Posted: 2:51 pm Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

EPD celebrates Earth Day – by easing restrictions on development on Georgia coast 

By Jim Galloway

The state Environmental Protection Division has a unique way of celebrating Earth Day.

The department announced a revision of regulations that environmentalists say will greatly increase development along the Georgia coastline.

This explanatory note comes from Neil Herring of the Sierra Club:

Under the [old] policy, which was promulgated by the biologist EPD Director Dr. Carol Couch, a line was drawn where the salt marsh reaches the “hill,” the more or less dry ground, determined by the presence of plants that will grow at that point but not in the marsh.

From that line, to another line, 25 feet inland from the first appearance of plants from that list, was the salt marsh buffer, in which it was unlawful to remove, by uprooting, any vegetation, or building anything that would cover the ground in that 25 foot wide buffer.

Now, presumably a property owner can bulldoze right up to the salt grass (spartina) and build lovely structures that loom over it

.It’s rather thick, but read the new memo from Judson Turner, executive director of the state EPD:

“The irony is not lost on the environmental community that this proposal was issued on Earth Day,” says Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, executive director of GreenLaw, an environmental law firm.

The campaign of Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, has quickly jumped on the change. From the campaign:

This is a dramatic policy reversal that overturns decades of stewardship of Georgia’s coasts,” Carter said. “Once they have been destroyed, there’s no going back. Gov. Deal needs to explain why those charged with conserving Georgia’s precious natural resources are instead acting unilaterally to harm them.”

20 comments
CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

OK. Soundbite:  We need less government regulation and the EPA and EPA need to be eliminated because: 


1. Road Kill Possum Republicans (10%) do not believe in global warming, rising sea levels and water temperature, and do not believe in science. 

2. Conservatives (15%) do believe that global warming is happening, but it is a natural occurrence.  

3. 50% of Americans believe that global warming is happening at a faster rate because of human intervention.  

4. 25% of Americans believe that global warming is happening, and could give a rats butt as to why.


RKPR's believe: 


1. There is no need for buffers to protect coastlines from erosion and flooding.  

2. Erosion and flooding will not occur because the ocean is not rising and weather patterns are not becoming more intense.  

3. Flood insurance and FEMA/Disaster Relief budgets are wasteful government programs 

4. The state EPD, whose budget is underfunded, can best non-regulate environmental issues, and the intellectual and technological resources of the EPA are also wasteful government spending


Therefore, expand development along the coastline for the 2%, and insure that the 98% will no longer enjoy the natural resources unless they pay out the nose.  Then when there property is destroyed by those natural disasters, we won't have to worry about rebuilding on those sites, because they will no longer exist. 

Kegrain
Kegrain

It's difficult not to interpret Judson Turner's choice of Earth Day as a deliberate poke in eye for environmentalists.  His contempt is showing.

Sea snake
Sea snake

Do you think this has anything to do with Sea Island wanting to build houses on the shrinking spit on the south end of the island? Just asking

Shar1
Shar1

Besides, the guys who have promised me several hundred thousand in cash and an amazingly low price on the seaside condo of my dreams have convinced me that building on the buffer zone is a Family Value.

cyberteach
cyberteach

"Determining the presence of buffers in coastal Georgia presents challenges...."

So we're not going to try to do it any more.  Just carry on with building docks, trails, etc.  Is that about the essential gist of this?  Sad.  And that they would release this on Earth Day is just a testament to how environmentally tone deaf this administration is.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Snore.

I'm more concerned about taxpayers subsidizing insurance and FEMA subsidized loan actions for folks who build near the ocean - it should simply be caveat emptor.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

Great.  Next up, we need to allow development onto the oat covered dunes that house loggerhead turtle nests.  After all, you can't really call it a beach house if it is only beach adjacent.


And those turtles don't even pay property taxes. No wonder they are endangered...they take no responsibility.  Who do they think they are! A bunch of free-riding hippies, that's who.

My wanting a beach house is more important than their need for safe shelter.  We are on a slippery slope people.  When those with the means are denied their desires because others have needs they can not support.  And don't give me that, "oh, but they are turtles. Nobody taught them to work...they don't have opposable thumbs, nonsense." That is all a bunch of malarkey dreamed up by socialists who are trying to take  your stuff away and deny you freedom.


And you know who is behind all of this! ACORN.  If it weren't for ACORN registering these loggerhead turtles and intimidating white voters these turtles would have no power, that undeserved power, in our political system. 


The Founders would not have wanted this, folks.  These turtles hate America and are going to destroy it if we do nothing.


SouthGeorgiareader
SouthGeorgiareader

Why do we expect anything different from the Deal administration?  They don't care about public health, public education, and the whole public good, including development that will contribute to the eventual destruction of our coastline.  At this point, we have to prepare for the worst from these state leaders, but hope for a change in the fall election.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@CuriousPrime  

I am more terrified by the people who don't believe evolution is real.  If I didn't take the Hippocratic Oath I would recommend that these people be denied vaccinations, anti-virals, and anti-biotics.

honested
honested

@Kegrain  

He's just mad he didn't get to take over ALL water rights.

honested
honested

@Shar1  

Conserrrrrrrrrrrrrvatives don't need any thriving estuaries. No water cleaning marshes. Certainly no healthy tidal areas.

All conserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvatives are concerned about is MONEY.

I don't know if they have learned how to drink it or breathe it yet, but they obviously value it above safe food, clean water or breathable air!!

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@Shar1 - I prefer to rent.  Low maintenance, new scenery, no buyer's remorse,  not stuck with a white elephant, and easy to leave when it gets stormy without looking back.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@The_Centrist  If development did not occur, insurance, loans, and relief would not be necessary.  Taxpayers would have to worry about the natural resources being destroyed just for a few who have legislators in the back pocket, temporarily enjoy a view.

WanderingTao
WanderingTao

@The_Centrist  

Snore? Thanks for confirming honested’s point, “conservatives” are only interested in conserving money. Nothing else seems to matter to them, well, except maybe someone else’s sex life.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@The_Centrist  

I agree about the insurance issue, but to deny coastal dwellers emergency assistance in a state of emergency is a horrible idea.  

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Baumer_1  

And those turtles don't even pay property taxes. No wonder they are endangered...they take no responsibility.  Who do they think they are! A bunch of free-riding hippies, that's who.

They're illegal aliens layin' eggs and having all these anchor babies.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@Kamchak @Baumer_1 

Thank you for calling in, Kamchak. And let me first say that you are absolutely 110% correct.  Just one more reason, folks, we should be waging a crusade against these turtles. This is America...with a capital A.  It will be a cold day in hell before these good Americans like Kamchak and I accept the citizenship of these anchor-turtle-hatchlings.  

With citizenship comes responsibility, and clearly these America hating turtles don't want any of that.

It is 4:19pm.