Eco-Briefs: Georgia Audubon; MARTA charging stations; Burnt Fort Creek settlement

The Atlanta Audubon Society Board of Directors recently voted to change the name of Atlanta Audubon Society to Georgia Audubon. Along with the new name comes a new statewide focus and partnerships with other Audubon chapters across Georgia, scaling up successful programs, and engaging with more diverse communities. “With an ever-growing list of conservation threats facing Georgia birds and their habitats, there is a clear need for habitat restoration and resilience, education, and community engagement on a statewide level,” says Executive Director Jared Teutsch. “As Georgia Audubon, we will seek to adopt a broader focus to connect birds and people across the state.” Established in 1926 as the Atlanta Bird Club, the organization later voted to become an independent chapter of National Audubon Society and was granted 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in 1973. Since hiring its first part-time staff person in 2006, the organization has grown to include eight full-time and one part-time staff positions at its headquarters at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Buckhead.

Georgia Power and MARTA have partnered to be electric car charging stations at local transit stations. The first phase of the partnership included the implementation of 60 EV charges at nine MARTA locations for a connected load of 426 kilowatts (kW). Further phases will include a second wave of EV charging at MARTA locations and the potential for fast chargers to support Lyft EV rideshare drivers at popular MARTA station destinations. MARTA, with Georgia Power’s assistance, also recently won a grant for six electric buses slated for deployment at the end of 2021. Learn more at GeorgiaPower.com/EV.

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) has reached a settlement for litigation concerning an industrial facility along Burnt Fork Creek in Tucker. The A&R Ironworks facility’s violations were discovered as part of CRK’s Protecting Streams and Communities from Industrial Pollution program. During a survey of industrial operations in the watershed, staff identified potential pollution issues at the facility, which fabricates structural and ornamental ironworks for commercial building projects. After CRK filed a lawsuit, A&R Ironworks substantially cleaned up and stabilized the property and has altered operations to eliminate almost all outdoor activities, storage, and stormwater exposure of industrial materials. Additionally, in agreeing to terms for settlement, CRK has secured $60,000 for supplemental environmental projects, paid directly to two entities in and around Burnt Fork Creek and the South Fork of Peachtree Creek, the larger Chattahoochee River tributary into which Burnt Fork Creek flows.

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