Greetings from the Intrenchment Creek Community Stewardship Council!
My name is Jason Dozier and I am the co-chair of a newly formed organization called the Intrenchment Creek Community Stewardship Council. The Intrenchment Creek Community Stewardship Council (ICCSC) is working to restore, revitalize, and protect the ecological health of our south Atlanta communities, but we need the city’s help in holding developers accountable to the damage they’re causing to our environment and to our communities.
Intrenchment Creek is a primary watershed area in south and south east Atlanta, and we recognize that many residents may not be aware of the creek because much of it is buried underneath asphalt and concrete. In fact, that development is a major reason why we see significant flooding in communities like Peoplestown when we have big rain storms. The creek is beneath us in pipes, right under our feet and our streets–but when it rains, the pipes can’t hold all that rainwater and it has to go somewhere. And unfortunately, too often that means in our homes and in our roadways.
In light of that, ICCSC is working to reverse decades of environmental injustice impacting the residents of our south Atlanta communities. Over the past couple of months, our organization has been one of several leading an initiative to ensure that the city strengthens existing legislation aimed at holding developers accountable for the ways their projects can cause flooding and flooding-related displacement in our communities.
We’re proud to have gotten the conversation started, but we still need your help! More broadly, the city still needs your help! Right now, this administration is looking to remove key language from the Section 74-513 – Stormwater Management Standards portion of the proposed post-development stormwater management ordinance which addresses extended detention requirements for stormwater runoff. The stricken-through text is at risk of being deleted from the proposal entirely.
The short version is that keeping the requirement in the proposal would be a huge boon in helping to address flooding issues caused by the shorter, high intensity storms we’ve been experiencing in recent months and years. Alternatively, removing this requirement gets developers off the hook from playing their part in addressing the constant flooding issues that have been exacerbated by their unchecked development.
Earlier this month, we were able to rally community members to contact their city council members about this legislation. But unfortunately, the fight’s not yet over. Per the timeline shared during this ordinance’s work session earlier this month, we believe that the legislation will go before the City of Atlanta Utilities Committee for its “second read” on Tuesday, November 10th, where it will be voted upon to then go before the full City Council. The full timeline can be found here:
While we strongly believe that Atlanta’s existing ordinance has led us to become a leader in the state for how we’ve addressed water quality concerns from stormwater runoff, now we need to strengthen the ordinance to address the flooding and more frequent and intense storms. With climate change, adverse storm and flood events are becoming more and more common and we will need every tool at our disposal. We say we’re a world-class city, and that means we must lead as one.
So we have three asks for you as leaders, supporters, and fellow citizens:
Provide public comment ahead of the next City of Atlanta Utilities Committee in support of keeping the Section 74 language by dialing (404) 330-6057 between 4:00pm and 7:00pm on Monday, November 9. Messages can’t exceed three (3) minutes and will only be accepted within those specific hours. A sample script with talking points has been included here. The committee meeting will be the following day, and you will be able to listen and watch via Channel 26. An agenda for that meeting has not been published yet, and we will notify you of any major changes.
Call and email members of the committee and tell them to vote in support of keeping the proposed Section 74 language. And please be sure to call and email your councilperson if he or she is not on the committee since one way or another, this will eventually go before the full council. You can use the same sample script with talking points for this as well. Committee members are listed here:
Natalyn Archibong (Chair)
P: (404) 330-6048
P: (404) 330-6047
P: (404) 330-6050
P: (404) 330-6051
P: (404) 330-6044
P: (404) 330-6055
P: (404) 330-6053
Though we’re looking for citywide support, we’re especially looking to rally the communities around the Intrenchment Creek subwatershed basin. Our communities are exceptionally vulnerable from rampant flooding, and, in particular, we are asking for Intrenchment Creek communities, neighborhood associations, NPUs, churches, business, and other organizing groups to sign on to the attached letter in support of the ordinance update as written. The letter was drafted by our partners, the South Atlanta Watershed Alliance, and the Intrenchment Creek Community Stewardship Council is in full support. If you’re not sure if your neighborhood or NPU is an Intrenchment Creek community, you can use this map for reference. And if your neighborhood or NPU isn’t in the watershed, that’s fine too! This legislation will have citywide ramifications and signing it will show that we all speak with one voice.
The key to all of this is that we’re all impacted, so any plea to our leaders and our government should be a personal one. And please don’t hesitate to ask us any clarifying questions you might have! We realize that despite its importance, this is a very technically-sophisticated and nuanced issue and some of the terms, values, and principles addressed here may not be readily apparent. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Jason Dozier at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-913-6419.
Thank you so much for your time and your consideration!