Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Important Announcement about new EPD Director

Good Afternoon Neighbor:

I had to take a moment out of my day to get this to you!!!  Please read below - this is the firm that represented PSC against our community!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your neighbor,


Begin forwarded message:

K&S lawyer will head EPD
Perdue recommends Allen Barnes . . . (Oct. 26, 2009)

Gov. Sonny Perdue has recommended the appointment of F. Allen Barnes, a partner with the King & Spalding law firm, to replace Carol Couch as director of the state's Environmental Protection Division (EPD).

Perdue's nomination is expected to be approved at Wednesday's meeting of the

Georgia Board of Natural Resources - whose members include another King & Spalding partner, Dwight Davis.

The appointment of Barnes had been widely rumored among environmentalists and is seen as a show of support by Perdue for the energy industry, especially the power companies that want to build coal-fired generation facilities in Georgia.

"This is a coup d'etat," said environmental lobbyist Neill Herring.  "This is the Tanner-Barmeyer takeover of DNR-EPD moving into its completion phase,

less than two weeks after a K&S [King & Spalding] lawyer got put on the DNR Board.  K&S is real worried about the two coal power plants they are representing, and are unwilling to take any more regulatory chances with EPD."

Herring was referring to former DNR commissioner Joe Tanner, who's now a powerful lobbyist for developers, and Patricia Barmeyer, a King & Spalding attorney who has represented the company trying to build the coal-fired Longleaf power plant in southwest Georgia.

Perdue's recent moves with the Department of Natural Resources, which includes EPD, appear to have put King & Spalding and its energy clients in the driver's seat where Georgia's environmental policy and regulation are concerned.

Davis, who has represented the gas marketing firm Scana for King & Spalding,

was appointed to the Board of Natural Resources by Perdue on Oct. 1.  He will be able to vote on the confirmation of his colleague, Barnes, at Wednesday's board meeting.

Couch, the EPD director since 2003, abruptly announced her resignation last week and gave one week's notice of her departure, saying she would leave the

environmental agency as of Oct. 26.  That cleared the way for Barnes to take

over the division immediately.

Barnes was chief of staff for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region Four from 2002 to 2005, a region that covers eight southeastern states.  As chief of staff Barnes worked with state environmental directors and with EPA's senior staff on regulatory, enforcement, permitting, and policy issues.

Before working at EPA, Barnes taught natural resource policy and law as an associate professor at Mississippi State University from 1996 to 2002.

"Allen brings a wealth of environmental and management experience to this position," Perdue said. "His impressive government and academic background ensures he will successfully lead EPD as they continue to be responsible stewards of our most precious natural resources."

C 2009 by Capitolimpact.com


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