2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 2 - CONTROL OF WATER POLLUTION AND SURFACE-WATER USE
§ 12-5-21 - Declaration of policy; legislative intent
. Declaration of policy; legislative intent
(a) The people of the State of Georgia are dependent upon the rivers, streams, lakes, and subsurface waters of the state for public and private water supply and for agricultural, industrial, and recreational uses. It is therefore declared to be the policy of the State of Georgia that the water resources of the state shall be utilized prudently for the maximum benefit of the people, in order to restore and maintain a reasonable degree of purity in the waters of the state and an adequate supply of such waters, and to require where necessary reasonable usage of the waters of the state and reasonable treatment of sewage, industrial wastes, and other wastes prior to their discharge into such waters. To achieve this end, the government of the state shall assume responsibility for the quality and quantity of such water resources and the establishment and maintenance of a water quality and water quantity control program adequate for present needs and designed to care for the future needs of the state, provided that nothing contained in this article shall be construed to waive the immunity of the state for any purpose.
(b) The achievement of the purposes described in subsection (a) of this Code section requires that the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources be charged with the duty described in that subsection, and that it have the authority to regulate the withdrawal, diversion, or impoundment of the surface waters of the state, and to require the use of reasonable methods after having considered the technical means available for the reduction of pollution and economic factors involved to prevent and control the pollution of the waters of the state.
(c) Further, it is the intent of this article to establish within the executive branch of the government administrative facilities and procedures for determining improper usage of the surface waters of the state and pollution of the waters of the state, and to confer discretionary administrative authority upon the Environmental Protection Division to take these and related circumstances into consideration in its decisions and actions in determining, under the conditions and specific cases, those procedures which will best protect the public interest.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer