Georgians learn about environmental protections during week in Blount County

Georgians learn about environmental protections during week in Blount County.
Imagine untreated industrial waste running into Pistol Creek, garbage pushed off into poorly managed landfills, and clear-cut forests wreaking havoc on soil erosion.
A five-member delegation from the former Soviet country visited Blount County June 3-11 to learn about environmental and sustainability issues.
From tours of the Maryville Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Alcoa/Maryville/Blount County Sanitary Landfill operated by the City of Alcoa, to visits to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and the Pistol Creek Wetland Center, the group’s itinerary was packed with experiences to help them take back ideas to their homeland.
“We try to approach the topic from federal, state and local levels as well as how they all intertwine to protect the environment or at least keep it where it is today.” “Like other republics of the USSR, Georgia suffered severe environmental degradation during the Soviet period, when economic policies emphasizing heavy industry were implemented with little regard for their environmental consequences,” according to the website for the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature.
“Significant amounts of agriculture lands have been lost in land erosions.
Air pollution is a problem in the major cities, particularly in Rustavi, which has a giant steel plant and other metal and chemicals production.
Traffic is another great contributor to the pollution of an air.
As a result of water pollution and the scarcity of water treatment, the incidence of digestive diseases in Georgia is high.” “The 1986 Chernobyl accident took place well outside Georgia’s political borders, some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) to the northeast in the Ukraine,” according to the website for One World Journeys.
“But prevailing winds drove background radiation across the Black Sea, and Western Georgia has seen a documented increase of up to 20 percent more incidents of such conditions as anemia in pregnant women, primary endocrine system diseases in both adults and children, cancer rates, and other related sicknesses since that date.” Touring the wetlands, delegates listened intently, read newly installed educational signs along the boardwalk, asked questions, caught and released dragonflies, and even ventured off the path to check out the beavers.

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