Georgia's environmental chief says he wants to continue talks with South Carolina over saltwater intrusion on the coast. A committee for years has been discussing ways to stop a saltwater plume that's contaminating wells near Savannah. But the committee hasn't met in months and South Carolina officials are calling more loudly for action.
Environmental regulators in Georgia are holding another meeting this week on how to speed up the issuance of environmental permits. A law passed this year requires the Environmental Protection Division to create a process to expedite permits for entities willing to pay a special fee.
State officials aren't saying much about the state's latest drought. In contrast to the two-year 2007 drought, the response this time around has been muted. National Weather Service officials consider about two-thirds of Georgia in drought. In the last drought, then-Governor Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency and famously prayed for rain.
The state Department of Natural Resources has issued a warning about the Ogeechee River in Bulloch and Effingham counties after 10 dead fish were found. The state Environmental Protection Division is doing tests to determine what killed the fish.
People living along the Ogeechee River in South Georgia are demanding third party oversight of the waterway. They don’t trust the Environmental Protection Division to oversee a company that was illegally polluting the river for years. After a massive fish kill in May, the EPD found King America Finishing Company had been dumping flame retardant into the river illegally for five years.
Georgians affected by the illegal pollution of the Ogeechee River for the past five years aren’t satisfied with the Environmental Protection Division’s handling of the case. The EPD reached a one million dollar settlement with the company even though, under Georgia law, the fine could have been much higher.