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Georgia Water Coalition Legislative Tracker

January 31, 2017
Georgia Water Coalition Legislative Tracker
Legislative Update Number 3 (January 27, 2017)

On Thursday, January 26, the 2nd week of the General Assembly’s 2017 session came to an end. The legislators will return to regular business on Monday, January 30 (Day 9). 32 days remain in the 40-day session. A calendar for the first twelve days can be found here.
http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20172018/162638.pdf

GWC Priority Issues

Addressing Uncertainty Surrounding State Water Buffers
This year, the Coalition is continuing its intensive efforts to re-establish buffer protections on all state waters, after this vital water quality protection was limited by a 2015 Georgia Supreme Court decision. The Coalition is working with legislators on a simple, logical fix to ensure buffer protections on all state waters.

Ensuring Safe, Secure Disposal and Storage of Coal Ash Wastes
GWC continues its work to address the huge volumes of coal ash waste stored at Georgia Power plants across the state. GWC is pursuing comprehensive legislation to address the handling of coal ash and wastewater in coal ash storage ponds across the state, as well as to ensure the safe storage of this waste in any Georgia landfills that receive it. It’s vital that coal ash waste be stored in a safe manner so that it does not leak into our rivers, lakes and streams or contaminate subsurface drinking water sources on nearby properties.

Other Issues the GWC is Tracking

Plastic Bag Bill
Industry groups are rumored to be trying once again to limit with local governments’ control over their waste streams. The proposal would create a state-wide ban to prevent local communities from adopting ordinances banning single-use plastic bags and other one-time use plastics at restaurants, grocery stores, public schools and more. This is an unnecessary overreach that takes control over local issues away from the cities and counties best-suited to address them. Local governments should be able to decide how best to govern themselves.

Announcements

Capitol Conservation Day – Register Now!
http://bit.ly/2jllcQr

Please save the date for Capitol Conservation Day on Wednesday, February 15. Join the Georgia Water Coalition for a day at the Capitol to meet with YOUR legislators to talk about important water issues in Georgia.

A round trip bus from Savannah will be available to carry coastal residents interested in attending to the Capitol for the event. Bus registration is free and seating is limited – reserve your seat online!

GWC Contact: Kate McGregor Mosely, kate@gipl.org
Coastal Bus Contact: Kelly Patton, kelly@onehundredmiles.org

Georgians for Trust Fund Honesty Rally
Save the date. The Georgians for Trust Fund Honesty will hold a rally on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at Liberty Place at the Georgia State Capitol. The group is calling for a constitutional amendment to ensure that money collected for fee-based programs (like the scrap tire fee and recycling program) is actually dedicated to the intended programs, instead of being funneled to the state’s general budget to be spent for whatever purposes the General Assembly sees fit. These funds should be directed to the programs they are generated to serve.

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