Action Alert: Keep the Muck out of My Trout Stream
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Keep the Muck out of My Trout Stream
You can take action on this alert by reading the information below and following the
directions at the bottom.
SB 299 allows laws and rules that protect streams to be ignored so that activities sending mud and other pollutants into streams can be allowed if the pollutants can be cleaned from drinking water - at some point downstream.
Mud and muck kills trout streams. Silt suffocates fish eggs eliminating trout reproduction. It destroys the habitat of aquatic food - caddis flies, mayflies, stone flies, and such. Pollutants can kill fish and food sources directly. Destroy the food chain; destroy the fishery.
Current laws and rules set minimum standards for the protection of mountains, river corridors, and watersheds of streams and lakes that are used as public water supply. And, these minimum standards must include stream buffers, land development densities, and land use activities. SB 299 eliminates the requirement of these considerations as part of the minimum standards. Instead, as long as the polluted water can be cleaned to drinking water standards, the new regulations allow ground and bank disturbing activities no matter how muddy the water gets. Chemicals, fertilizers, septic tanks, removal of protective vegetation, and more can be allowed right next to the stream. The new standard required under SB 299 is that the pollution cannot contaminate water resources to a point where water cannot be treated to drinking water standards. Streams can even be polluted to the point they are a health hazard making them unfishable!
Downstream property owners will just have to suffer lower property values and the taking of their property rights that will be lost to siltation and pollution. The rights and privileges of trout fishermen, paddlers and swimmers who use and enjoy Georgia’s streams and lakes get seized too. Downstream residents will have to pay more to get clean drinking water.
Use the form below to just say “Keep The Muck Out Of My Trout Stream.” It is time that protections for waters and watersheds are enhanced not degraded.
Your message will be sent to each of the following targets:
Environmental Protection Division
Senator Ross Tolleson
Senator Steve Gooch
Your State Representative
Your State Senator
A sample message appears below, which you may edit before sending.
Vote “NO” on SB 299
I am your constituent and an active voter.
Georgia’s creeks, rivers, and lakes are special. Trout waters are of particular importance to me. Current Georgia law protects these resources and their existing uses by requiring consideration of buffer areas along streams and reservoirs, land development densities, and land use activities in the minimum standards set in Department of Natural Resources regulations.
SB 299 proposes to roll-back these protections. Simply stated, as long as the contaminated water can be treated to drinking water quality, real standards – those that actually keep the pollutants out of the water - can be removed from consideration. Property rights of downstream landowners can be taken. Property values can be diminished. Rights of fishermen, paddlers, swimmers, and others who want to use and enjoy Georgia’s waters also would be taken. Downstream residents will have to pay more for clean drinking water.