GreenLaw: Proud of our Record, Preparing for a Difficult Road Ahead
Posted Monday, January 23, 2017
GreenLaw is proud of our 25 year history protecting Georgia’s environment from polluters who make a profit at our expense. Founded in 1992 to provide legal and technical expertise to environmental and community groups, we have repeatedly challenged industry overreach and lax government enforcement to protect our land, water, and air, and to ensure that all citizens have equal access to a healthy environment and a beautiful Georgia.
GreenLaw’s track record speaks for itself. Recent legal decisions that have been a win for the environment include:
- Holding Rayonier Advanced Materials accountable for excessive pollution discharge into the Altamaha River. The stench and stain on the Altamaha River rendered the area unusable for fisherman and recreationalists. The Court ruled that the permit used to allow Rayonier’s discharge of 50 to 60 million gallons of effluent daily was unlawful and that the EPA did not adequately consider the concerns of Georgia citizens and the negative impact on residents’ ability to use the river. GreenLaw continues to monitor Rayonier’s actions and will continue to uphold resident’s rights for use of a cleaner Altamaha.
- GreenLaw successfully won on appeal to deny Kinder Morgan eminent domain authority to seize private property for purposes of installing the Palmetto Pipeline in its 360-mile course from South Carolina to Florida. The pipeline would have wound through 23 counties and 210 miles of Georgia land, confiscated thousands of acres of private property, threatened water sources, and offered no economic benefit for Georgians. GreenLaw will continue to protect our water and citizen’s property rights. We are currently challenging the Sabal Trail pipeline and its compressor station which would threaten water safety, take private property and expose communities to harmful pollutants.
- In response to legal challenges by GreenLaw and partnering groups, Georgia Power Company has announced plans to close all coal ash ponds throughout the state. Additional legal challenges to Georgia Power’s permit extensions for its coal-fired plants are forcing the company to consider expensive upgrades or plant closures. The letter submitted to Georgia’s EPA by GreenLaw and its partners states that the old permits, which expired 4-12 years ago and have been extended, have not been reviewed to uphold new, tougher federal regulations to reduce heavy metal pollutants. GreenLaw will continue to monitor Georgia Power’s actions regarding coal plant emissions and their adherence to current federal standards.