Environmental Justice News
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens are pushing legislation in hopes of stopping a tactic environmental groups sometimes use to get stricter regulations known as “sue and settle.” GreenLaw's Stephanie Benfield weighs in.
On Monday, June 10, 2013, a Metro-Atlanta Energy Equity Forum, “Equity Matters”, will be co-hosted by seven, Georgia-based non-profits with the goal of developing mutually beneficial strategies for energy equity in the region.
Fifty years ago, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution carried an article entitled “Jekyll at the Crossroads,” which staked the future of Jekyll Island on the interpretation of the state law limiting development of Jekyll Island to 35 percent of the land area that lies above mean high tide.
The Jekyll Island Authority is embroiled in an argument with a task force it appointed as part of its update of the island’s master plan.
CrossRoadsNews, June 15, 2012: In comments filed to the EPD on Green Energy Partners application for an air permit to operate the facility, GreenLaw and Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (CHASE) said the developer underestimated the amount of pollution the $60 million plant will emit.
Updates on the proposed biomass facility near Lithonia, GA
A new study by the environmental advocacy group GreenLaw identified two sections of Douglas County among the five biggest pollution hot spots in metro Atlanta.
The year-long study also found an issue with the high pollution spots — all were located in areas with a large minority population or high percentage of people who don't speak English.
JOHN BACHMAN: Poor metro Atlanta neighborhoods attract more pollution, that’s according to new research we got today. It highlights 52 air, water and toxic release pollution points throughout in the metro, and a lot of them are in areas where people simply can’t fight to stop the pollution problem from growing.
Charles Edwards for WABE: An environmental advocacy group looked at the problem of pollution in 14 counties in Metro Atlanta.
The results released today highlight 5 areas with more sources of pollution than anywhere else in the region. Researchers say pollution is not the only thing they have in common.
Thomas Wheatley for Creative Loafing: It's not a shocker but it's still depressing to see: According to a new report (PDF) by an environmental law firm and advocacy group, metro Atlanta's minorities, people living on low incomes, and families who speak a language other than English are more likely to live near and be affected by pollution than whites and those with higher incomes. And in contrast to the federal government, the state lags behind when it comes to addressing such environmental justice issues.
UPDATE: On March 20th, the PSC approved the decertification (retirement) of Plant Branch Units 1 and 2. GreenLaw has let the Georgia Public Service Commission know that Georgia Power isn't going far enough by retiring two aging coal-fired units at Plant Branch near Milledgeville. Georgia Power has proposed the retirement of Plant Branch Units 1 and 2. Based on Georgia Power’s own analysis, additional pollution controls that are required to meet public health standards would render the operation of these units uneconomical. However, Georgia Power is requesting that the PSC approve four power purchase agreements to add a total of 1,562 MWs to its portfolio but is simultaneously deferring the decision to retire several other coal units that are old and uneconomical. Even Georgia Power admits that this would create excess capacity.
GreenLaw is a founding member of the new advocacy group, Georgians for Pastured Poultry (GPP), a coalition made up of Georgia-based farmers, chefs, animal welfare advocates, environmentalists, and health care professionals. GPP released a white paper showing the damage chicken factories are having on the state.
September 15, 2011 - Moody's Investor Services gave DeKalb County some good news Wednesday -- a favorable bond rating for the $412 million it plans to borrow to start upgrading its water-sewer system. Read what GreenLaw attorney David Deganian has to say about it.
GreenLaw is currently engaged in a comprehensive study of the metro-Atlanta area. These efforts are focused on evaluating pollution sources, demographics and a number of other environmental factors and how these factors correlate. Once the study is completed, the report will be released to the general public in an effort to inform communities in Atlanta and surrounding areas of their exposure to toxic pollutants. Coinciding with the report’s release, we will also be unveiling a user-friendly webpage that will allow you to view the pollution sources in your area and to determine if they’ve been complying with the law. It’s anticipated that the report and website will be released in Fall 2011.
April 7, 2011 – Today, the South River Watershed Alliance (Alliance), represented by public interest attorneys from GreenLaw, took steps to ensure that the DeKalb residents harmed by years of illegal sewer overflows from DeKalb County will have a seat at the table as regulators finalize a deal with the County on how to fix the ailing sewer system.
January 19, 2011 – Representing six community organizations with interests in the quality of DeKalb County’s waters, GreenLaw attorneys today filed an official public comment urging a stronger Consent Decree between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DeKalb County. While applauding the overall direction of the improvements outlined in the Consent Decree negotiated in December, the citizen groups point out a number of serious omissions in the Decree that weaken its effectiveness as a tool to enforce compliance with environmental protections that DeKalb County has neglected over many years.
By Joseph E. Lowery
January 17, 2010 - “Somehow the forces of justice stand on the side of the universe, so that you can’t ultimately trample over God’s children and profit by it.” — Martin Luther King Jr., “The Birth of a New Nation,” April 7, 1957
I believe that [King] would be crying out against any coal-fired plants, rising anew or already operating, because they spew dangerous pollutants into the air and drain our precious waters. I believe he would be a mighty force in convincing us that coal plants are no longer needed in our beloved Georgia — or anywhere else.
May 2, 2009 - GreenLaw and Georgia Appleseed, with the help of Liberty County resident Meredith Devendorf, are organizing a legal seminar to address the complex issues facing African-American heirs to property in coastal Georgia. Knowing their rights and responsibilities will enable the descendants of slaves who were granted land by General Sherman’s 1865 Field Order, to defend their property in the face of the onslaught of pressures from complex inheritance laws as well as exploitation by real estate developers and industrial facilities.
Working with the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory School of Law, GreenLaw has created a guide just for you in your efforts to protect your community from illegal and unhealthy pollution. Please review this guide for an overview of the laws that apply in Georgia and steps you can take to clean up your community.
A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Protection and Justice in Georgia
Learn more about the environmental justice legislation, litigation and issues.