Category: Environment

Agenda 2005

Agenda 2005: A Guide To The Issues Water Agenda Adopt better pricing of water to encourage conservation. Adopt user fees to pay for source-water protection. Implement cost-based user fees to fund watershed protection. Promote flexibility and compliance assistance in water environmental policy. Encourage municipal stormwater utilities. Establish a statewide Watershed Management Trust Fund. Provide opportunities for industry and farmers to trade for water quality improvements similar to the current air trading program. Educate developers and facilitate adoption of conservation-minded water practices. Eliminate the discriminatory aspect of the insurance premium tax. Consider a market-based trading system for allocating water use  Facts Georgia has more than 70,150 miles of rivers and streams and more than 425,382 acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds.… View Article

Agenda 2005: A Guide To The Issues

Air Quality Agenda Implement an effective emissions trading system similar to the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, which implements a regional cap-and-trade strategy to reduce ground-level ozone. Improve prioritization of air pollution risks. Reduce traffic congestion. Use remote sensing technology to target the small number of high-polluting vehicles. Use market incentives to encourage fleet turnover. Implement and encourage more convenient, accessible, cost-effective and economical mass transit options. Lower the fixed costs of owning an automobile. Embrace innovative incentives to encourage use of transportation alternatives. Encourage market-oriented policies to increase urban tree cover and reduce impervious surface and stormwater runoff. Encourage more telecommuting. Facts Research on vehicles in metro Atlanta indicates that 3 percent of the vehicles… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd To see the opposing labels slapped on metro Atlanta is to wonder whether people are referring to the same place. The region is denounced across the globe as out of control, congested: the “poster child for sprawl.” Yet it earns accolades, not only as the country’s leading entrepreneurial location but as affordable and among the 50 best places in the nation to live. As diverse as the views are the solutions proposed for the region’s real and imagined woes. Between the extreme views of halting growth or eliminating regulation exists a host of proposals that are forceful reminders that “quality growth” is a matter of perspective. As a matter of perspective: While Georgia continues to be… View Article
By Harold Brown The Summer Olympics came to Atlanta in July and August 1996, and some people are still talking about it, as I observed at a recent forum. Nothing about the events’ winners and losers, of course, but about the environmental ramifications. Cars stayed away from downtown in droves. Ridership on public transportation was reported up 250 percent. The media hailed the experiment in reducing traffic, pollution and asthma. Even the Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Protection Division saw it as a successful, if brief, solution to Atlanta’s air pollution problem: The agency still has a separate Web page devoted to ozone readings during the Games. While the EPD seems to offer half-hearted support, it and the federal Environmental… View Article
By Benita Dodd Within the next few months, Georgians across the state will never again be able to water more than three days a week. State officials, working to foster a culture of conservation, called it “a very big step” for water conservation when the board of the Department of Natural Resources approved rules for permanent statewide outdoor water use restrictions. Promoting a culture of conservation is a noble goal. Excluding agriculture, Georgia’s average daily per-capita water consumption is estimated at 168 gallons compared with a national average of 153 gallons. Our population is growing in leaps and bounds; we’re feuding with the neighbors over who gets what water, and new reservoirs are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth. Steps… View Article
By Harold Brown The picture of air pollution, asthma and other respiratory diseases has been imprinted as a clear image on the minds of Georgians, especially in metro Atlanta. High ozone days bring on warnings to people subject to asthma and other respiratory conditions to curtail their outdoor activities. Newspaper descriptions reinforce the image, reporting that, “When ozone builds up, it literally takes some people’s breath away. It can fill emergency rooms with gasping asthma patients and send coughing joggers toward home.” So commuters are encouraged to carpool or ride MARTA, while government agencies devise strict regulations to reduce air pollutants and protect public health. What could be clearer this month, which is Asthma Awareness Month and the start of… View Article

Georgia Needs the Option of Interbasin Transfers

By Benita M. Dodd At least as misunderstood as the possibilities for water permit transfers in Georgia are the necessities of interbasin water transfers, in which water is moved from one river basin to another. Interbasin transfers, which currently involve six of Georgia’s 14 river basins, started out as a matter of Georgia topography. As counties were populated, especially in North Georgia, cities developed on higher ground near a surface water supply. Often, the high ground was a ridge separating two river basins. The city drew water from one basin and served residents living in both, and the water did not always make its way back to its source basin. Sometimes the intake system was in one basin and the… View Article
Benita Dodd                                                                                                         February 11, 2004 Georgia Public Policy Foundation The Georgia Public Policy Foundation appreciates GRTA’s invitation to share our views on land use with the Land Development Committee today. The Foundation is an independent think tank that proposed market-oriented approaches to public policy issues. The Foundation is a signatory to the Lone Mountain Compact, a philosophically compatible document outlining Principles for Preserving Freedom and Livability in America’s Cities and Suburbs. The three most important principles, to our thinking, are first, that absent a material threat to other individuals or the community, people should be allowed to live and work where and how they like. Second, that local planning procedures and tools should incorporate private property rights as a fundamental… View Article

Permit Transfers Hold Water For Georgia

By Benita Dodd It may seem that Georgia’s water problems are Atlanta’s alone, but the state’s economic engine is hardly alone in its concerns about water quality or quantity.   Rincon, in Effingham County, is withdrawing more groundwater than allotted, but the state prohibits it getting more water from the Floridan Aquifer while a scientific study is under way. The Environmental Protection Division wants Rincon to tie into the county’s surface water pipeline. City officials cite concerns about water quality and expense and have even considered borrowing water withdrawal permits. Rincon is suing the EPD and being sued by stymied developers. Tybee, approaching its groundwater allocation, has another 100 condominiums permitted. The city is offering to buy back irrigation meters from… View Article

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U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell more quotes