Innovation that Prevents Pollution
Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery, FWS
Deborah Burger, Hatchery Manager
Chattahoochee NFH's four full-time employees and two part-time employees have all contributed to elimination of excessive storage and reduction of hazardous materials used in daily maintenance operations. The hatchery is involved in the production and distribution of rainbow trout throughout rural north Georgia, and hosts some 40,000 to 50,000 visitors annually.
An Environmental Compliance Audit caused staff to take a look at station operations and to identify substances that could be eliminated, reduced, or recycled. Personnel inventoried more than 200 distinct hazardous substances ranging from common cleansers to toxic chemicals that were used throughout the operation. After some thought and research, staff revised maintenance processes, modified hatchery operations, and aggressively executed pollution prevention techniques.
All hazardous products were that were obsolete were removed and properly disposed. Most significantly, the station eliminated the use of the chemical Formalin (a carcinogenic formaldehyde-containing compound) through an innovative redesign of the egg hatching equipment
Employee awareness and education efforts have resulted in a 60% reduction of chemical stored on-site, thereby reducing the risk of spills and fire. Fifty percent of solid waste was diverted from landfill disposal last year as a result of successful recycling activities. The hatchery is now a safer place to work. Compliance with environmental regulations is more manageable, and the public can be assured that the Chattahoochee Forest NFH is a good steward of the environment.