Join friends from Atlanta to the Atlantic as Altamaha Riverkeeper presents the 8th Annual Clam Jam on Saturday, November 8, 2014! Clam Jam supports our work to protect, defend, and restore the Altamaha watershed, the largest river system in the state which includes the Ocmulgee, Oconee, and Ohoopee Rivers.
Back by popular demand, Clam Jam returns to the amazing Pine Marsh Farm in Brunswick overlooking the Marshes of Glynn. Dr. Neal and Ginger Boswell look forward to hosting the festivities which include a private farm tour and an alfresco dinner for the over 200 guests featuring the freshest local oysters, clams, and shrimp, and of course Dr. Boswell’s famous pecan smoked Boston butts. Enjoy live music, the huge silent auction, and find your inner vinophile at the Wall of Wine.
Please join our efforts, make a contribution to our fund raising auction. See event details.
ARK Proceeds with Lawsuit against Rayonier
On July 14, Altamaha Riverkeeper attorneys filed a "Response in Opposition "brief to Rayonier's motion to have the Altamaha Riverkeeper's Clean Water Act citizen suit case against them dismissed. This filing is an important step in the proceedings. Rayonier attorneys will now file a response to ARK's brief. The judge will review the case over the next couple months and make a ruling on the dismissal in the fall. If the judge rules in ARK's favor, the case will proceed to the discovery phase.
Thanks to ARK attorneys Hutton Brown with GreenLaw, Donald Stack with Stack & Associates, P.C. and Nathaniel Hunt with Southern Environmental Law Center for doing a great job in preparing a very strong brief.
BRUNSWICK, GA. | A federal judge said Tuesday she is not inclined — at least not initially — to issue a summary judgment in a suit against Rayonier Inc. over its discharges into the Altamaha River at Jesup.
Rayonier moved for the summary judgment, a ruling that would halt the suit before trial. The Altamaha Riverkeeper sued Rayonier in March asserting that wastewater dumped into the river contains organic compounds that stain the river water and produce bad odors in violation of a consent order the company signed with the state Environmental Protection Division.
Rayonier says it has spent $70 million to reduce color in discharges by half, but Riverkeeper says the river is still stained black because the company still uses outmoded treatment methods.
Rayonier’s motion for a summary judgment centered on the language in the company’s discharge permit. One of the company’s lawyers, Patricia T. Barmeyer, told Chief U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood that the Riverkeeper was relying on language she dismissed as “boilerplate’’ that is included in all Environmental Protection Division permits.
The question, Barmeyer said, is whether the color, odor and turbidity standards that Rayonier is accused of violating are actually part of water quality standards.
Permits include specific standards that are spelled out that companies are compelled to meet, Barmeyer said.
Farther down in the permit, the EPD has set those specific standards for the company to comply with, she said.
One of the Riverkeeper’s lawyer, Hutton Brown of GreenLaw, an Atlanta-based environmental firm, agreed that the color, turbidity and odor requirements are narrative, as Barmeyer asserted, but said they should not be dismissed.
The standards are mentioned in the first sentence on the first page of the discharge permit and are incorporated into Georgia’ water quality standards, Brown told Wood.
“This is not a cover page meant to keep the document warm,” he said.
“Would I prefer it were spelled out specifically? Yes,” but the fact that it is not does not undermine the interpretation, Brown argued.
While she said she is inclined to not grant Rayonier’s motion, Wood said she would look at the rules of contract interpretation and apply them before issuing an order.
Wood gave both sides 10 days to make their cases on the order and magnitude of those rules.
Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405
Shots Fired in the Battle over the Buffer
By Brian Lucy, Altamaha Riverkeeper & CEO
Why is Director Judson Turner of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) blatantly defying the Georgia Court of Appeals and urging others to follow his lead?
On August 12, 2014 Mr. Turner fired off a memorandum to Local Issuing Authorities and Interested Parties across the state, not only stating that EPD will not be following the recent Georgia Court of Appeals ruling to uphold buffer protections for state waters, but that he recommends Local Issuing Authorities and others do the same. READ MORE...
Join Altamaha Riverkeeper Monday For An Important Meeting of the Senate Groundwater Study Committee.
MONDAY, AUGUST 4, 2014 @ 1 PM
Jekyll Island Convention Center
Please attend this meeting on Long Term Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) at the Jekyll Island Convention Center from 1-3 p.m. and voice your concerns to help ensure that our coastal aquifer is protected through a renewed moratorium on Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) READ MORE...
We haven't set a date yet for the next cruise, but it was too much fun not to do it again. And we already have a bunch of folks on the waiting list we were unable to accommodate this time around. If you are interested in joining us next time, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to let you know when we have the next cruise scheduled.
Dear ARK Friends,
Thanks to all who participated in our sunset river cruise from Hampton Point Marina to Mudcat Charlie's (and back). We had a great group for our four-boat "Armada on the Altamaha" and good cooperation from Mother Nature, with perfect temperatures, a beautiful sunset, light shows from several thunderstorms close enough to dazzle but too distant to threaten and a nearly full moon to guide us home.
Help ARK, watch the video now, and share with
your friends on facebook, websites and more. Take action by rolling over the video for tools to share and create
awareness that will stop this pollution of Georgia's greatest river.
A Gala Gathering by the Ocmulgee River
Join local ARK board members Brian Adams, John Buckner, Dick Creswell, Field Gudenrath, and Dubose Porter at the Creswell River Cabin at Popes Ferry near Macon
6:30 PM Saturday, October 11, 2014
Space is limited; RSVP by September 26th
$250 donation requested
The Gala Features
Burlap Roasted Oysters
A Tidewater Dinner by Moonhanger Catering including Oysters Dovetail & Jumbo Georgia Pink Shrimp
Martengale Bluegrass Band
This is a fundraiser for the Altamaha Riverkeeper, Inc., dedicated to the protection, defense,
and restoration of Georgia’s biggest river system — the Altamaha, including its tributaries
the Ocmulgee River, the Oconee River and the Ohoopee River Presented byCox Communications
$250 Donation Requested
I cannot attend but would like to make a financial contribution to support a healthy watershed.