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The septic tanks of Glynn

Staff column

POSTED: July 28, 2017 6:00 p.m.
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Jeff Whitten is editor of the Bryan County News.

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In the news:

If you think you’re getting overdeveloped in South Bryan, imagine being in Glynn County, where county commissioners recently approved a developer’s request to put in up to 1,500 septic tanks on 3,000 acres near the Little Satilla River.

Note: it apparently could’ve been worse. The land was originally targeted for 4,000 homes before the developer went into foreclosure.

The measure is opposed by environmentalists and Glynn County Commissioner Bob Coleman, who is quoted in the Brunswick News as saying, "You’re going to bury Glynn County in septic tanks."

The rest of the commissioners apparently didn’t think that was funny. They voted for the development. Still, Coleman is one of my new heroes.

The good news, if you seek a sunny side, is that this is being marketed as an "upper-scale" development, so at least the septic tanks won’t be filled with your run of the mill working man ...stuff. It’ll be "up-scale" ...stuff. Stuff flushed by titans of industry and trophy wives, that sort of thing.

I need to go reread Sydney Lanier’s "The Marshes of Glynn" and report back to myself.

Of course, the environment doesn’t stand much of a chance these days, no matter where you go. Effingham County just approved a permit for a French turpentine plant that could soon discharge pretreated industrial waste into Ebenezer Creek, a small and beautiful blackwater tributary that meanders around and winds up in the Savannah River.

The state’s Environmental Protection Division, ever mindful of its mission to promote economic growth, approved the permit last week. It will bring 40 jobs to Effingham, or 40 more people to Effingham to work the jobs. You never know until you know. But this depressing news reminds me of a study made some years back by the Coastal Georgia Regional Commission that estimated Georgia’s coast will have about 884,000 people living on it by the year 2030 - largely due to what the commission called "in migration." I know some folks in the Sons of Confederate Veterans who are calling it something less politically correct.

Whatever the case, if you think it’s crowded now, just you wait. And it is crowded now, or more than it used to be. Georgia’s current "coastal population" was estimated in 2010 at about 654,000 people spread out among 10 coastal and four inland counties. That’s a lot of people. More coming. Help.

Not an endorsement: I actually like and respect Richmond Hill mayoral candidate Russ Carpenter, but after seeing his first campaign video I think he’s cherry picking his vision of a city he’s called home all his life. Not that I blame him. Showing video of traffic backed up on 144 from Harris Trail west to Love’s Truck Stop at the I-95 exit isn’t likely to inspire folks to get out and vote.

"What, in all that traffic? No thanks."

I do miss when the place was so small you could drive through it and almost not even know it was here. Apparently, so do the 200,000 people who really didn’t know it was here until they moved to Richmond Hill 5-10 years ago and now want the door closed behind them.


 

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