For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 10, 2022
Contact: Jake Best, 770-342-9339
Sen. Ossoff Introduces Legislation to Protect & Preserve the Chattahoochee River
Chattahoochee River supplies 70 percent of metro Atlanta’s drinking water
River is key to Georgia’s farmers and agricultural sector and supplies power to communities across the state
Washington, D.C. –– U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff today introduced a bill to preserve and protect Georgia’s Chattahoochee River.
The Chattahoochee River Act, which he introduced alongside Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, will help improve water quality, protect essential public works, and restore ecosystems along the river — which are all vital to Georgia’s drinking water supply, agricultural industry, power generation, and more.
“The Chattahoochee River is one of Georgia’s most precious natural resources, vital to Georgia’s drinking water, agriculture, and our natural environment. That’s why I’ve written this bill to protect, preserve, and restore the Chattahoochee River for generations to come,” Sen. Ossoff said.
“The health of our communities in Georgia is tied to the health of our environment,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “While the Chattahoochee River’s water quality has improved in recent years, there is still 1,000 miles of Chattahoochee watershed waterways that do not meet water-quality standards. Clean water is essential for heathy and thriving communities. So, I’m proud to work with Senator Ossoff to introduce legislation to invest in improving, protecting, and preserving the Chattahoochee River.”
According to the Georgia River Network, the Chattahoochee supplies 70 percent of metro Atlanta’s drinking water.
The river is also a key source of water for farmers and agriculture, and it’s a key source of power through hydroelectric dams. As of 2013, the state of Georgia has approved more than 6,700 water withdrawal permits for agricultural use.
In 2019, the National Park Service reported visitors to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area added more than $200 million to the local economy, supporting over 2,000 local jobs.
According to the Chattahoochee River Keepers, more than 1,000 miles of waterway within the Chattahoochee watershed do not meet water quality standards, creating potential health risks to both humans and wildlife.
“Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is excited to support the Chattahoochee River Act,” said Jason Ulseth, the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. “Senator Ossoff’s and Warnock’s Chattahoochee River Program will encourage co-operation between federal and state agencies, and stakeholders. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper looks forward to working alongside Senators Ossoff and Warnock to protect and restore a river millions of people depend on.”
Click here to read the Chattahoochee River Act.
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Jon Ossoff is the Senior United States Senator from the state of Georgia. Elected in 2021, he serves on the powerful Senate Judiciary; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and Rules Committees. He also serves as Chairman of the Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.