site sits close to downtown Fort Valley and near Fort Valley State University.  This site has long been seen as the hope for revitalization of downtown Fort Valley. The Woolfork site was deemed eligible for the Superfund program in 1990.  Since then more than $27 million has gone in to cleaning up the chemical contamination.

In the early 1980s, citizen complaints prompted the Georgia environmental officials to investigate Woolfolk amid allegations of discharge of waste products into a drainage corridor heading away from the site. No injuries have been reported but one lawsuit forced a former Woolfolk owner to reimburse residents for declining property values.

Today, according to the EPA, all excavation of arsenic from residential soil is complete, as well as the removal of arsennic contaminated dust from residential attics.
Fort Valley hopes this latest cash infusion will complete the cleanup of Woolfolk, fulfilling its promise of downtown revitalization.

Mayor Stumbo offers his take on Life After Superfund here.

Georgia Builders Settle EPA Stormwater Pollution Case

In a $4.3million settlement agreement, Georgia residential builders Pulte Homes, KB Home, Centex Homes ended a six-year investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice into compliance with the stormwater management provisions of the Clean Water Act.  The investigation focused compliance efforts between 2001 and 2004 and covered seventy-one  subdivision construction sites in Georgia.

Pulte Homes, based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., will pay $877,000; KB Home, based in Los Angeles will pay $1,185,000; Centex Homes, based in Dallas, will pay $1,485,000; and, Richmond American Homes, based in Denver will pay $795,000 in penalties.  Richmond American Homes did not have properties in Georgia.