The Chattahoochee River is in more serious trouble than you might think.
An article on May 15 noted the Chattahoochee’s recent listing as one of Americas 10 most endangered rivers by a national environmental group. The article points to the reservoirs being built in Fulton and Hall counties as the greatest cause for concern.
While these reservoirs are undoubtedly a threat to the Chattahoochee’s overall water quality and flow, the article does not mention a much more serious threat: the pollution of the Chattahoochee’s tributaries.
There is currently a bill in the House of Representatives that seeks to shut down an effort to clarify the Clean Water Act. The proposed clarification will allow it to protect streams and wetlands in addition to major waterways (as it did for decades before two recent Supreme Court decisions).
The Chattahoochee, like many rivers, is fed by dozens of smaller streams. If we allow our government (and our local representatives, no less) to pass this bill, our streams will remain unprotected. Consequently, the Chattahoochee and the drinking water of 4.9 million residents could be compromised as waste from streams flows into the river.
I would strongly urge our legislators, especially Democratic Reps. John Barrow and Sanford Bishop, to reconsider their stance on the bill, and hope that the Obama Administration continues to support legislation to clarify the Clean Water Act.