2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 5 - RIVERS AND RIVER BASINS
PART 6 - PROTECTION OF METROPOLITAN RIVERS
§ 12-5-442 - Legislative findings and purposes
. Legislative findings and purposes
(a) The General Assembly finds that adequate supplies of clean water for drinking and other purposes constitute the lifeblood of the great metropolitan areas of this state and are, therefore, essential to the health, welfare, and economic progress of the state; that development adjacent to major streams in certain metropolitan areas requires special regulation to provide adequate protection for public water supplies; that siltation and urban runoff threaten such water supplies; that flood plain development unnecessarily exposes life and property to loss by flooding while increasing flood risks for other areas; that over-intensive development adjacent to major streams increases the frequency and severity of such flooding; that it is in the public interest to avoid future flood damage and possible loss of life, to control erosion and pollution, and to protect the water quality of major streams in certain metropolitan areas.
(b) The General Assembly finds that the stream corridors of major streams in certain metropolitan areas as set forth in this part are vital areas within the meaning of Article III, Section VIII, Paragraph IIIA of the Constitution of the State of Georgia of 1976 and Article III, Section VI, Paragraph II of the Constitution of the State of Georgia of 1983. The purpose of this part is to provide a method whereby political subdivisions in certain metropolitan areas shall utilize the police power of the state, in accordance with a comprehensive plan, to protect consistently the water quality of any major stream, the public water supplies of such political subdivision and of the area, recreational values of the major stream, and private property rights of landowners; to prevent activities which contribute to floods and flood damage; to control erosion, siltation, and intensity of development; to provide for the location and design of land uses in such a way as to minimize the adverse impact of development on the major stream and flood plains; and to provide for comprehensive planning for the stream corridor in such areas.
(c) The General Assembly finds that certain political subdivisions in the included area have in force certain flood plain and sediment control ordinances that afford adequate protection for the aforementioned problems. Nothing in this part shall be construed so as to make those local political subdivision ordinances less stringent than they are now.
(d) The General Assembly intends to authorize and require political subdivisions in any such area to enforce this part so as to protect the watercourse and the adjacent stream corridor. The General Assembly further intends that the state have the authority to enforce this part if the appropriate political subdivisions have failed or refused to do so and if the public interest requires it.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer