URGENT: Georgia SB 346

 

Please see the link below in regards to the Georgia senate’s proposed SB 346:

Link to The Society for Georgia Archaeology’s Call to Action!

 

It has very recently come to light that the Georgia state senate have scheduled a hearing for TODAY, February 23rd, at 4:00pm for Senate Bill 346. SB 346 proposes to exempt state-funded road projects under $100 million from review under the Georgia Environmental Policy Act. This bill would put both cultural and environmental resources at great risk for destruction as mediation of these resources would not be required for projects under a $100 million budget. Please help by sending emails to the members of the Senate Transportation Committee, stressing our strong opposition to the proposed bill. Included below are the names and emails of the committee members as well as an email draft prepared by Joseph Roberts, President of the Society for Georgia Archaeology.  Please feel free to amend as you feel fit to reflect your own positions, affiliations, etc…

Click here for SB 346 text.

Senate Transportation Committee Members:

Chariman:
Tommie Williams (District 19), tommie.williams@senate.ga.gov
 
Vice Chairman:
Steve Gooch (District 51), steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov
 
Secretary:
Brandon Beach (Bill Co-sponsor) (District 21), Brandon.Beach@senate.ga.gov
 
Ex-Officio Members:
Ginn, Frank (District 47), frank.ginn@senate.ga.gov
Heath, Bill (District 31), billheath@billheath.net
Seay, Valencia (District 34), valencia.seay@senate.ga.gov
 
Members:
Butler, Gloria S. (District 55), gloria.butler@senate.ga.gov
Dugan, Mike (District 30), Mike.Dugan@senate.ga.gov
Jackson, Bill (District 24), bill.jackson@senate.ga.gov
Jones, Burt (District 25), Burt.Jones@senate.ga.gov
Lucas, David (District 26), David.Lucas@senate.ga.gov
Tippins, Lindsey (District 37), lindsey.tippins@senate.ga.gov
Watson, Ben (District 1), ben.watson@senate.ga.gov
Prepared Email:

The Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA) and Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists (GCPA) are deeply concerned by Senate Bill 346. It proposes to exempt state-funded road projects under $100 million from review under the Georgia Environmental Policy Act (GEPA). The GEPA process ensures state agencies like the GDOT take environmental effects into account during government undertakings. In our view, this proposed exemption is arbitrary and threatens Georgia’s irreplaceable archaeological sites and shared cultural heritage.

The great state of Georgia contains world-class archaeological sites, from evidence of ancient Clovis peoples, the first known inhabitants of North America, to monumental American Indian mound sites and villages. In Georgia, you can find the encampments of Spanish Conquistadors, among the earliest historic sites in the entire nation, as well as antebellum plantation and slave sites, Civil War battlefields and POW camps, and other spectacular historic places up through the modern day. These places are important to our heritage and contain extremely important information about Georgia’s past. Some are also final resting places and hallowed ground.

Senators of the Transportation Committee, as you consider this legislation please remember that GEPA does not regulate private construction or put any burdens on the state’s businesses. GEPA simply makes sure that state government undertakings are done conscientiously, with due consideration to environmental resources such as water quality, ecology, history, and archaeology. Please support Georgia’s cultural heritage and environmental quality by opposing SB 346. For any questions about Georgia archaeology or the issues raised, please see the SGA and GCPA websites or contact the present leaders of the respective organizations directly: SGA President Joseph Roberts, 404-583-0495 or GCPA President Richard Moss, 678-910-0792.

 

Jake