Keeping the Flint River clean

Keeping the Flint River clean
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 4:43 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Keeping Albany’s most famous body of water clean is a passion for some residents. WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with one man who has made it his mission to keep Albany’s Flint River healthy so all can enjoy it.

This is the 50th year of the Clean Water Act in Georgia. Has it made a difference to the Flint River?

”Yes sir, it has. It’s made a difference to every river, creek, and wetland in the whole country, in a lot of different ways. Specifically for the Flint, it has made difference. Yes, sir, a very positive one,” Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers said.

Obviously, everybody wants clean water.  But it’s something you work for daily. I know a lot of people across the United States have done a lot of work to make sure our water stays safe.

“Yes sir. The extreme features of the Clean Water Act include citizens’ ability and individual citizens’ abilities, and citizen groups like Flint Riverkeeper, our ability to bring lawsuits, federal lawsuits, under the Act. But the act has more importance than that. Perhaps the most important features of the Clean Water Act early on were the establishment of pollution permitting for various sorts of municipal, industrial, and other water discharge. And then there were and still are federal programs to assist in particular municipalities, with coming in compliance with those permits. In other words, building the infrastructure. So for many decades now, since the early 70′s the federal, state, and local governments and private industry have worked cooperatively to improve the health of our nation’s rivers. And so what we are dealing with now, is a combination of the aging infrastructure, which Albany is a good example of that. And I’ll get to that in a moment.  And what I would call outlaws.  People that are violating the act because it adds money to their bottom line, to violate the act. And so that’s kind of two different areas that we deal in at Flint Riverkeeper. And we’ve worked very closely with the city of Albany on the combined sewer overflow situation.  Which technically is and was a violation of the Clean Water Act.  But we’ve been able to address that without lawsuits. Which is absolutely wonderful.  I applaud the city for moving forward,” Rogers said.

That is good news because everyone wants our rivers and waterways clean.