Previously, we mentioned the favorable decision recently reached in the water dispute between Georgia and Florida concerning the use of water from the Apalachicola-Cattahoochee-Flint River Basin. As we noted last time, one of the challenges involved in the interstate water wars is that fundamental property rights are at stake.
We’ve previously written on this blog about the water dispute between Georgia and Florida concerning water use caps. The basic dispute is that neighboring states have long held that Georgia uses an unfair amount of water from the Apalachicola-Cattahoochee-Flint River Basin, which threatens the economies of the other states. Florida had requested limitations on Georgia’s use of water, and that request was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.
It is against the law in Georgia and most other states to dump tires. Nevertheless, people shamelessly drop their waste tires along the road and even onto private property. Others may allow tires to accumulate on their land or try to burn them. If you have a neighbor who has a stockpile of waste tires, you may be concerned about the environmental impact it is having on your neighborhood.
Most of Georgia’s natural gas reserves are in nine counties in Northwest Georgia. Over the past 10 years or so, there have only been several applications for drilling permits. None of those efforts has been successful, but lawmakers are looking to improve state law in order to be prepared for potential changes in the market.
The Sierra Club and other environmental advocacy groups have reportedly filed a lawsuit against Georgia Power for allowing coal-fired power plants to operate with outdated permits. The groups are alleging that the agency failed to ensure that five different power plants were current on their permit. Some of the facilities, they say, failed to update for permits for more than a decade, and therefore were not in compliance with stricter federal water pollution rules.
Readers may or may not have heard of President Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The pick, like most of Trump’s other nominations, has proven controversial. Lawmakers held a confirmation hearing earlier this month in which they probed Pruitt with hundreds of questions to determine whether he is qualified for the appointment. The most recent report is that Democrats did not turn up for a scheduled vote on the nominee this week.
While much of the decision depends on the new presidential administration, a bill last year set the tone for the EPA to upgrade their research, potentially banning more dangerous chemicals from everyday use.
A little known environmental threat has come to the surface in another state, but the ominous message is one that must be kept in mind in Georgia as well. An earthquake that occurred there has been tied by scientists to ongoing corporate waste disposal practices in the area. A class action lawsuit has been filed there on behalf of residents who have been experiencing tremors for years. Recently, the area suffered a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, which has created a unique interchange between environmental law and earthquake occurrences.
The federal Clean Water Act exists to protect water sources in the United States and to preserve the chemical and biological integrity of the sources of that water. The goal of the act is not only to preserve water as an accessible resource that people require but to also preserve the biological diversity of the country's ecosystems as a natural resource in its own right. This preservation helps with the continuation of traditional activities such as hunting and forestry as well as modern cultural, recreational, and commercial use of the resources.
In our previous post, we began looking at a water dispute involve the states of Florida and Georgia, which is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue in the case is the state of Florida’s accusations that Georgia’s water use is having negative effects on water availability downstream.