6th Annual International Festival, Friday, March 31, 2-7 PM, College of Coastal
Georgia, Brunswick Campus. Celebrate the diverse cultures
that call the Golden Isles home through art, music, food, cultural displays,
and activities. The event features a Global Food Bazaar, marketplace of artisan
wares, and a varied lineup of musical entertainment. GEC will have an exhibit
at the free festival and invite you to join us.
IS FULL - GEC 1st Friday Lunch,
11 AM, April
7, Tour of Symrise (formerly Renessenz),
Colonel’s Island, Brunswick. The April
"First Friday" lunch will feature a tour of the Symrise, Inc. -
Colonel's Island Plant located off of Highway 17 about 3 miles south of the
Jekyll Island causeway. Symrise is a global company which manufactures
flavors and fragrances. Symrise has recently acquired the Colonel's
Island facility which makes ingredients that are ultimately used in a
variety of "everyday" products, such as toothpaste, chewing gum,
laundry detergent, hand or bath soaps, perfumes, etc. The guided tour
will be followed by lunch onsite. Transportation will be provided for all
visitors inside the plant. Attendance is limited to 25 people.
Recycling & More Event, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, Saturday, April 22, 9:00
AM to 1:00 PM, Glynn Place Mall – JC Penney end of parking lot. See flyer for a full list of recyclables and other services.
GEC 1st Friday Lunch,
11 AM, May
5th, Olive Garden Restaurant, 600 Glynn Isles, Brunswick. Alex Kearns, Chair of
the St. Marys EarthKeepers, helped create an organization to actively inform, encourage,
and galvanize the residents of St Marys and Camden County into environmental
stewardship. Alex will share an overview of the Earthkeepers achievements over
the last 9 years, current issues, and future challenges.
We Have Been Working On
Since the December 22, 2016 Public Hearing to propose
a Municipal Landfill in Brantley County,
the community has mobilized. Many
objections to the December Public Hearing were filed with the Georgia Environmental
Protection Division (GA-EPD) concerning public notice before the meeting, and
not identify themselves or where the landfill would be located other than to
say between Waynesville and Atkinson. The GA-EPD is not buying the story from
the Macon attorney and others representing the company, Brantley County
Development Partners, LLC, and another Public Hearing will be required.
Meanwhile, the Brantley County Commission renewed the planning documents
Technical advisor Dr. Peter deFur discussed LCP CHemicals Superfund Site community concerns at the December 4, 2014 EPA meeting on the proposed plan.
Superfund Site Procrastination has halted work at the Terry Creek and LCP
Chemicals Superfund Sites. A few of the
notable cases of procrastination are:
- Failure to complete the
review of the LCP Chemicals upland memorandum since April 2013
- Failure to set a hearing
date for the LCP Chemicals Marsh Consent Decree since September 2016
- Failure to complete the Terry
Creek Site Responsiveness Summary to public comments and release the Record of
Decision since September 2015
Our community voiced concerns about the proposed plan for the Terry Creek Superfund Site at the July 30, 2015 EPA Public Hearing. The EPA has not responded to community concerns since the meeting.
- The GEC continues
advocating for appropriate testing and analytical method for pesticide at Altama
Elementary School and the Terry Creek Superfund Site. The EPA Office
of Inspector General tasked EPA Region 4 in Atlanta with the response to the
concerns directed to his office. The GEC will send a request for action to EPA
Region 4 in Atlanta and continue working on an action plan to obtain
compliance. EPA inaction at both Altama Elementary School and the Terry
Creek Superfund Site continue to be chronic problems.
- The GEC continues to monitor Georgia Power’s removal of the coal ash pond from Plant
McManus in Glynn County. Georgia Power reports the removal is around 35%
complete and expects to finish the project in 2017. The fall tropical storms slowed progress on
the coal ash removal. Two well water samples had arsenic, which has been
reported to the Georgia EPD. The water
will be investigated under the Hazardous Site Response Act program. The coal
ash is being placed in a lined cell without other wastes, and financial
assurances to maintain the cells are in place at the Chesser Island Landfill near Folkston.
Progress has been made at the Brunswick Wood Preserving Superfund Site since the Site flooded the Floraville Road neighborhood back in 2005.
- The Brunswick
Wood Preserving Superfund Site cleanup outside the underground containment
walls (called slurry walls) was completed in late 2016 but some excess treated
material still needs to be removed. Brian Farrier, EPA Remedial Project
Manager, is working on the removal of the waste under current funding. The final Close-Out Report will follow.
Georgia Environmental Legislation
A number of Bills
have captured the attention of Georgia environmental organizations.
- The Shoreline Protection
Action (SPA): SB271 proposes
a 25 foot buffer from the high water mark, dune line, or armoring structure
(bulkhead). The environmental community
is proposing a 50 to 150 foot buffer.
- Concern about Coal Ash Pollution
across the state resulted in the three bills moving through the Legislature that
aim to prevent:
HB 387 requires utilities to get the proper permits before discharging coal ash
wastewater into Georgia’s waterways;
HB 388 ensures that landfills receiving coal ash have a
good plan and take adequate precautions to
prevent coal ash contamination;
SB 165 ensures that anyone who
produces coal ash remains liable for that ash forever and
that Georgians can take action against out of state producers if their water
and communities are polluted. The bill introduced
by Sen William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has yet to receive a committee hearing in
Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Bills on the Governor’s desk waiting for a signature:
HB 1028: Leaky Landfill Bill will
require the owner or operator of a municipal solid waste landfill to notify
local city and county governments of “any release…which is likely to pose a
danger to human health” within 14 days.
The Bill provides timely public notification of any
violations by permitted facilities.
SB 383: Cutting Trees to See Signs was amended
to allow an “agritourism facility” to apply for a tree trimming permit “for a
lawfully erected outdoor advertising sign promoting such facility,” so long as
such sign is located on the premises of such facility and “comports with local
ordinances.” The Bill roll-backs current
SB 346: Bulldozing Cultural &
Natural Resources will exempt “a project of
a department, municipality, county, or authority to construct or improve a
public road or airport does not exceed $100 million in costs” from Georgia
Environmental Policy Act (GEPA) review if they are state funded, with no
federal money, up to $100 million. The Bill roll-backs
current protections of protected historic buildings, sites, or resources.
SR 954: Sinkhole Trail Giveaway is part of an annual affair to grant easements on state property
to for-profit corporations and state agencies for the construction, operation,
and maintenance of facilities, utilities, and roads.
- WAIT, WAIT, WAIT…. We continue to wait for a response for these
projects and issues.
ash and trash
…. Out of state and Interstate Commerce Act.
What will be done with the coal ash? Will the question, “Where will the
coal ash be placed” be answered in 2017?
Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) - The GEC and other coastal organizations
continue to wait for a response to comments concerning the Sea Island Groin permit. The Georgia Court of Appeals upheld the
Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee approval of the project.
- The Twitty Park
Worth Saving initiative moved to court on August 9th. We await an initial
ruling from the Court and encourage you to contact your local elected
representatives to remind them that the public wants its parks and public
assets held in public trust, not by private companies. We are waiting for the