Successes on My Mind, GreenLaw Success Story 8.2.14
In the pursuit of clean air, clean water, and clean energy, we have limited resources. Sometimes, the lack of resources can feel insurmountable. However, the truth is that there are organizations that provide much needed support in an effort to protect citizens and the environment. Please join me as we highlight one those organizations, GreenLaw, for this week’s Success Story Saturday.
GreenLaw is a Georgia-based nonprofit law firm serving environmental and community organizations that have been adversely impacted by pollution. GreenLaw champions the right of every Georgian to breathe clean air, drink clean water, live in healthy communities, and enjoy Georgia’s natural beauty. They achieve these goals by providing free high-quality legal and technical assistance to environmental organizations and community groups throughout Georgia. And guess what…they are winning by:
1) Doubling down on dirty power
– Stopped proposed coal-fired plants in Georgia – Plant Ben Hill in Ben Hill County: Clean air advocates and environmental groups won big when Power4Georgians (P4G), the only company trying to develop expensive new coal plants in Georgia, agreed to cancel the proposed Ben Hill coal-fired power plant. The company also agreed to comply with critical new safeguards against mercury pollution and invest $5 million in energy efficiency and renewable projects. This inspiring win was part of a group effort with involvement from the Sierra Club, the Fall Line Alliance for a Clean Environment (FACE), Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), and the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center and GreenLaw. Go team! – Recently filed legal challenges to oppose the sole remaining proposed coal-fired plant in Georgia – Plant Washington outside Sandersville: Sounds like déjà vu, doesn’t it? Good thing there is an experienced team fighting for the maximum protections against toxic air pollution. To stay up to date on this (and more), please join GreenLaw’s email list.
– Successfully challenged the Title V air permits for five Georgia coal-fired plants that resulted in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order requiring the facilities to reduce their coal dust emissions; – Filed comments and organized testimony in favor of the EPA’s regulations limiting carbon emissions from new and existing power plants;
2) Promoting clean energy
– Intervened in Georgia Power’s 2013 Integrated Resource Plan before the Georgia Public Service Commission, which resulted in an additional 525 megawatts of solar being added to Georgia’s energy portfolio and the decertification of 15 coal- and oil- fired units; This exciting expansion of new solar capacity was part of Georgia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)–a 20-year plan for how Georgia will get its energy–previously dominated by coal, nuclear, and natural gas. GreenLaw represented the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Coosa River Basin Initiative in this year’s IRP.
— Ted Terry (@tedterry1) July 11, 2013
–Successfully advocated for the purchase of 250 megawatts of wind energy to be added to Georgia’s energy portfolio in 2014–the first time ever that wind energy will be used in Georgia; The two contracts under consideration will import power from Blue Canyon Wind Farm, the nation’s largest wind farm, near Lawton, Oklahoma. The project has been producing clean energy since December 2003 and has been expanded multiple times. According to Georgia’ Power’s analyses, these wind purchases are cheaper than other forms of electric generation already on the grid and will put downward pressure on rates.
3) In case that wasn’t enough to brighten up your day…
They’ve also made big waves with their clean water program, too. GreenLaw made history by announcing that their client, the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, (ORK), had entered into an historic settlement on claims arising out of the biggest fish kill in Georgia history. Back in 2011, a textile plant owned by King America Finishing had been found to have an unpermitted discharge that led to the death of some 38,000 fish in and around Screven County, Georgia. The settlement put in place comprehensive and stringent environmental protections and established programs to aid in restoration efforts along the Ogeechee River. Check out the story here. Even as a non-Georgia resident, it is great to see all the progress achieved by supportive organizations like GreenLaw. Be sure to check out the GreenLaw website for more! Keep up with their updates on social media! Facebook Twitter We are thankful to have GreenLaw as part of the US Climate Action Network, and look forward to continuing to connect and spread their critical work!
The Success Story Saturday blog is about SUCCESS in the climate action network. Our network is composed of a diverse array of organizations, united by a common goal of acting on climate change, coming together to produce immense positive results. THAT’S powerful. THAT’S worth sharing. The success stories featured here will include a range of triumphs, including landmark accomplishments of USCAN members, inspirational collaborations in the network, general flourishing of critical organizations, and more. Each story will have one thing in common: a reason to feel optimistic.