On the heels of Georgia’s largest fish kill in our history– which included five years of unpermitted dumping-the state is on the verge of giving corporate foxes the key to the state hen house with HB 887. If you think the rules and enforcement are lax now, imagine what HB 887 will do.
This bill will allow employees of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which oversees the Environmental Protection Division, to ask for donations from the corporations it permits and regulates. In reality, a corporation eager to obtain a permit might find friends by writing a large check to members of the very agency that issues the permits and then enforces adherence to the permit specs.
HB 887 is sponsored by Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear, Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, Ellis Black, R-Valdosta, B.J. Pak, R-Lilburn, Robert Dickey, R- Musella, and Richard Smith,
Now you know who to blame.
I have a hard time believing that the DNR is going to hold a bake sale to protect the rivers and streams of our state. Some House leaders, including Judy Manning (R-Marietta) and Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City) have said they are uneasy with HB 887. Rightly so.
The state should find a way to adequately fund the agency charged with “the conservation and protection of these (Georgia’s) resources for current and future generations.” Sending employees, hat in hand, to solicit funds from taxpayers and private corporations to fund their agency is absurd. What would be next? Discount coupons for permits?