– Dec. 7, 2022 –

New look at old pollution

The mercury and PCB contamination of seafood near Brunswick is an old story. After all, the area around the former LCP/Honeywell plant was declared a Superfund site more than 25 years ago. But it’s getting new attention because the city of Brunswick in late October filed a lawsuit that seeks a jury trial to determine punitive damages, as The Current’s Mary Landers reports. Brunswick is concerned about pollution on city property outside of the boundaries of the Superfund site. The city was not part of previous settlements between Honeywell and Glynn County or the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The City of Brunswick blames Honeywell for high levels of mercury and PCBs in its waterways. Credit: Mary Landers/The Current

Georgia charges ahead

Georgia lawmakers studied the issue of how best to support electric vehicle rollout in the state, but didn’t come up with a lot of answers, Dave Williams of Capitol News Beat reports. After six meetings the study committee couldn’t agree on how to ensure Georgia Power’s EV charging stations don’t compete unfairly with convenience stores. They did agree that charging stations should charge by the kilowatt-hour rather than by the amount of time they spend charging their EVs. And the Georgia Department of Transportation will be piloting a mileage-based user fee program to replace the flat-rate annual registration fee of more than $200 for EV owners that’s among the highest nationally. The committee will include its recommendations in a report to be published this week. Lawmakers are expected to take up EV issues in the upcoming legislative session.

Meanwhile, governing.com released a report showing that Georgia ranked 16th in the nation for the number of public charging stations available on a per capita basis, with almost 37 chargers per 100,000 population. That’s the highest in the Southeast, with Florida next best in the region with 31 stations per 100,000 residents.

Savannah City EV
Savannah city electric vehicles get a charge at the city’s administration building Credit: The Current GA

The value of a species

The Georgia Coast is home to a dazzling variety of plant and animal species. Just on Georgia Southern University’s campus, for example, researchers have documented close to 200 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Today marks the start of a 10-day United Nations conference in Montreal that aims to establish new goals for protecting biodiversity around the globe. Why does biodiversity matter? Conservation biologist Bradley J. Cardinale writes in The Conversation that he’s come to believe that there are many equally valid reasons for protecting nature, from the services it provides like providing food or flood protection, to the harder to monetize happiness many feel when they take a walk in the woods or notice a bird in their backyard. No doubt many Coastal Georgians agree.

Briefly noted:

Credit: Ga. DNR

If you have feedback, questions, concerns, or just like what you see, let us know at thecurrentga@gmail.com.

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Mary Landers is a reporter for The Current in Coastal Georgia with more than two decades of experience focusing on the environment. Contact her at mary.landers@thecurrentga.org She covered climate and...