Proctor Creek originates in downtown Atlanta and runs westward to the Chattahoochee River. Before 1927, Proctor Creek carried raw sewage from most of downtown Atlanta directly to the Chattahoochee River. In 1927, a combined sewer system was constructed which installed large combined sewer trunk lines partially above ground in the midst of low-income neighborhoods.
Three low-lying residential neighborhoods experience historic, frequent, and repeated combined sewage flooding and sewage backups accompanied by many health problems associated with exposure to storm water and wastewater. Downstream reaches of Proctor Creek are polluted with combined sewage, chlorine disinfection byproducts, and untreated stormwater runoff. Additionally the streambed is the site of illegally discarded residential and commercial wastes.
As a response, ECO-Action has been strategizing with community members over the past year to create a mechanism to support the sustained engagement by local residents who seek to represent their community in advocating for and participating in efforts improve environmental quality and public health. To achieve this goal, ECO-Action facilitated the launch of The Proctor Creek Stewardship Council as a bold attempt by residents to empower themselves and gain power to address environmental health injustices arising from pollution of the Proctor Creek Basin.