This incredible video sheds light on the issue of industrial polluters on the Savannah River; specifically speaking, the piece refers to permitted polluters. Under the Clean Water Act companies wanting to discharge treated wastewater or other pollutants were required to obtain a permit from the government to do so. This process is known as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program.
In Charleston, we have a very similar problem (potentially on a larger scale!). As noted in the interview with the Savannah Riverkeeper’s board chair, the Savannah has about 45 permitted polluters discharging into the river. Within our tri-county jurisdiction, there are over 200 permitted polluters discharging into the Charleston Harbor watershed!
To address this issue, we have recently launched our NPDES permit review program and are in the process of reviewing all 200 permitted polluters within our region. Stay tuned as we move forward with this effort.