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DNR a small slice of budget
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The Department of Natural Resources budget for 2009 totals $130.9 million in state funds but with other sources of revenue such as federal funds and fees, the total more than doubles to $303.9 million. State funds amount to about 0.62 percent of the state’s $22 billion budget but 1.38 percent of the total funds budget of the $40.3 billion.

The Department of Natural Resources is comprised of three major divisions:
1. Environmental Protection Division (EPD)
2. Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites
3. Wildlife Resources Division
And other divisions including:
Historic Preservation
Coastal Resources or Pollution Prevention

Significant changes or inclusions in the DNR budget include:
$175,000 to match federal funds of $170,000 to staff and operate the Okefenokee Eco Lodge.

$475,000 for matching funds to continue coastal groundwater and surface water monitoring.

Included are yearly appropriations for Hazardous Waste Trust Fund of $7.6 million and $6 million for the Solid Waste Trust Fund.

In Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority’s (GEFA) budget — $42 million in bonds for local government water and sewer construction projects.
$2.4 million in bonds for matching funds for the clean water revolving fund.
$5.6 million in bonds for the drinking water revolving fund match.
$30 million for reservoir and water system construction and improvement.  Also in FY08 Amended, $40 million in Reservoir construction and improvement funds.

State parks and historic sites
$500,000 for staff and operations for a new nine-hole addition to Brazell’s Creek Golf Course and operating funds for cottages at Gordonia Altamaha State Park.

Legislation affecting state Department of Natural Resources
SB 342 – Authorizes Soil and Water Conservation Commission to fund the cost of obtaining permits for reservoirs and provides for expedited permitting of reservoirs through EPD. Also creates a Water Supply Division with GEFA for design, construction and maintenance of reservoirs.
Includes separate sales tax holiday for water efficient products, Oct 2-5.

SB 352 – Allows General Assembly to object to and ultimately override a proposed rule of EPD under the Administrative Procedures Act.

SB 399 – Extends $1 fee on replacement tires until 2011.  Some of those funds go into the Solid Waste Trust Fund.

SB 400 – Authorizes investigators of Ga. Forestry Commission to make arrests for arson.

SB 483 – Permits residential reuse of gray water (waste water from tubs, sinks and showers).

SB 466 – Allows exemptions from statewide watering bans for water efficient carwashes and for swimming pools.

HB 68 – Allows owners of four adjoining docks to build a single dock under the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act.

HB 239 – Contains remnants of several bills
• exempts water buffalo and sugargliders from license requirements,
• allows immunity from liability for landowners allowing hunting on their lands.

HR 1022 – Statewide Water Management Plan – provides a framework for watershed management, sets up watershed planning.

HB 1176 – Authorizes Georgia Forestry Commission along with other entities to participate in acquisition of land conservation projects along with cities, counties, DNR and private partners.