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Kudos to State Rep. Jeff Jones
David Kyler
David Kyler is executive director of the St. Simon’s Island-based Center for a Sustainable Coast.

Dear editor:

On behalf of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, it’s a distinct pleasure to express our sincere thanks and enthusiastic support for a bill introduced by Representative Jeff Jones, HB94.

By preventing hazards risked when burying toxic coal-ash in certain landfills, this legislation will protect millions living in our state’s vast coastal plain, sustained by the lower watersheds of Georgia’s five prolific but vulnerable river systems.

In particular, by prohibiting coal-ash disposal in landfills located within 100-year floodplains, once adopted HB94 will significantly reduce the possibility of toxic materials being leaked into groundwater and wetlands, and then carried into adjacent waterways. Public health, fisheries, and water quality will directly benefit.

The well-founded precautionary insight reflected in HB94 should be honored as lasting inspiration for all decision-makers. Few places have suffered from the lack of such insight more than coastal Georgia, especially Glynn County.

For decades, in desperate efforts to secure jobs and economic growth, elected officials along Georgia’s coast made regrettable decisions that put natural resources and public health in harm’s way. Even after environmental laws and related scientific research made the dangerous consequences of industrial pollution evident, contamination of coastal Georgia’s air and water continued.

As a telling example, consider the menacing legacy of LCP Chemical and previous industrial polluters at the still-disputed Superfund site on the west side of the Brunswick peninsula.

We must now take heed that not all economic “opportunities” are worthy of that description. Environmentally informed decisions are vital to the future of Georgia’s coast.

David Kyler 

Center for a Sustainable Coast

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