Nat. Res. & the Environment (57)
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Date of Last Recorded Action: 3/16/2020

HB 0093 NeutralSolid Waste Management - Notification Requirements for Coal Ash Pond Dewatering Jeff Jones
6/20/2020 Senate - Senate Read Second Time Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2019/01/31 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2020/02/21 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
Water Quality
The bill requires written notice be required to the local governing authority no later than three days prior to commencing the dewatering of coal combustion residual surface impoundments (coal ash ponds) has begun.

"Dewatering" is a task in the process of closing coal ash ponds.
HB 0201 SupportRules and Regulations for Live-Aboard Vessels Don Hogan
1/1/2020 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2019/02/15 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/22 Report 2019/03/29 Report
Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation authorizes the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to create rules and regulations to addresses live-aboard vessels including where they can be anchored and how sewage material can be disposed within estuarine areas of the state. 
HB 0213 NeutralGeorgia Hemp Farming Act John Corbett
5/10/2019 Effective Date Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2019/02/15 Report 2019/02/22 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/22 Report 2019/03/29 Report
Agriculture Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation allows for the farming of industrial hemp. The bill authorizes the Georgia Department of Agriculture to issue hemp growers licenses and hemp processors permits as well as requires the Department to create a plan to regulate hemp production. Colleges and universities within the University System of Georgia would be allowed to conduct research on the cultivation and uses of hemp. 

Hemp growers and producers would have to get a criminal background check conducted by local law enforcement. In addition, they would be required to give the GBI, Dept of Agriculture and state and local law enforcement access to where hemp is being processed, handled, cultivated or harvested to conduct inspections.   

This legislation is in response to a 2018 House Study Committee on Industrial Hemp Production. The study committee meeting details and the final committee report can be found here.
HB 0220 SupportReauthorize Hazardous and Solid Waste Trust Funds Terry Rogers
6/30/2019 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Finance -
2019/02/15 Report 2019/02/22 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/29 Report
Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment Solid Waste
This legislation renews the fees that make up the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund (HWTF) and the Solid Waste Trust Fund (SWTF) for three years, from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2022. 

Effective from July 1, 2020, until June 30, 2022, the  75¢ per ton of solid waste disposal fee would be reduced to 51¢ per ton. Effective from July 1, 2020, until June 30, 2022, the $1 fee imposed upon the retail sale of all new replacement tires would be reduced to 38¢ per tire sold. In effect, the fees are reduced by the percentages that were not appropriated for their intended purposes in the last completed fiscal year, 2018.

The HWTF and SWTF support efforts including clean-up of abandoned contaminated sites, leaking landfills, scrap tires and illegal dumps; in addition, funds go towards waste reduction and recycling programs. 

ACCG supports the reauthorization of both trust funds but is advocating for the successful passage of HR 164, a constitutional amendment that authorizes the Georgia General Assembly to establish, by statute, true and dedicated trust funds.
HB 0223 NeutralNotification Exemptions for Farms re: Pesticides and Air Emissions Robert Dickey
7/1/2019 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2019/02/15 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation (similar to existing federal law) grants exemptions to farms relating to emergency notifications to GA EPD in regards to the application of pesticides as well as a notification exemption for air emissions from animal waste. 
HB 0241 EvaluatingIndoor Air Quality Assessments Required of All Public Buildings Kim Schofield
2/13/2019 House Second Readers Natural Resources and Environment --
2019/02/15 Report Air Quality Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation requires (prior to January 1, 2021) an indoor air quality assessment to be conducted of all public buildings. 
HB 0382 SupportGA Outdoor Stewardship Act - Clean Up Bill Jon Burns
7/1/2019 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2019/02/22 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/29 Report
Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation is a clean-up bill to last year's Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act (HB 332). Language is included that expands the definition of who is eligible to receive grant and loan funds from the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund to now include "constituted recreation authorities". Local governments were already included as an eligible recipient. 
HB 0422 NegotiatingLand Disturbance Permits Timothy Barr
2/25/2019 House Second Readers Natural Resources and Environment --
2019/02/22 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment Stormwater
This legislation revises the process of reviewing and approving erosion and sediment control plans. ACCG has committeed to working with the author and co-authors of this bill on language to address their concerns. 
HB 0445 NeutralShore Protection Don Hogan
5/3/2019 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/22 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation changes the permitting requirements and definitions related to the Shore Protection Act

This bill also makes changes to the Shore Protection Committee: "Any permit for minor activity may be issued by the DNR Commissioner based on the recommendations of staff, past committee actions, and the results of public comments. The commissioner may refer the application to the committee to decide on permits for minor activities that, in his or her judgment, should receive broader consideration. A committee member may choose to have the full committee decide on permit applications for minor activities that the member feels should receive broader consideration."
HB 0465 NegotiatingWater Customer Bill of Rights Don Parsons
3/4/2020 House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications --
2019/03/01 Report 2020/03/06 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This bill, entitled the “Georgia Water Customer Bill of Rights Act”, would create new requirements for public and private water systems. The bill includes specifics on customer service standards, how and when billing should occur and notification requirements regarding termination of service.
HB 0545 NeutralLimitations On Nuisance Claims Against Agriculture Facilities and Operations Tom McCall
6/18/2020 Senate - Senate Passed/Adopted By Substitute Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Agriculture and Consumer Affairs -
2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/08 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/22 Report 2020/02/07
2020/06/19 Report Agriculture General County Government Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment

This legislation prohibits a property owner, whether residential or commercial, from bringing a nuisance action against any kind of agricultural facility or operation unless they are within 5 miles of the source of the alleged nuisance activity. The lawsuit is allowed to be filed within two years after the nuisance occurs. 

This legislation keeps in place the ability to file a nuisance action when a nuisance results from the negligent, improper, or illegal operation of any agricultural facility or operation.

HB 0592 OpposeForest Land Protection Act Properties - Allow Surface Mining Steven Meeks
3/13/2019 House Second Readers Natural Resources and Environment --
Larry Ramsey Nat. Res. & the Environment Revenue & Finance
This bill provides that surface mining on properties that are receiving preferential tax treatment under the FLPA program would not constitute a breach of the FLPA covenant, provided that the property is restored to its conservation state within 3 years.
HB 0705 EvaluatingLandfill Permitting Regulations Lynn Smith
4/2/2019 House Second Readers Natural Resources and Environment --
Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment

This legislation states that no permit shall be issued for a solid waste handling facility if any part of the site is within two miles of an adjoining county (current law is one-half mile) without the applicant's first receiving the consent of the governing authority of such adjoining county. The EPD Director can overrule this requirement if the applicant provides evidence that no alternative sites or methods are available in that jurisdiction for the handling of its solid waste. 

The legislation also requires that at least two weeks prior to giving such consent, the governing authority of the adjoining county must publish a notice in the county legal organ on the matter. In addition, the public notice requirements are expanded to require the EPD Director (once the department has received an application for a hazardous waste facility permit) to publish a notice in any adjacent county within two miles of the proposed location.

HB 0708 SupportCourt Relief Against Pollutants Barry Fleming
4/2/2019 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Natural Resources and Environment --
Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation would allow the state and local governments to seek an injunction and damages against anyone who illegally discharges pollutants into surface waters that then cause damage or impede the operation of any public water supply or any water or waste-water treatment plant. 
HB 0756 EvaluatingCoal Ash Storage Requirements Robert Trammell
1/15/2020 House Second Readers Natural Resources and Environment --
2020/01/17 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment Solid Waste
This legislation would require coal combustion residual (coal ash) to be stored in a solid waste facility that had a liner and leachate collection system that meets design standards required for new municipal solid waste landfills. In effect, coal ash residuals would be treated the same as municipal solid waste. This legislation is mainly in response to Georgia Power's plans to close their coal ash ponds - details found here. Similar legislation, SB 297, has been introcued in the Senate. 
HB 0774 NeutralUnpermitted Release of Ethylene Oxide Erick Allen
1/16/2020 House Second Readers Natural Resources and Environment --
2020/01/31 Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation requires any unpermitted release of ethylene oxide to be reported to the Georgia Environmental Protection (EPD) within 24 hours of discovering the release. EPD will be required to make this information public on their website.

HB 0832 NegotiatingParks & Rec Facilities: Heat Related Injuries Kasey Carpenter
1/30/2020 House Second Readers Governmental Affairs --
2020/01/31 Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation would require local governments or authorities who operate parks and recreation facilities used by youth athletic organizations for football (age 18 and younger) to ensure that their parks and facilities are equipped with certain vessels for heat related injuries.

This legislation is in response to a 2019 House Study Committee on Heat-Related Injuries, Cardiac Injuries, and Other Sports-Related Injuries - report found here
HB 0833 NeutralAnchoring In Estuarine Areas Ron Stephens
7/1/2020 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation authorizes the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to create rules and regulations to addresses vessels anchoring within estuarine areas of the state. 
HB 0857 NeutralProhibition - Burning Chemically Treated Wood Products Alan Powell
8/4/2020 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2020/03/13 Report Air Quality Fire Services Health and Human Services Kathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the Environment Public Safety and Courts

This legislation prohibits biomass plants in Georgia from burning wood products treated with creosote or naphthenate compounds.

See article here for more details. 

HB 0901 SupportGEFA Loans for Land and Water Conservation Projects Mike Cheokas
8/3/2020 Effective Date Natural Resources and Environment Finance -
2020/02/07 2020/02/21 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report Kathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation allows the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) to award loans to local governments and nongovernment entities for projects that permanently protect land and water. 
HB 0906 SupportHeritage Trust Program Darlene Taylor
3/13/2020 Senate Read and Referred Natural Resources and Environment Assignments -
2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation grants the Georgia Department of Natural Resources more authority over property dedicated under the Heritage Trust Program. Specifically, the bill allows GA DNR to transfer ownership (up to 15 acres) of a property dedicated as a heritage preserve to a willing local government or private entity. 
HB 0926 SupportSolid Waste & Hazardous Waste Trust Fund Fees Terry Rogers
3/5/2020 House Committee Favorably Reported By Substitute Natural Resources and Environment --
2020/02/21 Report 2020/03/06 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation halts the reduction in the fees assessed for the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund (HWTF) and the Solid Waste Trust Fund (SWTF), which were set to reduce on July 1, 2020. In addition, the sunset on the collection of the fees is extended until 2025. 

The HWTF and SWTF support efforts including clean-up of abandoned contaminated sites, leaking landfills, scrap tires and illegal dumps; in addition, funds go towards waste reduction and recycling programs. 
HB 0927 NeutralReporting Requirement For Any Spill or Release of Ethylene Oxide Don Parsons
3/13/2020 Senate Read and Referred Natural Resources and Environment Assignments -
2020/02/21 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report Air Quality Kathleen Bowen
Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation requires any spill or release of ethylene oxide (regardless of the amount) be reported to the Georgia Environmental Protection (EPD) within 24 hours of discovering the release. This information must also be placed on EPD's website. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate, SB 426
HB 0929 NeutralCoal Ash Pond Regulations Vance Smith
6/17/2020 Senate - Senate Withdrawn & Recommitted Natural Resources and Environment Natural Resources and the Environment -
2020/02/21 Report 2020/03/06 Report 2020/03/13 Report Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
Solid Waste
This legislation codifies state and federal rules regulating coal combustion residual surface impoundments (coal ash ponds). Post-closure care will take place for a minimum of 30 years that will include ground-water monitoring. In addition, EPD would be required to conduct an inspection of the coal ash pond at least annually during the closure period and at least once every five years following the completion of the closure.
HB 0938 EvaluatingPermit Requirements for Facilities that Emit Ethylene Oxide Erick Allen
2/20/2020 House Second Readers Natural Resources and Environment --
2020/02/21 Report Air Quality Kathleen Bowen Nat. Res. & the Environment
This legislation establishes conditions for permits for facilities that emit ethylene oxide that includes providing proof to EPD that equipment has been installed that can detect and monitor ethylene oxide emissions from each exhaust point at the facility. In addition, the facility would be required to continuously monitor direct emissions of ethylene oxide and retain records of the daily release of ethylene oxide from each exhaust point. Such reports would be required to be submitted to EPD twice a year. Lastly, each facility would be required to create an ambient air monitoring plan that would include a quarterly air sampling with the results submitted to the local government where facility is located.
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