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Please Call Your State Representative and Ask Them to Vote NO on SB 213

Flint River

Your calls and emails on SB 213 are working. Together with the Georgia Water Coalition, which represents over 180 groups across Georgia, we have stopped this bad bill from passing. At the end of Wednesday, SB 213 was put on the House Calendar, but when it came time for debate, Speaker Ralston knew the bill had problems and postponed it until the last day, Sine Die, which is Thursday March 28th.

Senate Bill 213, sponsored by Senator Ross Tolleson of Perry, would give the EPD Director or a private company ownership of unlimited augmented flows.

Augmentation is defined nowhere but it means at least this aquifer storage and recovery experiment in southwest Georgia. If this experiment works, it would cost roughly $1 billion, with operating costs of $1 or 2 million a day. This would mean a big increase in Metro water rates.

Please call your State Representative today and urge them to vote NO on SB 213.

Protect our private property rights and to protect the water ratepayers who could get stuck with the bill for this huge experiment. The application says that if augmentation works in the Flint, then Joe Tanner wants to try the Savannah River and Coosa River next.

Thanks for your efforts to protect Georgia's environment!

To find your elected officials, please enter your ZIP Code. If you live in a split district, you may need to enter your full address.

 
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Use these talking points when you call your State Representative:

I'm a constitutent and I'm concerned about SB 213. The bill revises the Flint River Drought Protection Act of 2000 (FRDPA) but contains a poison pill: stream "augmentation," which threatens property rights, taxpayers and healthy rivers.

  • The augmentation provisions allow the EPD director to deny water users that are downstream of an undefined “augmentation” project the use of any of the “augmented” water flowing past their property, without prior opportunity to be heard.
  • This provision allows the State to control (or allow a private party to control) a portion of stream flow and prohibit the reasonable use of it, which is akin to prior appropriation of water – a short step from western-type water regulation.  State ownership of water is different from the state’s current regulation by permit.
  • Property owners in Georgia have a “bundle” of rights that make up their property rights. An essential property right in that bundle is the right to reasonable use of water on or under your property. Allowing the appropriation and state control of water, and not allowing downstream property owners the right to reasonable use of it, radically diminishes that property right.
  • An augmentation project to benefit endangered species is already operating on a tributary to the Flint River. This language is not needed to do this augmentation project or protect endangered species.
  • The flow augmentation language will allow a hugely expensive, taxpayer-funded, multi-million dollar Aquifer Storage and Recovery/Southwest Georgia Regional Commission Stream Flow Augmentation project to continue to be funded in the lower Flint.
  • The water added by this project will flow to Florida while Georgia farmers and other property owners will be denied reasonable use of it.
  • The project could add to Metro Atlanta water supply but at an extremely high cost that is projected to fall on Metro utility ratepayers, who already pay the highest water bills in the state.




"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
- John Muir
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