GreenRoom: September 2008
• Georgia’s Board of Natural Resources plans to buy 1,564 acres linking two state-owned natural areas, Zahnd Natural Area and Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wild-life Management Area, near Look-out Mountain in Walker County. The state’s Land Conservation Pro-gram helped pay the $8.3 million cost, and Walker County plans to purchase 275 acres adjacent to the property.
Known as the McLemore Cove area, it is one of six high priority areas the Georgia DNR has targeted for protection, mainly because it links the two existing parks and allows wildlife the ability to move back and forth between them. The area includes caves, waterfalls, wildflowers and unusual chalk deposits called “tufa.”
Protection of the area will help encourage high-end development, Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The purchase also protects the 100-acre Camp Adahi, owned by the Girl Scout Council of Moccasin Bend. The rest of the land will be available to the public, pending final approval of the DNR board.
• The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has asked the state Court of Appeals to reverse Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore’s ruling against the Longleaf Energy Station in Early County, a coal-fired power plant that would emit CO2, or carbon dioxide. Moore ruled that the Georgia En-vironmental Protection Department failed to place limits on CO2 emissions in granting a permit for the plant, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.
The chamber said the ruling could put Georgia’s economy at risk by driving up energy costs and delaying the construction of new natural gas, oil and biofuel plants. Early County leaders say the plant would create 100 jobs in one of Georgia’s poorest areas. The Savannah Morning News opined that federal, not local, rules are needed to regulate CO2 emissions, and urged the appellate court to punt the issue to the feds, calling Moore “overzealous.”
Georgia Power, which is not connected to Longleaf, uses high-tech scrubbers to reduce CO2 emissions from its coal-fired plants. Such technology is not planned for Longleaf, which would be Georgia’s first coal-fired power plant built in 20 years.