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15 counties must clean their air

15 counties must clean their air

ATLANTA -- Air Quality Awareness Week recently came to a close, and 15 metro Atlanta counties didn't quite make the clean air cut.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently changed its standards of attainment for ozone standards from .08 parts per billion to .075 parts.

The change means that 15 formerly compliant counties were re-designated at nonattainment for ground-level ozone: Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding and Rockdale.

To clean up the air, residents can try carpooling to work or taking MARTA if possible; fewer cars on the roads means more breathable air for everyone in metro Atlanta.

Learn more about how to reduce emissions and cut down on ozone at www.cleanaircampaign.org.

FEMA encourages Chattahoochee-area residents to learn flood risks

FEMA encourages Chattahoochee-area residents to learn flood risks

ATLANTA -- As 2011 draws to a close, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages all Americans to understand the risks that surround them -- and for residents of the Upper Chattahoochee River Region, those risks include the possibility of flooding.

FEMA worked with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to create maps of the 107-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River between the Buford Dam and Coweta County, which includes Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

These updated maps detail flood hazard and risk data with the ultimate goal of protecting homeowners from flooding.

Maps for those who live in the Chattahoochee flood region are available at www.georgiadfirm.com. Learn more about steps to prevent flood damage at www.ready.gov/floods.

Fulton County Seeks Nominees for Environmental Awards

The Fulton County Citizens Commission on the Environment (FCCCE) is seeking nominations of environmental advocates and environmental projects that exemplify environmentally-sound practices to be recognized at its annual Environmental Awards Program on April 18, 2012.  All nomination entries must be postmarked by Friday, January 13, 2012.

All submissions will be evaluated in one of the following categories:

  • Environmental Advocate -  Individual in Fulton County who supports activities that  protect the environment and exemplify environmentally sound practices
  • Best Development Development in Fulton County that implements proactive and Innovative  best management practices
  • Environmental Program Fulton County programs that focus on environmental awareness and pollution prevention

One award will be presented in the E

Practicing What They Preach: Turner Construction Atlanta Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Their

Practicing What They Preach: Turner Construction Atlanta Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Their

Company’s commitment to green construction
practices starts with their own offices

Turner Construction Atlanta, a leader in environmentally friendly building practices, recently received a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council for renovation of their own Atlanta offices. Turner is Atlanta’s largest LEED builder and incorporates sustainable elements into every project.

For Winston Williams, the company’s Green Champion, the space is a demonstration of Turner’s real commitment to sustainability. “Green building practices are an important movement in construction today,” he says. “We embrace those values not only for our clients, but for ourselves as well.”

Green features of the space include:

Hazardous waste collection in Alpharetta on Saturday, November 12

Hazardous waste collection in Alpharetta on Saturday, November 12

Getting rid of old paint and paint cans is bothersome and an issue for the environment.  Granted you can use the paint on a wall, but that requires lots of effort.  You could also dump cat litter or sand in it to make it clump up, but that’s wasteful too.  You should be responsible in the way that you dispose of the old paint. 

Regardless of why you have it, if you live in Alpharetta you can get rid of the paint this weekend.  On Saturday, November 12 from 9am-1pm you can get rid of that unwanted paint, if you pre-register.  This event will be crowded and probably be full, so you must pre-register in order to drop off the paint.  In addition to paint there are other hazardous materials that can be dropped off including, batteries, pool supplies and more. 

Mother Nature visits the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Halloween Hikes

Mother Nature visits the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Halloween Hikes

ROSWELL, Ga. -- If you visit any nature center in the U.S. this time of year they’re most likely having some sort of Halloween hike.  It’s a little known fact that these outdoor Halloween hikes started in Atlanta at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in 1986.

In 1986, Marietta resident Kristi Beckler was looking for something fun to do with her children that wasn’t too scary.  She and her husband Paul had been longtime volunteers at CNC.    Mrs. Beckler merged the two ideas, added educational elements and came up with the idea of Halloween Hikes.

Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Halloween Hikes is a chance for people to explore the trails at night where they’ll meet larger than life costumed creatures.  You’ll meet the Red Winged Blackbird, Grey Fox, Venus Fly Trap, Black Widow Spider and Mother Earth. 

Drought spreads into North Georgia

Drought spreads into North Georgia

ATLANTA -- Georgia's state climatologist says extreme drought conditions have now spread into North Georgia and cover most of the state south of the mountains.

Climatologist David Stooksbury says all of Georgia's counties are now classified as being in moderate, severe or extreme drought.

In his most recent reports on the drought, Stooksbury said the outlook for relief in the short-term is not promising. Unless Georgia sees some tropical weather over the next few months, the state can expect below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures.

Without tropical rain, Georgia's soil is expected to continue to dry out. Stream flows, groundwater levels and reservoir levels are expected to continue to drop, and wildfire potentials are expected to remain high to extreme.