RELEASE: ORK meets with EPA in Washington, D.C.

Contact: Meaghan Walsh Gerard
Communications and Administrative Director

ORK is advocating for regulations for PFAS 

Damon Mullis, executive director and riverkeeper for Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK), traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to engage with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and legislators regarding the critical issue of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) regulation. Mullis expressed gratitude for the recent efforts made by the EPA and lawmakers in establishing new regulations concerning PFAS levels in drinking water.

During his visit, Mullis commended the EPA and legislators for taking the initial steps in addressing PFAS contamination. He emphasized the significance of these regulations as a foundational measure in safeguarding public health. However, Mullis underscored the urgent need for further action, particularly in the areas of fish tissue consumption guidance and the elimination of PFAS from sources such as sludge used for fertilizers.

PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals commonly found in various household and industrial products. These persistent chemicals bioaccumulate and pose a significant danger to human health and the environment due to their potential toxicity. PFAS have been linked to adverse health effects, including cancer, immune system disorders, and developmental issues. Their widespread use and persistence in the environment make them a pressing concern for communities worldwide, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive regulation and mitigation efforts to reduce exposure and protect public health.

In a statement regarding his visit, Mullis stated, “I was in D.C. last week to thank EPA and legislators for putting out new rules on acceptable levels of PFAS in drinking water. I applauded this important first step but also reminded them that fish tissue consumption guidance is needed.”

In 2018, ORK discovered PFAS was present in fish in the Ogeechee River. Since then, ORK has been working to track potential sources, press for fish consumption guidelines, and advocate for regulations around chemical uses and discharges into waterways.

The new regulations and guidance are available here:

The EPA’s press release is available here:

About Ogeechee Riverkeeper: Ogeechee Riverkeeper 501(c)(3) works to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin, which includes all of the streams flowing out to Ossabaw Sound and St. Catherine’s Sound. The Canoochee River is about 108 miles long and the Ogeechee River itself is approximately 245 miles long. The Ogeechee River system drains more than 5,500 square miles across 21 counties in Georgia. More at


PFAS EPA Wash DC – 04.2024 – Press Release


Tell Congress: Don’t let EPA weaken the Clean Water Act

By Anna Maria Stebbins, advocacy legal intern at Waterkeeper Alliance. Reposted with permission by Waterkeeper Alliance.

Our waterways are in trouble. A new regulation from the United States Environmental Protection Agency will drastically weaken the Clean Water Act, harming public health, ecosystems, and the economy. The regulation has been branded by the Trump administration as the “Navigable Waters Protection Rule,” but it definitely won’t protect our nation’s water. Instead, it’s a gift to polluters and a grave threat to the rest of us.

 The rule narrows the definition of “waters of the United States,” which are the waters the Clean Water Act authorizes the federal government to protect. The changes to the rule will mean vital protections will be stripped from millions of miles and acres of rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands.        

Will you contact your Members of Congress today and urge them to oppose this final rule?

This rule threatens our health. Companies and municipalities could dump toxic and radioactive chemicals and sewage directly into newly unprotected waterways with impunity. Unprotected waterways can be dredged and filled, killing wildlife and fish. Worse—waterways are interconnected with each other and pollution flows downstream, meaning that pollution could spread to any connected way, crossing state lines and causing widespread pollution in our drinking water supplies, fisheries, and recreational waters.

This rule will also damage the economy. Clean water is essential to so many industries and people’s livelihoods. For example, fishing industries rely on clean water that is habitable for fish. The housing market could take a hit because clean waters and healthy wetlands prevent dangerous algal blooms and flooding, which devalue property.

This new rule is an unacceptable departure from 50 years of established law and science. It primarily benefits polluting industries such as developers, fossil fuel and mining companies and industrial agriculture, at the expense of our nation’s water quality and public health. This is an obvious example of the Trump administration putting company profits over people’s health and livelihoods!

Please help protect our nation’s water. Contact your Members of Congress today and ask them to utilize their legislative authority to stop this new rule from taking effect.

Photo by Michael Rodock on Unsplash