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While planning high-voltage transmission lines in south-central Georgia, our staff encountered two unlikely customers: gopher tortoises and indigo snakes. In addition to complying with regulations, we conducted studies to chart the location of hundreds of burrow holes used by these protected species, improving awareness in the state of this sensitive habitat. This action symbolizes our environmental ethics.
Compliance: We have an enviable environmental compliance record in our business, despite having a tremendous construction schedule that is governed by many federal and state regulations. We’ve take the necessary measures to minimize the environmental effects of our construction which is performed in a range of environments, from mountains to marshes.
NEPA: We prepare thorough environmental assessments in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This law requires us to evaluate and minimize impacts to the natural environment, cultural resources and present development patterns. Significant impacts are avoided through route selection and construction mitigation techniques.
Community projects: Sometimes our work allows us to help communities where we build and maintain power lines. Small measures -- like contributing to a bike path, donating a small plot of land where residents pick blueberries and even making bilingual “do not mow” signs for the state’s butterfly research in a right of way -- can sometimes mean a lot.
FindIt: We are the main sponsor of FindIt, a county-by-county survey that locates and records Georgia’s cultural and historic sites that might otherwise go undocumented. FindIt, administered by the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design, has documented more than 8,000 treasures in 26 counties. Municipalities, utilities, developers and others use this data for planning and land management. FindIt is a unique program pioneered by GTC, the university, the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Historic Preservation Office.
Conserve Georgia GIS: We share a common goal with many of Georgia's environmental nonprofits - to conserve and protect our state's land and natural resources. Recognizing the opportunity to collaborate, we modified our geographic information system (GIS) software so that groups like the Georgia Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land can use the same detailed land information we use to route new lines for their conservation efforts. Each organization inputs and shares data related to critical habitats, rare species, land conservations and other information to create a robust database for protecting our state's most precious natural resources.
GNHP: When we study areas for potential power line locations, we provide data on the rare species we encounter to the Georgia Natural Heritage Program (GNHP). In cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy, the GNHP maintains a database of rare species that improves statewide planning, development and conservation.
Ranch House in Georgia: Guidelines for Evaluation: We co-developed this guide about the historical significance of ranch house architecture. The publication presents a study on the evolution of the ranch house and a methodology for evaluating its significance. It is intended to help identify and protect Georgia’s historic resources. The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation recognized the publication with its Excellence in Preservation Award in 2010. Publication PDF
LEED Gold certified warehouse: We received the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for a private, new construction building in Middle Georgia. Among the items cited by the U.S. Green Building Council in awarding the certification are energy-efficient lighting, low-flow toilets and faucets, water-efficient landscaping and green cleaning materials. The facility has reduced energy and water use by an estimated 35 percent and 51 percent, respectively. More than 20 percent of the building materials contain recycled materials, and a comprehensive recycling program has been implemented. Approximately 29 percent of the building materials were purchased locally or regionally, reducing vehicular transport and stimulating the local economy.
Oconee Recycling Center: Upon hearing the county needed a more central location for its new recycling center, Georgia Transmission donated an acre of land to Oconee County. In partnership with the local county commission and the Keep Oconee Beautiful Commission, we developed a plan for a drop-off center that supports the community's recycling initiatives and added landscaping to help screen the facility. Georgia Transmission makes every effort to preserve and protect Georgia’s environment as we build and maintain our high-voltage power lines and substations. Walton Electric Membership Corporation, a Georgia Transmission member, serves the residents of Oconee County.
Partnership for Sustainable Georgia Program – Silver Level Partner: Georgia Transmission is proud to be a Silver Level Partner in this program. Working with the Sustainability Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, we have made a commitment to protect our state’s natural resources, quality of life and economic vitality by doing business in a way that is good for the environment and good for our bottom line. For more information about the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia Program, visit www.Gasustainability.org.
MillionMile Greenway: We are a charter member of this non-profit group that is working to connect and preserve greenspace. With our help, Photo Science has joined the team and is modifying geographic information system (GIS) software to help identify and evaluate greenway paths.
Wildlife conservation: We help sponsor non-game wildlife conservation programs administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Clean Air Campaign: We are a member of Atlanta’s Clean Air Campaign, a non-profit organization working to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. As a partner, we encourage carpooling and the use of public transportation. We provide preferred parking for carpoolers and offer a no-cost guaranteed ride home to employees who carpool and have to leave work unexpectedly.
State water planning: A member of our environmental team was appointed by the governor to the Upper Oconee Council, one of the state’s regional water planning councils developing a statewide water management plan. In addition, several of our associates have served on a citizens’ advisory council for another planning organization, the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District.