‘Clean 13’ lauded by environmental and conservation groups in Georgia

The Georgia Water Coalition released a new report Wednesday applauding the "Clean 13,'" people, businesses, local governments and others from across the state that it says are working to make local waterways cleaner.

Honorees include the powerful state House Rules Chairman John Meadows, R-Calhoun, who is pushing legislation to update the state's oil and gas drilling laws and protect water supplies in northwest Georgia from a method of natural gas exploration called fracking; as well as a trio of urban efforts from the city of Atlanta, Georgia Tech and the South Fork Conservancy that are all trying to address stormwater pollution.

“One drop, one stream, one river at a time, these ‘Clean 13’ are making a difference,” said Joe Cook, of the Rome-based Coosa River Basin Initiative. The list is based on nominations made by the more than 240 environmental and conservation groups that make up the coalition.

Other honorees include Cox Enterprises, which owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for a comprehensive water recycling effort at its Manheim Georgia automotive center just west of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The inaugural report stands in contrast to the coalition's "dirty dozen" list that annually tries to shame those it considers to have had a negative impact on clean water in Georgia. Cook said the coalition hopes to the make the "clean" list an annual undertaking.