Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee Task Force Report

suwannee task force In: Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee Task Force Report | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Planning Council Suwannee River Task Force, June 2019. Photo by Jim Tatum

 

The Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force subcommittee of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council met virtually on May 20, 2020. For the first thirty minutes of the meeting there was not a quorum but Commissioner Hale came to the rescue making it all legal.

Suwannee River Water Management District  Tom Mirti gave updates from the Florida Department of Health which can be summarized by saying current testing has given the Florida portion of the Suwannee a fairly clean bill of health, but further into Georgia they have detected some bacteria thought to be from sources other than  Valdosta.

Madison County has penned a letter to the Georgia Environmental Protection Department (EPD) requesting compensation to those in the county who incurred expenses due to the huge December, 2019 spill.  Residents had to pay for water testing, water treatment, water system installation and purification, not counting the unnecessary molestation of polluted wells and loss of potable water.

Several other representatives from affected counties agreed to send individual letters and the Task Force also.  Task Force member Meeks requested that the $122,000 fine imposed on the City of Valdosta  by the Georgia Environmental Protection Department be used specifically to help solve the pollution problem, still undergoing testing.

Some discussion of suggestions to the EPD regarding the Consent Order imposed on Valdosta were made, including lifting time limits on water sampling programs.

There were no public comments, and Chair Rick Davis adjourned the meeting at 4:47 pm, after announcing that there is a tentative planned joint meeting with the City of Valdosta on July 8, which may be in person or virtual, depending on circumstances.

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