Judge ruled on value of conservation easement for tax credit purposes.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Baxter 
Docket Number: 1635204 , Decision Date: 2017-07-11 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) certification of a $67,500 tax credit for Petitioner River Refuge, LLC’s donation of a conservation easement was supported by a preponderance of the evidence.  DNR based the amount of the tax credit on an appraisal completed by the State [..] Read More..

Permit for Sea Island’s groin project did not violate Shore Protection Act.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1630908 , Decision Date: 2016-08-26 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Shore Protection Committee issued a permit to Sea Island Acquisition, LLC, for the construction and maintenance of a rock groin near the southern end of Sea Island in Glynn County.  The new groin would be accompanied by beach nourishment and dune construction.  Petitioners—consisting of [..] Read More..

Decision to issue land application system permit upheld.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1525822 , Decision Date: 2015-05-26 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources issued a permit to the City of Guyton to construct a land application system (LAS), which applies treated wastewater to land via irrigation system. The Petitioner, an adjacent land owner, argued surface water and groundwater from the LAS site [..] Read More..

Emission Inspector Certificate revoked for violations of the Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Act.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Baxter 
Docket Number: 1542992 , Decision Date: 2015-06-15 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, a certified emission inspector, issued passing emission certificates to forty-four vehicles, despite never having tested the vehicles’ gas caps.  He also issued passing emission certificates to three vehicles that were never tested using a fraudulent practice called “clean scanning,” whereby a surrogate vehicle is [..] Read More..

Recycling and composting operation’s failure to abide by permit terms results in revocation.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Walker 
Docket Number: 1442274 , Decision Date: 2015-01-21 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources issued an administrative order revoking a Solid Waste Handling Permit and a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit (“NPDES Permit”) issued to Wilbros, LLC, a commercial recycling and composting operation, for alleged violations of Georgia law, solid waste management [..] Read More..

Out-of-state suspension of hunting license recognized in Georgia pursuant to interstate compact.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Baxter 
Docket Number: 1457706 , Decision Date: 2014-11-04 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The State of Florida suspended Petitioner’s hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges.  Both Georgia and Florida are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (the Compact).  Because member states are required by the Compact to treat a suspension “as if it had occurred in their state,” [..] Read More..

Court of Appeals agrees with Judge’s determination that issuance of a buffer variance for lake was improper, reverses two Superior Court rulings.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1308374 , Decision Date: 2013-01-14 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Judge ruled in favor of several groups (“River Groups”) challenging a variance granted by the Director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The variance allowed Grady County to encroach upon the 25-foot vegetative buffer around state waters required [..] Read More..

Adjacent property owner has standing to challenge the issuance of land application system permit.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1420278 , Decision Date: 2014-03-05 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner established standing to contest the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’s grant of a land-application-system permit for construction of a wastewater treatment facility on land that was hydrologically connected to Petitioner’s property. Petitioner proved that that he was aggrieved or adversely affected by the permit [..] Read More..

No permit to build marina over marshlands where existing facilities can accommodate need.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1408563 , Decision Date: 2014-02-21 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Bull River Bluff Properties, LLC, an applicant for a permit to build a marina over state-owned marshlands, did not meet its burden under the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act to show that existing public facilities cannot meet its water-related needs.  As a general rule, a permit [..] Read More..

Appeal timely filed within thirty days of date on denial letter.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1417598 , Decision Date: 2014-01-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

State improperly dismissed Petitioner’s appeal as untimely.  Petitioner filed the appeal within thirty days of the date on the face of the letter but more than thirty days after receiving it in the mail.  Petitioner was entitled to rely on the date of letter as [..] Read More..

Boundary of hazardous waste facility established at time of permitting.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1343555 , Decision Date: 2013-10-21 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 and the Georgia Hazardous Waste Management Act, the boundaries of a hazardous waste facility are established at the time of permitting.  Subsequent transfer of a portion of the permitted property does not change the boundary [..] Read More..

Permit affirmed because no new claims may be asserted on remand.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1107476 , Decision Date: 2013-10-02 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

On remand from the Superior Court of Forsyth County, Judge Miller affirmed the issuance of a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  The Superior Court, in reversing the original decision, interpreted the antidegradation review rule to require a determination of whether any new or [..] Read More..

Air quality permit complies with the federal Clean Air Act and Georgia Air Quality Act.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Baxter 
Docket Number: 1342676 , Decision Date: 2013-07-29 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources correctly granted Green Energy Partners an air quality permit that authorizes it to build an 11.5 Megawatt biomass fuel electric generating facility. Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment challenged the issuance on [..] Read More..

Hazardous Site Remediation Act: Judge upholds director’s administrative order.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1319286 , Decision Date: 2013-04-09 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, pursuant to his authority under Georgia’s Hazardous Site Remediation Act (“HSRA”), sought to enforce a previously-issued administrative order requiring Georgetown Athens, LLC to submit a compliance status report and a corrective action plan. Georgetown Athens disputed that [..] Read More..

Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) improperly issued variances that encroach on wetlands.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1308374 , Decision Date: 2012-12-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioners requested reversal of a state-level variance that authorized the encroachment of buffers along state waters at the site of a federally permitted fishing lake in Grady County, Georgia. Petitioner argued that the variance failed to consider the impacts to all state waters, specifically wetlands. [..] Read More..

A permit application to construct and maintain a marina on and over state-owned marshlands must contain a needs assessment.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Miller 
Docket Number: 1235369 , Decision Date: 2012-12-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioners sought revocation of a permit issued by the Coastal Marshland Protection Committee to construct  a marina on state-owned marshlands. The permit includes .38 acres of coastal marshlands protected by the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA). Petitioners claimed that the permit was invalid because the [..] Read More..