Category Archives: GA DNR

Speak at the work session? —April Huntley

Received Friday; she sent it to Chairman Slaughter. He didn’t let her speak at the Work Session, but he did talk to her. -jsq

Dear Mr. Slaughter,

I am writing you to follow up on a message I left with your office this morning. I would like a chance to speak at your Monday morning work session about the matter of the proposed abandonment of a portion of Old State Rd. leading to the Alapaha River and also have Mr. Connell present. I have been circulating paper and online petitions to the community to display the public use and enjoyment of this area. I do understand the concerns of some of the surrounding land owners about trash and trespassing. I am working on a project to get the community, individuals in the public, to make donations to purchase a portion of Dr. Acree’s land which will be donated to Lowndes County Parks and Recreation. The community would also like to work to resolve issues on trespassing and the trash dumping. I hope that we can work together on this issue and keep this beautiful, historic area an asset to Lowndes County. Thank you for your thought and consideration!


April Huntley

Keep County Road 16, leading to the Alapaha River open to public access —Christopher L. Graham

Received Sunday; he sent it to all the Lowndes County Commisioners. -jsq

My name is Christopher L. Graham I’m a citizen of Naylor. I am concern about the river shutting down to the public. Because it is Christopher L. Graham the only public access to the Alapaha river in Lowndes county. Because then we have to go to lake land in Lanier county to there public access boat ramp to put in or go to Stateville in Echols county to there DNR public access boat ramp to put in. The Hotchkiss Bridge or now people are calling it Hotchkiss landing is a good check point for the fisherman. I’m concern because there is not many public a ccess on this Alapaha river. Well if Naylor ever expands there wouldn’t be any water recreation use in this community. That is not good for our community. People all over this area use this public access for fishing & they bring there kids and there family together to have a family picnic, swimming. People go down there to relax and listen to the water hitting the rocks and hear the birds making different noise. This is a nice place to take picture of the nature. The Hotchkiss Bridge is a top location for bird watching in the State of Georgia. Birding enthusiasts interested in experiencing the many wonderful bird families in the surrounding areas of Hotchkiss Bridge. The Hotchkiss Bridge has a historic value to our community. It use to be the old major highway to go to the next town. Many of our community had there ancestry use that old Hotchkiss Bridge. I know the bridge has been gone for many years. Now it’s a public boat ramp. The Hotchkiss Bridge has history and It would be a good asset for Lowndes county to have….

P.S. I would like a park down there and a sign that tell the history of the old Hotchkiss Bridge.

Plant the seeds for viable water future

This AJC op-ed is about coastal wetlands, but much of it applies to wetlands such as cypress swamps and streams in Lowndes County and the rest of central south Georgia, especially since our state water plan for the Suwannee-Satilla Region points us at County-Level Population Projections from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget that project 45% growth in Lowndes County population in 20 years to 156,650 people by 2030, which means near doubling in 30 years to 2050. -jsq

David Kyler wrote for the AJC 29 December 2006, “Plant the seeds for viable coastal future”,

Recent population projections for the Georgia coast issued by 2010-2030 Change in Population of Georgia Counties Georgia Tech say nothing new. We’re growing at almost 20 percent a decade, meaning a near doubling every 35 years.

The Center for a Sustainable Coast projected a population of about 1 million by 2030 for the 11 counties in the coastal region as defined by the Department of Natural Resources, somewhat higher than the 844,000 predicted by Georgia Tech. This compares with a population of 538,469 reported in the 2000 Census report.

But the accuracy of projections is not the point. Increased population will result in more land clearing and environmental disturbance than in the past—there will be larger homes, bigger lots and fewer people per household.

National studies show up to twice as much land is

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How to implement trash, health, and safety?

Disposal of solid waste (trash/garbage) is a matter of community public health and safety and providing such service is the responsibilty of the local governing bodies. How should trash health and safety responsibly be implemented?

We cannot be left in a situation where residents are either “forced to buy” service from a provider, or have no option but to burn their trash. The government can levy a tax, but they cannot say that residents are forbidden to buy a service from an independent provider.

Such a ruling is

  • unfriendly to those who currently own, or want to start a waste collection business in our county,
  • unfriendly to the residents who are counting on the government to follow the state-legislated goals to
    “protect the health safety, and well-being of its citizens and to protect and enhance the quality of its environment” ,
  • unfriendly to the environment as trash ends up on the side of the road or polluting the air by being burned and leaves us to face a new problem on a different day.

Residents in the unincorporated areas of the county who want curb side collection, for the most part, already purchase it. Those of us using the collection centers do so because it is our preference.

The county should (in my opinion) create a special tax district for waste disposal (it already makes special lighting districts) and tax the residents for the maintenance of the collection centers.


Board of Health members

Here is a list of the members of the Lowndes County Board of Health:

Board Members

William R. Grow, MD, FACP
District Health Director
Mark Eanes, MD
Chair, Physician
Mary Margaret Richardson, EdD
Vice Chair, Licensed Nurse
Randy Smith, DDS
Secretary, Consumer Advocate
Sheila Warren
Advocate for Needy,
Underprivileged or Elderly
Richard Raines
Lowndes County Commissioner
John Gayle
City of Valdosta Mayor
Wes Taylor
Lowndes County Schools
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Who implements trash, health, and safety?

As we’ve seen, solid waste is a matter of public health, safety, well-being, and the environment, according to Georgia state law. Whose responsibility is it to protect the environment and the public health, safety, and well-being from solid waste?

Many health and safety issues are handled through the health department, Diagram of the waste hierarchy including the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the South Health District (Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift and Turner Counties). Particularly, water quality (septic tanks, well water), food safety, cleanliness of hotels, motels, restaurants, swimming pools and so on are the responsibility of the local health department, such as the Lowndes County Health Department.

However, disposal of solid waste (trash/garbage) is handled by the local municipality or governmental body (county).

The EPA has a variety of documents available about solid waste.

So does the state EPD, as enabled through Georgia Legislation: Existing Rules and Corresponding Laws.

So, where does this leave us? See next post.


Trash, health, and safety

Solid waste is a health and safety issue, according to Georgia law.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources copy of the GEORGIA COMPREHENSIVE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1990 AS AMENDED THROUGH 2004,

O.C.G.A. § 12-8-21. Declaration of policy; legislative intent

a) It is declared to be the policy of the State of Georgia, in furtherance of its responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and well-being of its citizens and to protect and enhance the quality of its environment, to institute and maintain a comprehensive state-wide program for solid waste management and to prevent and abate litter, so as to assure that solid waste does not adversely affect the health, safety, and well-being of the public and that solid waste facilities, whether publicly or privately owned, do not degrade the quality of the environment by reason of their location, design, method of operation, or other means and which, to the extent feasible and practical, makes maximum utilization of the resources contained in solid waste.

Emphasis added on the parts about health, safety, well-being, and the environment. Those are the goals of this legislation, stated twice in the first paragraph. Georgia being a home rule state, the implementation of these goals is now left to the local governing bodies. More on that next.


Letting the foxes in the DNR henhouse —Katherine Helms Cummings

Guess who thinks letting regulated corporations contribute to the natural resources regulatory agency is a good idea?

Received yesterday on Stop Georgia Power from stopping you from affording solar. -jsq

And if GA Power having control over the grid here isn’t bad enough, now the General Assembly is considering letting DNR ask for donations from the corporations they issue permits to, and then enforce.

-Katherine Helms Cummings

She linked to this post on her blog, HB 887 gives corporate foxes the key to the hen house,
I have a hard time believing that the DNR is going to hold a bake sale to protect the rivers and streams of our state. Some House leaders, including Judy Manning (R-Marietta) and Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) have said they are uneasy with HB 887. Rightly so.
OK, so who thinks it’s a good idea? Continue reading