Environmental Groups Call On State to Enact Protections to Keep the Dirt out of Georgia’s Waterways
Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2014
By Stephanie Stuckey Benfield
GreenLaw and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper backs 6th Edition of Soil & Water Control Manual with Improved Erosion Control Technologies
December 16, 2014 (ATLANTA) – The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and GreenLaw filed comments today urging that the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (“GSWCC”) fully implement the 6th Edition of the Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control without further delay. The Georgia River Network also joined these groups in supporting the comments. The revised manual will enable Georgia to move forward with technological improvements to better protect Georgia’s waterways from dirt and debris at construction sites.
The manual, also known as “the Green Book” sets standards for products used by regulators, engineers, and developers to control erosion and protect Georgia’s soil, water, and natural resources. The current edition has not been updated in nearly 15 years and does not incorporate best practices and design standards. It was slated to be approved a year ago but was delayed after objections were raised by some Georgia manufacturers whose products failed to meet the new standards.
The comments stress that Georgia’s waterways deserve to be protected by products that have successfully undergone modern scientific testing and satisfied the required performance standards.
“The commission has an opportunity to embrace science and technology in moving forward with a manual and products that provides cleaner water for Georgia citizens,” says Jason Ulseth with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
Funding was provided from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop scientifically sound and objective testing methodology for erosion and sediment control products. To continue to rely on outdated standards in the 5th edition would be a waste of not only tax payer funds but also the significant improvements in technology.
“Georgia has an opportunity to be a national leader in promoting high performance erosion and sediment control products,” says Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, a former legislator and now Executive Director of GreenLaw. “We urge the GWSCC to do the right thing and move forward will full adoption of the 6th edition of the Green Book.”
The Commission meets this Thursday, December 18 at 8 am at the UGA Continuing Education Center in Athens, Georgia and is expected to take action on the proposed 6th edition of the Manual at that time.
Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Chattahoochee River, its lakes and tributaries for the people, fish and wildlife that depend upon them.
GreenLaw is a non-profit law firm that has provided free, high-quality legal representation to environmental and community organizations throughout Georgia for more than 20 years.
Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, GreenLaw, 404-964-7025
Jason Ulseth, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, 404-352-9828