From January to April, you can find OHM staff members under the Gold Dome advocating for our coast. We spend the months calling legislators to the ropes, testifying at committee meetings, and convening with our partners in the Georgia Water Coalition. In 2021, due to COVID-19 precautions, we moved our Georgia General Assembly to the virtual realm, to keep our staff and fellow Georgians safe.
Fortunately, our staff are experts when it comes to adaptation, and we didn’t let this transition slow us down. Our online action alerts have kept advocates from across the state engaged in the session and in touch with their elected officials. Since the onset of the pandemic, these alerts have resulted in more than 30,000 messages sent to legislators and other decision-makers.
This year, we successfully advocated for the passage of HB 244, a bill that opens new funding sources to flood risk reduction measures in unincorporated areas. And we celebrated the passage of HB 511, which officially restores the integrity of Georgia’s Hazardous Waste and Solid Waste Trust Funds.
We’ll return to Atlanta in 2022 to continue advocating for important coal ash cleanup, plastic pollution, and environmental justice bills that did not move in 2021 but remain active and carry over into next year’s session. Read on for an update on the priority issues from 2021.