Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cagle Welcomes Creation of Senate Special Committee on Coastal Preparedness

Lt. Governor praises Sen. Tolleson’s efforts to monitor effects of Gulf spill

Citing the need to fully understand the potential environmental and economic threats of the ongoing Gulf spill to Georgia, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle today welcomed the creation of a Senate Special Committee on Coastal Preparedness. Further, Cagle singled out and applauded Sen. Ross Tolleson (R-Perry), Chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, for his leadership role in creating the special panel and overseeing its specific duties.

“The potential impact of just one drop of crude on the environmental, economic, and even psychological state of Georgia is too important to leave to chance and hopes of good fortune,” said Cagle. “We must be doing all we can today to ensure Georgia’s state of readiness is keen and poised for action. I am pleased Chairman Tolleson took on this heavy responsibility, and I have all the confidence that he and the committee will do a stellar job.”

As forecasters continue to assess the likelihood that oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf could potentially reach the Georgia coast, Cagle and Tolleson collaborated earlier this month to form a small but agile working group to monitor Georgia’s preparedness and potential relief efforts for any emergency scenarios should they occur.

“I thank Lt. Governor Cagle for his cooperation in this effort and appreciate Senators Carter and Hooks for their willingness to serve in this capacity,” said Chairman Tolleson. “Our state and local agencies are working diligently to prepare for this unfortunate scenario, and I look forward to reviewing these policies in a public and transparent setting. Simply put, our citizens have a right to know that we are proactively working to protect our pristine shoreline, ecosystem and our Coastal economy. And most importantly, that we have a plan to maintain an efficient flow of vital public services like drinking water and law enforcement.”

In addition to Chairman Tolleson, the Senate Special Committee on Coastal Preparedness will include Sen. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) and Sen. George Hooks (D-Americus). Its primary charge is to publicly inquire into the likelihood of oil reaching the Georgia coast and to assess the state’s planning in response of such an event. In addition to applicable state agencies, the Committee intends to hear testimony from the U.S. Coast Guard as well as stakeholders in the Coastal tourism and fishing industries.
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