Permanent protections for a coastal marsh buffer and well water in drinking water aquifers are among the top legislative priorities in 2015 for the Georgia Water Coalition (GWC), a consortium of more than 200 groups dedicated to wise management of the state’s water resources.
Today the Georgia State Senate passed SB 139 by a vote of 32-19. The legislation would prohibit local governments from passing ordinances that would, for example, ban or put a fee on plastic bags. A similar bill, HB 444, is scheduled to be heard in the Agriculture Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives on Monday March 2nd. Jennette Gayer, Director of Environment Georgia, made the following statement.
Georgia Public Service Commissioners Ignore Opportunities to Protect Georgia Power Customers from Over Budget and Delayed Vogtle Nuclear Reactors
Regulators approve vote on construction monitoring docket
The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved an additional $198 million in expenditures despite reports of additional significant delays that will increase the cost of the already over budget nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle. The Commissioners rejected recommendations from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), an intervener in the semi-annual Vogtle construction monitoring docket (VCM), which could have helped protect Georgia Power’s customers from some of the risks caused by the mounting schedule delays and subsequent cost increases. They did agree to the clean energy organization’s request for the costs associated with complying with requirements of the new surface water withdrawal permit from the Savannah River to be included in subsequent VCM reports. That controversial permit is being legally challenged by the State of South Carolina. Additionally, the Company earlier stated that it would provide a full Integrated Project Schedule (IPS) in the 12th VCM report due at the end of this month. An Advisory Staff recommendation was also accepted for involved parties to provide analysis of both the project’s estimated benefits and detriments. Georgia Power, subsidiary of the Southern Company, is the largest owner in the project and is regulated by the PSC.
Coalition urges legislators to protect Georgia’s water
Over 100 conservation advocates from the mountains to the sea gathered at the Capitol to urge legislators to cast votes for clean water.
Members of the Georgia Water Coalition (GWC), a consortium of 222 organizations representing more than 250,000 Georgians, lobbied legislators to support two bills that would permanently protect the coastal marsh buffer and well water in drinking water aquifers.
The City of Tybee Island and Chatham County announced Atlanta-based Hannah Solar, LLC as the winning bidder to develop the community solar program, Solarize Tybee.
Solarize Tybee, the first Solarize project in Georgia, allows residents and business owners to purchase solar at a lower cost through the power of bulk purchasing, which is estimated to bring the total cost down by 15-30%. The program was originally intended for just Tybee Island, but after an outpour of positive responses from citizens in the region, it has now spread throughout all of Chatham County.