“Georgia’s EPA standards are a lot lower than other standards”

I didn’t get this questioner’s name. He wanted to know:
Georgia’s EPA standards are a lot lower than other standards and lower than federal EPA standards that are coming along. My question is what will the plant do when these new standards come along?
A: Don’t know what you got; probably didn’t include studies. GA EPD issues a permit.
No answer about when new standards come along.

Video by Gretchen Quarterman of 6 Dec 2011 VLCIA biomass event
for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange


1 thought on ““Georgia’s EPA standards are a lot lower than other standards”

  1. Leigh Touchton

    Dear Mr. Quarterman:
    I can address one particular situation in which Georgia environmental standards are lower than federal standards. I and several other citizens participated in the EPD’s public hearing regarding the issuance of the air pollution permit for Wiregrass, LLC, biomass incinerator. The permit was granted in secret, the officials sat on that information for 2 weeks before sending out a letter to all citizens that had given commentary to the EPD. I assumed I had 30 days from time of notice to hire an attorney. As it turns out, under Georgia law, I and everyone else were supposed to “telepathically” have known when the permit was granted and the 30 day window to appeal the permit started at that point.
    Another fact Georgia citizens are probably unaware of, former Republican governor Sonny Perdue appointed an attorney who worked for decades opposing environmental regulations to lead the Georgia EPD. There is no vested interest on the part of EPD officials to actually protect citizens or the environment; their background and focus is to enable industry to skate by with limited regulation. One of the things they will say to industry representatives is “We need to make sure our jobs do not travel overseas.” What they mean is they want to make Georgia similar to places like Bhopal, India, or Mexico City, where factories do not have to implement environmental or safety regulations.
    In the last year, I have heard Brad Lofton and numerous VLCIA officials repeat the mantra “The EPD has approved this plant’s safety.” Georgia EPD enforces the bare minimum of federal regulations, and in at least one instance (notice requirements) falls short of federal EPA standards.

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