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January 3, 2019, City Council Regular Meeting
23. Motion to Amend the Soil Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control Ordinance
Strategic Priority

Georgia’s Erosion and Sedimentation Act of 1975 regulates land-disturbing activity, which is defined as "any activity which may result in soil erosion from water or wind and the movement of sediments into State water or onto lands within the State, including clearing, dredging, grading, excavating, transporting and filling of land."

In 2014, the State Attorney General determined that a key element of the Erosion and Sedimentation Act, which the State Environmental Protection Division had understood to require a 25-foot non-disturbed buffer between our salt marsh and upland development, was not enforceable.  As a consequence, the buffer that had long protected Georgia’s salt marshes from erosion and direct pollution no longer existed.  

In 2015, the work of a bipartisan coalition in the Georgia Legislature restored the buffer against the coastal marshlands within which certain land-disturbing activities are prohibited; it also provided for exceptions and variances; and repealed conflicting laws.  

The item before Council today is an amendment to Part 8, Chapter 6 of the Soil Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control Ordinance to reflect the change to State law per the Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act (O.C.G.A. 12-7-8(a)(2)). In January 2018, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division formally requested an update from the City of Savannah, in order to verify the City's compliance.  Currently, the City is not in compliance with State law. Approval would bring Savannah into compliance. 

First reading of this ordinance was held during the Meeting of December 20, 2018. This is the second and final reading.



Jian Fei, Stormwater Management
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Act 175 of the Georgia Legislature (2015) as Passed.pdf
Soil Erosion, Sedimentation, and Pollution Control Ordinance Redline Version.pdf
Soil Erosion, Sedimentation, and Pollution Control Ordinance Final.pdf
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