Protecting our Black-Water Wonderland

Ebenezer Creek:

Keeping our Citizens Informed

Ebenezer creek is a blackwater tributary of the Savannah River in Effingham County, Georgia, about 20 miles north of the City of Savannah. A nationally recognized Scenic River, it is one of only 4 designated in the state of Georgia, and is precious natural resource to the City of Springfield and coastal Georgia citizens and visitors alike. People flock hundreds of miles away to float down its majestic waters making it an economic driver in the community.

The Fear
Earlier this spring, DRT America (DRTA), a privately held French company specializing in distilling rosin and turpentine, has applied for a permit to pipe treated wastewater into the Springfield sewage treatment facility. Residents and visitors fear the potential threat of pollution that turpentine and other unknown chemicals could have on Ebenezer Creek and neighboring blackwater tributaries.

Public Hearing 
Coastal citizens have been raising their voices. On May 17, 2017 it was standing room only at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s public hearing concerning DRTA’s request for an industrial wastewater permit. Paulita Bennett-Martin, OHM’s Savannah-based Chief of Coastal Advocacy, spoke at the meeting saying, in part,

“Our primary concern is the level of uncertainty in the pre-treatment permit. Ebenezer creek is a unique and vastly important blackwater system on our coast. The best interests of the citizens of Springfield and our natural resources must be protected.”

At this time, One Hundred Miles recommends … 

  1. The EPD should not issue a pretreatment permit absent a secure plan for wastewater disposal.
  2. DRTA must provide more information to the public and to city officials.
  3. The EPD should extend the public comment period by 60-days and postpone regulatory decisions on DRTA’s pretreatment permit application.

Read our full comment letter and position here.

As more details emerge, we’ll keep you informed on how you can make your voice heard for the coast we love. Contact Paulita Bennett-Martin at (912) 650-1156 or [email protected] for questions or concerns.

Ebenezer Creek Photos courtesy of Ian Wilson,