Daily Archives: February 10, 2013

Rules for river corridor protection –GA EPD

Georgia Lakes, Rivers and Water Resources So Georgia state law requires protection for perennial river corridors and the major rivers in the WWALS watersheds qualify as perennial rivers. What are the rules? Apparently to be a “Qualified Local Government” a comprehensive plan including River Corridor Protection Plans with protection for a natural vegetative buffer area bordering each protected river is required.

Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources,
Environmental Protection Division
Chapter 391-3-16
Rules for Environmental Planning Criteria

391-3-16-.04 Criteria for River Corridor Protection

Georgia Rivers (1)(b) The Comprehensive Georgia Planning Act of 1989 provides for the development of coordinated and comprehensive planning by municipal and county governments. Such comprehensive plans shall consider the natural resources, environments, and vital areas within the jurisdiction of the local government. Maintenance of the status as a “Qualified Local Government” is contingent upon the development of such comprehensive plans (O.C.G.A. 50-8-1 et seq.).

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What does perennial mean?

What does “perennial” mean in Georgia Mountain and River Corridor Protection Act, O.C.G.A. 12-2-8 (2010)?

According to Merriam-Webster:

Definition of PERENNIAL
1: present at all seasons of the year

For example, does the Alapaha River at Hotchkiss Landing often (if ever) go dry? No, there is pretty much always water there.

That Georgia state law, O.C.G.A. 12-2-8 (2010), has a more specific definition:

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Perennial river corridors shall be protected –GA state law

Georgia state law requires local governments to protect a natural vegetative buffer 100 feet on each side of the stream banks of every perennial river corridor. The wording is “shall” as in “shall be protected”.

Georgia Mountain and River Corridor Protection Act, O.C.G.A. 12-2-8 (2010)

12-2-8. Promulgation of minimum standards and procedures for protection of natural resources, environment, and vital areas of state; stream and reservoir buffers

(g) The department shall, by January 1, 1992, promulgate the minimum standards and procedures for protection of river corridors referred to in subsection (b) of this Code section including, but not limited to, regulated activities within river corridor areas. In promulgating such standards, the department may classify river corridor areas and activities by type, size, and other factors relevant to the advancement of the policies and purposes of this Code section. Such standards shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Perennial river corridors shall be protected by the following criteria:

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