Due to requests from Greenlaw in Atlanta and Save Our Suwannee in Florida,
WWALS Watershed Coalition asked the City of Valdosta for a presentation
on their wastewater situation.
Valdosta presented less than two weeks later, and brought their entire
hierarchy related to this issue, from the mayor on down.
Plus Lowndes County, which isn’t even responsible for Valdosta’s wastewater,
was represented by their Chairman and a Commissioner.
Not all questions could be answered that quickly, but many were.
Sue the state? You’ll lose, because of sovereign immunity,
unless HB 59 passes.
Then you might be able to sue GA-DNR for circumventing permiting
in allowing construction on the Georgia Coast, or if it
should approve a compressor station in Albany, or if it
should issue any other permits for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline.
State agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR),
can use “letters of permission” to do things like make alterations to
Georgia’s coast, and anyone suing to stop it runs up against sovereign immunity
unless the issuing agency has expressly waived it.
Now that may change with
“State tort claims; waiver of sovereign immunity for declatory judgment or injunctive relief; provide”.
It has six co-sponsors, including
Jay Powell, District 171, Camilla, Mitchell County, GA.
Clean air advocates and environmental groups won a victory today when Power4Georgians (P4G), the only company trying to develop expensive new coal plants in Georgia, agreed to comply with critical new safeguards against mercury pollution. The company also agreed to cancel the proposed Ben Hill coal-fired power plant and invest $5 million in energy efficiency and renewable projects. The Sierra Club, the Fall Line Alliance for a Clean Environment (FACE), Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), and the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, represented by GreenLaw and the Southern Environmental Law Center, successfully challenged the permit for Plant Washington issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, and the settlement agreement is pending approval by each group. If built, Power4Georgians’ Plant Washington will have to meet the much more protective emission standards for mercury and other air toxins.
The country’s longest-running campaign against construction of a new
coal plant ended today as LS Power, a New Jersey-based power company,
announced that it will cancel plans to build the Longleaf Energy Station
in Blakely, GA. Sierra Club, Friends of the Chattahoochee and GreenLaw
have been organizing against the Longleaf coal plant since it was first
proposed in 2001. This victory comes as part of a legal agreement between
LS Power and Sierra Club.
This victory marks the 160th proposed coal plant canceled since
Sierra Club launched its Beyond Coal campaign in 2005. This victory is
particularly noteworthy because the struggle lasted for a decade and
involved numerous hearings and appeals, and sustained local opposition by
hundreds of Georgia residents. Longleaf was one of the very first plants
proposed when, in 2001, the coal industry attempted to block clean energy
development by building more than 150 new coal plants across the US,
a move which would have effectively locked the nation into dependence
on coal-fired electricity for the foreseeable future. Longleaf was one
of the last remaining new coal projects proposed anywhere in the United
States, counting 160 proposals that have now been defeated or abandoned
in the past decade.
Several times over the past decade it looked like LS Power would move