Environment, Health and Science

Ga. Environmentalists Say Trump Won’t Affect Water Agenda

Credit David Barasoain / WABE
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Environmental groups in Georgia that focus on water say the Donald Trump presidency won’t affect their agenda.

The Georgia Water Coalition puts out a priority list of water issues in the state each year, calling it the “dirty dozen.” Included on the list, which was released on Wednesday, are coal ash, pipeline construction, overflowing sewers, fracking, groundwater contamination and soil erosion.

The environmental groups participating in the coalition emphasized that those are issues that can be handled on the local and state levels, even if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s funding and regulatory authority are cut back in a Trump administration.

Bills on coal ash, pipelines and preventing erosion into streams could come up in the Georgia legislative session, which begins in early January.

“I really don’t expect, in the area of natural resources, a whole lot of changes in Georgia,” said environmental lobbyist Neill Herring. “Social issues is another matter, but we’re not talking about that.”

Some issues are up to federal agencies. Permitting offshore oil exploration, also on the priority list this year, is up to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. And a controversial pipeline in the southwest corner of the state has been granted permission to use eminent domain by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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