Georgia Power Seeks Approval to Expand Its Green Energy Program

29 08 2008
ATLANTA, Aug 29, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Georgia Power today asked the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval to expand its Green Energy program to include additional options for customers.
Born out of direct feedback from customers and environmental groups, the expansion of Georgia Power’s Green Energy program redesigns the current program to make it more cost-effective while also providing additional discounted options for retail customers that are high-volume energy users.
“Georgia Power’s Green Energy program offers customers the opportunity to support local green energy technologies that benefit Georgia’s economy and its environment,” said Mike Garrett, Georgia Power president and CEO. “With these additional options, we hope to increase the appeal of the Green Energy program by making it more affordable for residential and large-volume customers.”
Electricity generated for the redesigned Green Energy program would help grow the renewable resource base in Georgia and the Southeast and expand the market for renewable energy credits (RECs). RECs are created when a renewable energy facility generates electricity or uses renewable fuel. Customers who purchase RECs through the Green Energy program are paying for the benefit of displacing other non-renewable sources from the electric grid.
Georgia Power is proposing expanding its Green Energy program to include the following new or revised options:
Premium Green Energy – At a cost of $4.50 per 100-kilowatt-hour block, this option will retain a 2 percent solar resource requirement.
Green Energy – Priced at $3.50 per 100-kilowatt-hour block, this option will not include a solar or wind resource requirement.
Read on here.

Nominations Needed To Georgia Regional Water Planning Councils

28 08 2008


Under the Georgia Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Plan, formal nominations for 28 seats (25 members and 3 alternates) on each of 10 regional Water Planning Councils are due by this Friday, August 29th.  Discussions with EPD indicate because of low submission rates to date, nominations beyond August 29th will continue to be accepted and considered.  There is significant need in the Upper Flint and Altamaha Water Planning regions.  Anyone can be nominated, and you can nominate yourself.

For your nomination to be considered, it must be submitted on the official nomination form. The nomination material is provided below:

Memorandum from EPD Director Carol Couch Adobe PDF Format

Official Nomination Form Adobe PDF Format

Final Delineation of Water Planning Regions Map Adobe PDF Format

How green is West Georgia?

28 08 2008

By Lakeisha McSweeney (TheWest Georgian)

Prospective college students have a new criterion to evaluate their school choices and find their best fit, thanks in part to the Princeton Review.

The new “Green Rating” developed in a collaborative effort with EcoAmerica, an environmental non-profit organization out of D.C., will highlight three areas, the environmental soundness of school policies; the quality of campus life as being both healthy and sustainable and how well environmental practices are being used by colleges to prepare well-rounded individuals in a 21st century “green” workforce and world.

This green rating will be featured in the 2009 editions of college guides being published, including the Complete Book of Colleges. The green rating will also appear on The Princeton Review’s website profiles at

UWG’s Office of the President’s official website lists this year’s enrollment at over 10,667 students.

Dr. Scott Lingrell, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management told The West Georgian that at the risk of sounding insensitive to environmental issues, these issues have not been a part of the traditional college decision and “I don’t foresee that they will be at the top of the typical student’s selection criteria anytime soon.”

“I believe that when students are selecting a college, they are looking at the quality of the academic programs, the social and cultural environment on campus and in the local community, and the quality and beauty of the facilities and ground,” said Dr. Lingrell, “they (applicants) are also very concerned about the cost of attendance and the amount of scholarships and financial aid that they will receive.”

In a press release sent to The West Georgian, Robert Franek, Vice President – Publisher at the Princeton Review said EcoAmerica assisted in making the rating comprehensive and annually updateable.

Read on here.

Atlanta Region to Spend Federal Funds on Diesels

28 08 2008

The Atlanta region is poised to spend $36 million of its federal transportation funds on diesel locomotives owned by private rail companies so they will pollute less.

The Atlanta Regional Commission on Wednesday approved the money. Final approval now rests with the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, which is expected to vote on the matter Sep. 10.

State regulators said they had little choice but to request spending the money on the companies, because of the setup of federal laws and regulations. The law may punish the Atlanta region for poor air quality that some of the old locomotives help cause, but it exempts rail companies from state regulation.

So the state can’t force the companies to buy cleaner engines, and has to offer the incentive of money.

Sonny Deriso, chairman of the GRTA board, said at the board’s meeting last month that before state regulators explained the situation, “we couldn’t believe that we were going to be asked to do this.”

Deriso said Wednesday he didn’t know how the board would vote, but that regulators had made “a compelling case” for spending the money. “I think this is one of those very difficult issues,” he said.

Read on here.

Georgia Conservation Mandate Requires Price Hike for Water

27 08 2008

My Swainsboro

The City of Swainsboro, along with municipalities state-wide, is being directed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to file a water conservation plan as part of its permit approval process. This plan requires revisions in the City’s current fee structure for water usage. Also, the EPD is requiring the enactment and implementation of a “water conservation” rate. The new plan encourages conservation by establishing a new chart for water bills based on ascending levels of consumption.

“Obviously, this new plan is meant to reward people who conserve water and to penalize those who don’t,” commented Mayor Charles Schwabe. “It is certainly not our desire to change water rates, but this new ruling by EPD has required it, and we have no choice but to abide by their regulations. The actual increases will be very small and, in many cases, you will see no change at all. But the bottom line is that water conservation is becoming more and more of a critical issue everywhere in this country, and these changes are going to affect us all.”

The City has filed its water conservation plan with the Georgia EPD and expects approval shortly. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is the ruling authority that issues permits and licenses for water and waste water operations for all city and county water systems in Georgia.

Issues with Dade County’s Code Enforcement Continue

27 08 2008

By SUMMER KELLEY (The Dade Sentinel)

Problems continue to arise at the new codes enforcement office.

It has not been that long since Steve Faircloth discovered that there were problems on the property where he was building a home and had to work with the Department of Natural Resources to get the issue resolved. Now another Dade County resident has run into more problems as she becomes one of the first to deal with the new office, ordinances and contractor requirements.
When Gail Hendrix began building a home in Dade County, she did not expect the problems that have plagued her property and home site.

In April of 2008, the house Hendrix and her husband built on a bluff in Marion County was completely destroyed in a fire. Hendrix’s husband had passed away a little over a year before and she lost nearly everything in the fire. It did not take long for Hendrix to decide that she would move to Sand Mountain in order to be closer to her church, and she purchased property that included seven and a half cleared acres on Scratch Ankle Road.

Hendrix said that she talked with Bruce Castleberry, the county code enforcement officer, and those in his office about permits that would be needed to build her new home.

She was informed that all that was needed was a PERK test for sewer and an electrical permit. A contractor was hired and a dirt pad was made for the home. The temporary electrical work was done and the rye grass was scraped off to make way for new grass to be planted.

When everything was ready, Hendrix went in to get her temporary electrical permit. She signed the receipt, asked again if there was anything else she needed, and then left.

Read on here.

Forsyth: Sewage Spills Into Big Creek

27 08 2008
By Jennifer Sami
Business Reporter

Between 1,000 and 1,500 gallons of raw sewage entered a tributary of Big Creek during a Friday sewer spill near Gatewater Circle.

Cumming Utilities Department Director Jon Heard said the spill likely was the result of a blockage caused by medicated, cleansing and baby wipes, along with personal hygiene products.

“We would recommend against flushing those wipes down the toilet,” he said. “The material we pulled out that formed the clog was from non-biodegradable wipes being sold in supermarkets.”

The impacted area has been cleaned and lime applied to help reduce the amount of bacteria entering Big Creek, which runs to the Chattahoochee River.

Sewage also affected Big Creek on July 4, when a similar incident occurred.

Though the wipes may be a convenient way to handle a dirty situation, Heard said, they could lead to more cleaning in the end.

“Manufacturers claim they are safe to flush down the commode into the sewer system, but we’re finding that’s not the case, as evidenced by the last sewage spill.”

Blockages also are caused by low-flow toilets, said Heard, who has noticed many of the recent blockages have been from homes built within the past few years.

Read on here.